From Here to There and Back Again

Life – how does it get so busy? When will I ever find time to just get caught up?

I don’t think we will ever be caught up, life just has a way of moving along at an alarming rate of speed. And then all of a sudden……. as you are speeding along trying to get somewhere……… they close the freeway!

Freeway closed across the Blues

Last November we were working along here in PNG and then were advised that if we wanted to get a break – out of country in the next 12+ months – that we needed to go immediately. So we quickly called our trusted travel agent Journey’s by Jan who once again found an incredible deal – and within a few days we were on an airplane to the USA arriving the night before our only grandchild’s 7th Birthday. What a special time with family and a few local friends.

It was a whirlwind trip which included American Thanksgiving and Christmas with family and then thanks to a last minute flight cancellation due to snow in Boise, Idaho. We found ourselves in a rented 4 wheel drive heading across the mountains in the snow to get to the international airport so as to make it back to PNG in time for the 70th Anniversary Celebration and mini-staff retreat to be held the first weeks of January!

We felt that driving from Boise, Idaho to Seattle, Washington was the only sure way we could reach the airport in time……and then they closed the freeway! Wait – What? Yep! Closed the freeway! We sat waiting for a few hours shivering in the cold then attempted to find a back road to get around…….only to find a Sheriff Deputy’s car parked across the road turning folks around……. He took pity on us and looking at the 4 wheel drive we had rented, decided we could make it across ok, and let us go.

On the Plane headed home to PNG

We made it to Seattle after midnight – found a hotel close to the airport and slept a few hours. After the 12 hours across the snow we needed it. Got to the airport – many travelers were being turned away at the check-in counter for not having the correct paperwork/entry permits/documentation of vaccination etc….but thanks to the great work of our team in PNG – we had everything in order and didn’t have any major hold ups. On to Doha then Singapore then Port Moresby and on to Mount Hagen. Including the 12 hours across the snow, it was 78 hours from leaving Caldwell, Idaho to arriving in Mount Hagen.

Watching Ends of the Earth from near the Ends of the Earth!

We landed and went right into meetings – what a blessed time to have all of our expat staff together in one location for some spiritual nourishment and some good old fashioned fun! One of the highlights was that we purchased a viewing of the Ends of the Earth movie that came out in America a few months ago. Although it is about the work of MAF on the other half of this island, it deeply impacted each one that watched it as we sat together with our teammates that have given so much to be there flying and doing their part to reach the isolated. It was a sacred moment. (Well hour and a half.)

Gluten Free communion option

Another special time was sharing with the entire MAF team from across the country as we gathered to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of MAF’s presence in PNG. We shared communion together as a team and it was a special time as we reflected on what Christ had done for each of us.

National Ladies Conference

With everyone from all of the bases across the country gathering for the 70th Anniversary Celebration – we took advantage of the situation and had several different gatherings including Ground Ops and Pilots Meeting and National Ladies Conference. Fiona Stevenson, who has been our Finance Manager for the past several years, but is moving to the South Sudan Program, was our main speaker and it was a wonderful time of sharing together with these incredible women of Faith! We also took advantage of being together by getting photos albeit with masks.

Things have settled down a bit now, back to just the normal busy schedule. Up before dawn and out the door early, trying to get things accomplished before everyone else gets to the office – and typically not enough time, so staying a little later after everyone else has gone home for the night to get caught up. It is a daily way of life for us.

The Team that God has blessed this program with is incredible! They are so caring and compassionate, helping each other out when needed. Praying together and doing whatever it takes to keep things rolling along. We have had several new staff arrivals so we are all busy helping them get oriented to the program and the country with the unique way of life here. We have hosted several Sunday morning Brunch/Church gatherings as we wait for Covid numbers to go down so we can meet together at our different churches indoors. Such a blessed time as those who come don’t seem to want to leave and a simple brunch turns into a day event where people laugh and story together for hours.

Staff Gathering on our veranda

Will we ever feel caught up? I doubt it – but isn’t it wonderful to know that it is not just up to us to carry this program. We are here to do what God has equipped us to do and to do our best to encourage others as we work alongside them. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement, it really helps! We are so grateful for the way the Lord has laid it on the hearts of so many to pray, encourage, and partners with us through financial support. We are so RICHLY blessed!

11 thoughts on “From Here to There and Back Again”

  1. Enjoyed the news letter – we think of you often- just left Branson been to a music fest – my sister and husband was with us -headed back to Kansas City today- then home on Wednesday- love and miss you both

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    1. Thank you Carol – and Wayne, loved watching your pictures on fb of the music fest – looked amazing! Glad you got to enjoy it with your sister and her husband! Good memories I am sure.
      Blessings,
      Connie Lou for Todd too

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  2. I’m tired just reading your ventures. My #3 daughter Sharon & husband Jim live in Eagle, Idaho & attend Boise Nazarene. Jim’s sister just recently retired from Wells Fargo in Caldwell, Idaho. Jim’s nephew lives in Napa, Idaho. I always enjoy your ventures in the area there. I still have the pictures from when you both spoke 2 different times at Ridgecrest Nazarene when Pastor Jim Goss was there. This is Sandy, former NMI President retired but doing LINKS. I’m sure I told you in 2018 Doug went home to be with Jesus. On 6-2020 got re- married. We lost both our spouses 8 weeks apart. I remember when your first granddaughter was born. PTL you were able to be there for her birthday, unless this is a different grandchild. Also remember your daughter’s wedding. I think of your twin sons also & wonder how they are doing.  I do enjoy hearing how the Lord is using you both in PNG & other areas. Continued prayers for you both. May the Lord bless you & keep you safe as you travel & fly around. Your friend, Sandy. 

    Sent from the all new AOL app for iOS

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  3. Enjoyed reading your newsletter. Only God could get you through all you went through. Praise His Holy Name! Prayers for continued strength, guidance, and wisdom in the work you are doing for Him.

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    1. Thank you Regina – we so appreciate your prayers! He is our strength and guides us daily – without Him we could do nothing.
      Keep praying – we are so grateful!
      Connie Lou – for Todd too

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  4. Wow! It never stops does it? But it helps to know you are right in the middle of God’s purpose for you. Blessings and prayers for you and all you minister with and to.

    Beth Vice Writing to help others find strength in God in the daily walk of faith http://www.bethvice.com

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    1. That’s right Beth – You know it – it never stops. 🙂 But we are blessed to be here serving and seeing God at work! So appreciate your prayers and blessings – only God is able to give us what we need to minister here.
      Blessings,
      Connie Lou and Todd too

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  5. Enjoyed your letter – thanks for all you do and we are so thankful for all the ways God has blessed your ministry- it is a privilege to be able share in your work for our Lord! Our Love, Wayne and Carol McDonald , your Texas family in Christ

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    1. Glad you got the letter – We are so thankful for all the ways You have blessed and encouraged our ministry. We couldn’t do it without you – your faithful prayers and encouragement mean so much to us!
      We love our Texas family! 🙂

      Connie Lou for Todd too

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