One year

Elna

Our original plan was to arrive in PNG on 24 September 2017. It is now one year later.

We could speculate about all the reasons God had for not allowing us to be there yet. And I do often make a list in my mind of all the many blessings that have come from spending this year in South Africa instead. But in the end, it comes down to this…

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Seven!

Elna

Our baby is officially seven. Crazy. He responded to a writing prompt just before his birthday: “If I was a punctuation mark, I would be… an exclamation mark! I would be loud! I would be tall! And be strong! And rule them all!”

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Double digits

Children are a blessing, a reward! We’ve been parents for 10 years now. Crazy. Our girl is sweet, silly and yet seriously thoughtful. We love that she can make up the strangest songs and stories, and also ask very deep theological questions.

Happy tenth birthday, Calista! May you continue to grow in your understanding of, and love for the Word of God. May Lord Jesus capture your heart, so that you will become a young lady after his own heart.

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Square One

Elna

Our first applications for work permits to enter PNG, were submitted in March 2017. In August 2017, we were told that these applications were lost somewhere at the Department of Labour. We had a second application ready in country, so we sent these to our agent for resubmission. The last 8 months we have waited eagerly for news, but none has come. We have placed increasing pressure on our agent in PNG for feedback with the result that he was forced to admit that he never submitted our applications. We are back to step 1 in the work permit application process, but with reliable agents this time.

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‘Normal’ life

“No, we are still waiting.” Most of my conversations these days start with the question, “Have you heard anything about your papers?”  There has been some movement (another agency had one of their missionaries’ papers processed). But for now, we have a pretty ‘normal’ life here in South Africa.

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If only for this…

On Thursday 4 January, Ledo Silvano Giovanni Raffanti breathed his last breath. His nurse helped him wash up and dress in the morning, and left the room to fetch his breakfast. When she returned, he had quietly slipped away.

Oupa Joe was proud, strong, meticulous, and hard-working. He was a real engineer – a problem-solver, who invented many gadgets on a large scale (his ingenious ideas solved many problems in our public hospitals), and small scale (like using a rod to pull his car cover when he was not physically strong enough to do so anymore).  At 91, he was still living alone, driving and fishing.

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Wrapping up 2017

I have not written in a while. I cannot give you the exciting news everyone is waiting for – we do not yet have our work permits… And thus no clear idea of when we’ll finally head to PNG. But God has not been wasting time. So pull up a chair, and let me tell you about our good God!

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