We’ve been enjoying a long break from ministry in the bush. We started with a week in Madang for the beaches and now we’ve spent 2 weeks in Goroka. Our last stint in the bush was a little long and so we’re needing the extra time to unwind, plus with our little ones we only get little snatches of rest each day in between keeping them entertained and engaged – it takes a while for those little snatches of rest to build up to proper rest πŸ˜€

Our handy baby wagon we use on break

We’ve been having a great time not up to much in Goroka. It was my (36) and Alice and Millie’s (2) birthdays this week which we celebrated with an English breakfast, cake and a little gathering. I got 2 bars of chocolate for my birthday which will get packed up, sent into Kovol and sneakily eaten bit by bit in the evenings over the next months πŸ™‚

Oscar is excited to buy himself a new shovel at the hardware store

Alice and Millie turned 2. Wow, we’re going to have to stop referring to them as “the babies” soon. Their getting to the age where they only take 1 nap a day (and this break Gerdine and I have been napping every day too!) means we can actually go places. A shopping trip to Goroka, for example, takes all morning and it’s no longer a manic hurry to get it done before the morning nap.

Oscar with his new Aziana friend

The trampoline here at our Goroka base has been a big highlight for everyone. Oscar likes to show off his “shakey shakey” jumps and Alice and Millie happily run around and around. Oscar made a friend with a little boy visiting from the Aziana tribe too. They’ve been running around gathering mulberries together and watching Tom and Jerry. Oscar is very impressed with his climbing skills πŸ™‚

I’ve been enjoying some time in a good book (William Lane Craig: In quest of the historical Adam), playing some video games, coding, a game of football and I’ve forced myself into regular exercise. Gerdine has enjoyed meeting with different ladies and having some social time away from the kids.

Birthday presents!

A lowlight of our break was the morning we all received vaccinations at the clinic πŸ™‚ I think our family got 16 in total, the kids 4 separate needles each… ouch!

A highlight is the Hansen family returning a few days ago. They’ve been on home assignment for just about a year and we were happy to pick them up at the airport. We’ve had a good chance to sit down and fill them in on all the goings on in Kovol for the last year. The kids have instantly bonded and Oscar and Louis are always asking us to go and play with each other πŸ˜€ We’re looking forward to all the playing and fun that’s going to happen when we get back into Kovol on Wednesday.

Riding all the vehicles

Wednesday the Hansens will fly in first and then we’ll follow on a 2nd flight. After giving the Hansens some time to settle in, our team will be thinking about some reasonable goals for the next 6 months. Our team has only had 2 months in total where all 3 families were overlapping and busy with language learning, and now that we’re all further on and at a similar level there’s good potential for some progress on some of the reports we need to write up. It’s quite exciting and we’re feeling ready for it, batteries fully charged.

We were so busy chatting to Philip and Natalie we didn’t get a good photo!

We’ll enjoy the weekend and then we’ll be slowly starting to pack up boxes for the helicopter, preparing the next round of homeschool and in general getting our heads back into the task of learning the Kovol language.


Wim Evers · 08/04/2023 at 10:22 pm

Dear both, good to read all this! Happy belated birthday and may the Lord bless you richly as you seek to serve and love Him by bringing the best news to the Kovol people. And good you started doing exercises; yes, you need that, keeping your body in fairly good shape. So, keep it up, brother! You are at the best place you can be. Rest assured that we think of you and pray for you even in the midst of all that is going on here with Emma. Blessings, Wim for Henny too.

Lois S. · 09/04/2023 at 12:55 am

Thanks for sharing! Exciting to hear that Philip and Natalie are back. We had hoped for a chance to see them on break, but that was not to be. Hope you all have a blessed celebration of the Resurrection, and that your team makes great progress upon return!

Josephine Owen · 13/04/2024 at 6:31 pm

I am glad that you managed to get a break. Enjoy the chocolate Gurdine.
I pray that you all get over the sniffles soon. Keep up the language study. I pray that it won’t be long before you can start teaching the Gospel.

Love from JoJo hugs

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