Hello again from Papua New Guinea! We are so grateful to all of you for your prayers and support for us here this past year. As we are just a few weeks away from finishing up the 2015-16 school year here, we are excited to share that we are making a brief trip home to Texas this summer, primarily to help Michael settle in to college (see below), but we also look forward to seeing parents, friends, and churches as well.
NCA – Class of 2016
Congratulations – Class of 2016
Our biggest news at the moment is Michael’s graduation on June 1! He has enjoyed being back in PNG for his senior year. When we look back on his high school “path” we realize it is definitely not what he would have predicted or chosen, switching schools each year. But we have also seen God’s gracious hand in the circumstances, preparing him for life in the USA, and giving him a vision for his future.
Michael has been privileged to work in our medical clinic this year. Our doctors have allowed him to “shadow” them on their rotations, teaching him along the way. This experience has really piqued Michael’s interest in the medical field. His current plans, therefore, are to attend Texas A&M University majoring in Bio-medical Sciences/Pre-Med. We are grateful that Ben and Andrew will be there for him next year to help him settle in! He would greatly appreciate your prayers as he begins this new chapter of his life.
Trip to Texas!
We are excited that Andrew will be able to come back to PNG for Michael’s graduation ceremony and a short visit. We were hoping that Michael’s grandparents (Martha and David) would be able to come as well, however, as most of you know David will be undergoing cancer treatments preventing them from being able to make the trip. In light of this, we have decided to come back to Texas together as a family for about six weeks this summer.
Our flights put us back in Texas on June 14. We will be splitting our time between Dallas, New Braunfels, and College Station. We have a couple of big family events this summer as well: Becky’s niece’s wedding and a 50th anniversary celebration for Neil’s parents. Lots of activities and a short amount of time to get Michael settled into College Station! We hope to see many of you, even if briefly, during the time we are home. We would appreciate your prayers for our trip, that Michael would adjust well to this new phase of life and continue to grow in his walk with the Lord, that we would be able to divide our time effectively while in Texas. Thank you!
Other Family News
One person we will miss seeing when we are in Texas is our oldest son, Ben! Though this is in one respect an obvious disappointment to us, on the other hand we are excited for the reason why! He has two big events this summer. The first is a summer mission trip to East Asia with Cru. He will travel with a team of students in order to assist the long-term team working in the country with their outreach. They are hoping to have many opportunities to share the Gospel with national students at a university there.
(If you would be interested in knowing more about his trip, shoot us an e-mail and we can get you touch with him!) Following the missions trip, he has a study abroad opportunity at a hospital in China. He will receive several hours of college credit while gaining experience in a very unique environment! Please pray for Ben as he travels and shares the Gospel this summer. We are excited to see God growing him in these opportunities and challenges.
We mentioned in our last letter that Katie and Cara got a chance to take a service trip of their own here in PNG. They joined a team of students from NCA who planned and presented a VBS program for the elementary students in the Islands area of PNG during their annual conference. The girls were stretched in different areas of ministry, but also got the privilege of seeing God provide for their needs along the way.
Thank you again for your prayers for us. We continue to be motivated by the great need among the people of Papua New Guinea. Many still wait to hear the message of the Gospel in their own language for the first time. Many still cannot read God’s Word. Your partnership with us plays a part in hastening the day when many will hear the good news of Jesus! Thank you!
Neil and Becky Burleson
Michael, Katie, and Cara