Preparing to leave for Papua New Guinea feels fairly similar to preparing for our first born son. Lists, chaos, nervousness, excitement and joy surrounded us then and surround us now as we prepare to head off to Papua New Guinea in just a little over 4 months!
Every parent experiences crunch time before having their first-born! Your lists are longer than your fridge filled with things to do and things you need before the baby comes. You read reviews of all the best baby products, make sure you are up to date on the must haves of a first time parent and register for endless amounts of baby swag.
As first time missionaries to the field our current stage of preperation feels similar to this. David and I are in the throes of preparing for PNG. House building materials, tools, clothes, anti mold towels, malaria medication, physicals, dentists appointments, passports, visas, plane tickets… you get the point. We are trying to get as much packed and ready here in the states before leaving to Papua New Guinea in July. Since we will be building our own home amoung a tribe in PNG we are also tyring to get as much prepared for house building here as we can. We also have to keep in mind that planning for a house in the jungle is not the same as planning for a house here in the states. A friend reminded me the other day that every box you take from the boat to your house is being watched by the people you will soon be living life amoung. Do I really want to explain why I have 6 throw pillows on the couch? No, I don’t. Therefore, we really want to spend time thinking and praying over what is really needed during this season of preparation. Less=More.
As we got closer to Calvin being born people would ask me all the time, “How are you feeling? Are you excited? Are you nervous?” Some people hate these questions but I love them! People want to know how to pray, how can they help? What can they do? And just like a first time parent we have also been asked these same questions, “How are you feeling? Are you excited? Are you nervous?” And every time someone asks questions like these I want to hug them because I love the answer. When I am not reading my Bible, I feel afraid, anxious, scared and worry BUT when I am in Gods word I am excited, ready and honored to be getting to serve Him in this way! Isn’t that amazing! I am so thankful that in this crazy transitional stage of life the Lord is keeping me close to Him and at the same time graciously pouring out His peace and comfort on me.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. “ John 15:5
The restless nights are often, as the day of departure gets closer. From packing lists to things to do, my mind is running at full speed as I know that things are about to drastically change. One of the biggest things I learned as a first time mom was that I am incredibly selfish, impatient, fearful, always in a hurry and did I say selfish? Once we get to PNG more selfishness is going to be brought to the surface, more impatience I never knew I had will finally be visible and becoming more like Christ will never feel as real as the moment we step off the plane. Things are about to change but although this change will surely bring about difficult things my heart has never been more excited to serve the Lord in this way.
There is nothing else on Earth David and I would rather be doing then sharing the gospel with those who have never heard it. We desire to be obedient to Jesus in all things. Just as new parents fears, long lists, anxieties and restless nights pale in comparison to the blessing of holding that baby, likewise our fears, long lists, anxieties and restless nights pale in comparison to being able to serve God this much.