5 ways life in the tribe is different from what we expected

Coming out for a break is a good time for reflection. We’ve been in the tribe for close to a year after spending 3 years in training, 2 years waiting to get to Papua New Guinea and 2 years in Papua New Guinea acclimatising, followed by a year of work to get ourselves set up in Kovol. 8 years of preparation to get to where we are now, learning a tribal language and culture with the aim of communicating God’s word into it with clarity.

During those 8 years we pick up certain expectations of what life in the tribe might be like, so here’s 5 ways expectation and reality have differed.


One week ago, Kolom came, an almost 2 year old boy. There are no words to describe what we saw and pictures don’t even justify the reality. A starving to death baby crying quietly in agony, on the doorsteps to death. As soon as I left him, I started crying.

Our Vision Quest

This last term on the field we discovered the joys of maintaining glasses and contacts in the bush. Did you know contact solution can’t be found in your typical PNG pharmacy? We didn’t either, and so when we arrived on the field we found ourselves quite undersupplied. Eventually Stacie’s glasses became a Frankenstein creation barely hanging in there with copious helpings of tape, hot glue, epoxy, and very gentle face movements.