Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2017, everybody! Here’s what my New Year celebrations looked like:

New Year’s Eve:
S’mores! a.k.a Snickerdoodle cookie bar covered in marshmallows and sprinkled with chocolate chips a.k.a sugar with some sugar on it sprinkled with sugar. Also hot chocolate with a marshmallow in it. It was delightful.

New Year’s Day:
Sadly, I did not have black eyed peas and cabbage. But I did get to partake in the consumption of an entire smoked pig and goat (named Taco) and an array of sides made by the wonderful cooks of this community! I provided proper Southern sweet tea (11 tea bags, 2 cups of sugar). Direct quote from a drinker of my tea: “I drank it and was like, this person knows how to make REAL sweet tea!”

For my remaining six months here in Papua New Guinea before my furlough (June 2017 – December 2017), I want to introduce you guys to some of the major characters in my life here in Ukarumpa. These will range from people, items, places, and ideas that affect my daily life here. So without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to the first character of the series… Lazlo.

Yup. Our car. Brandy (my housemate) and I bought Lazlo in 2013 because we were tired of not being to go anywhere/bumming rides home at night. He is also useful for hauling around all of the music equipment I am constantly lugging from place to place in order to lead worship.

Lazlo is a 1978, American Jeep mail truck. It is one of the rare automatic transmissions on center, has survived being rolled on his side into a ditch, and has a speedometer that reads in MPH instead of kilometers per hour, so despite having lived in country for almost 5 years, I still have no idea how fast or slow kilometers are. Other fun Lazlo facts:

  • The max passenger load we have carried has been 10 – three in front, seven in back.
  • Yes, we do drive around with the sliding doors open so as to have a breeze.
  • The steering wheel is huge, so yes, we do use the little red knob to steer it as if we were driving a tractor.

Stay tuned to learn about the other characters that make my life what it is here in PNG!

PRAYER REQUEST: This week (2 Jan – 6 Jan) is Vacation Bible School for children here in the valley. Our coordinator on center has been working with valley pastors and Sunday school teachers for months getting things set up. It is being held at two different locations in the valley (not on our center) and they are expecting a total of 500-800 children to be in attendance. This is an amazing opportunity for the gospel to be spread to the children of this valley. Pray for the ex-pat volunteers as they teach in Pidgin (the local trade language of PNG) and for the Holy Spirit to move among the children, the local valley pastors and church staff, and the ex-pat volunteers from our center. Thanks for your prayers!

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