A week ago we were able to share the exciting news that we have finally found our tribe and future home in Maliyali! We can’t even begin to tell you how excited we were to share that news with you, as we know you have all been praying so fervently for us in this decision! Thank you so much for all your prayers, encouragement and support during this last season of finding a tribe. For years you have been along side us in this and have been patiently waiting with us during training, support raising, preparing to head to PNG, orientation, language learning and now you can rejoice with us that the work is about to begin in making Jesus known among the Maliyali people. Long days of language and culture learning are about to commence and we ask that you continue to lift us up in prayer as well as the Maliyali people! This isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon and we have only just begun!
So what’s next? Well, in a matter of four days our two families will be heading into Maliyali! For us women and children it will be the first time we ever step foot into Maliyali and the first time we get to meet the people! Because Maliyali is so remote and either requires a plane flight and then helicopter flight or a plane flight and a two day hike (that the kids aren’t able to do yet) us women have had to wait until now to actually see the place where we will be spending the next 15-25 years of our lives!
During our two week stay we will be living in bush houses exactly like the Maliyali people live in. In fact they built us two houses and cleared a ton of land for us so we have a place to stay while our homes are being built! These two weeks are going to give us some intentional time with the people before all the crazy of house building starts. We really hope that during our two week stay there we can grasp a better understanding of what it is to really live like a Maliyalian. It’s one thing to be living in our houses with our own things, a nice stove, a toilet and running water but to live like them for even just a couple weeks will give us such a better perspective going into this. We know we have a long ways to go, like a loooonnnggg way, but this is the beginning and as a team we have prayed about this and feel that it is best for the work among the Maliyali people.
(This is a picture of our home for the next two weeks! Don't worry it will have walls, a roof and flooring by the time we move in!)
After the two weeks us women and children will fly out of the tribe and the guys will begin the work of saw milling lumber for our future homes! Praise the Lord we have some awesome men here on the field that will also fly in and help our guys during this process! The guys will be staying in Maliyali for the whole month of February (big sobs) in order to hopefully get a ton of lumber milled and have our house posts in the ground by March. In March the guys will come out for our Sepik Missionary Conference held here in Wewak and then after that they will be back in! We have several small teams coming from the states in March and April and we are looking forward to their help in order to hopefully get our homes move in ready by MAY!
So that’s it! That’s the master plan and we expect it to change 10 billion times but are praying it stays just as it is. Our men have been working non stop planning and preparing for all that’s ahead and Rache and I are two proud wives to say the least! This task is not easy. It is hard. And we fully know that it will only get harder. We cannot tell you how much we appreciate your prayers and how we cant complete this task without your support and love.
Would you please join us in praying for this next phase. Please pray for good health for us in the tribe during the two weeks! (Ain’t nobody got time for a medi-vac this early in the game) Pray the same safety and good health for our men after we leave and they start chopping down trees and milling lumber. Would you pray for the helicopter? Pray it stays working! It was down for a few months and is finally back up and running. It's crazy how much we now depend on this helicopter as our only form of transportation into the tribe! Would you pray for our kids? This is the first time they are seeing their future home! Pray that they will be gracious and patient during all the stares and cheek pinches they are sure to get in the next couple weeks and pray for good conversations with them about all that’s going on! Pray for us wives! Living in a bush house with no toilet and bugs galore is not my thing, like at all, pray for peace and joy in the midst of hard and difficult things, peace and joy that can only come from Jesus. Last but most definetly not least, please pray for the Maliyali people! Pray for the Holy spirit to already be working in them. Pray for a willingness to help us learn their language and culture and know more about who they are. This is it guys! The long journey is about to begin.
A small side note: once we are in the tribe we will no longer have internet access. That means you will likely be hearing less of us, correction you wont be hearing from us at all ha! We knew this day would come aye? We will have about two weeks of radio silence while us women are in the tribe but we will continue to update you as we can while the men are in the bush and as they communicate with us via the SAT phone. Once we officially move in we will be radio silent for 4-6 month stents. We will have email set up via a CB raido but we are still unsure when that will be. For now we can enjoy the gift of being able to stay connected and know that even in all the distance and disconnect we are praying to the same Father. I find so much peace in that.