Thank you for your prayers! We’ve arrived safely in Ukarumpa and are settling into life here. Matt started work on Monday, while Emily has been busy watching Elijah and keeping up with housework. While there is so much we could write about, we’ll rewind for a second and share some specifics:
Many of you know we were quite stressed out about this, but our long flight from LAX to Manila couldn’t have gone better! Elijah slept most of the flight, and then was happy to snack on Cheerios and watch movies. We spent a couple days in Manila before our flight to Port Moresby. Our tiniest flight yet – from Port Moresby to Ukarumpa – was amazing! It was incredible to see the country that we’ve been dreaming and praying about for so long.
We’ve been so welcomed here in Ukarumpa, which is very beautiful, humid, hilly, and bigger than we had expected. One of the most encouraging things is that whenever we have introduced ourselves, people have been ELATED to hear that an IT guy has arrived! It is good to know that Matt will be serving here in a role that is so needed.
While Ukarumpa is primarily a community of foreign missionaries, there are a large number of Papua New Guineans who live and work here on center. We feel pretty shy due to not knowing the trade language, Tok Pisin, but have been able to use a handful of vocabulary – for example, we were able to ask a PNG lady which village she was from (Ukarumpa village, from which Ukarumpa gets its name!) and which local language she speaks (Gadsup). Even this small exchange while we watched kids playing together was a nice “baby step.” We also attended the Tok Pisin worship service here last Sunday, and hope that this exposure (along with tutoring and new friends!) will lead to growth over the next few months as we continue to settle in!