Hallow everyone and a very happy Christmas to you all as you remember the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ again and why He came to us as a baby. Last year I wrote a Christmas shopping letter, and it will start off that way again this year.
Last week on Thursday David and I went to town with 4 of our Papua New Guinea workers from the base here to buy the food for our ‘worker appreciation mumu’. Our time was spent at the Goroka food market where all the men and women bring their garden produce to sell. It is a very special place to go, David and I go there every second week for our own personal supplies and I love it. All the women I can chat with as I buy what we need. Many of them are Bena women and they love to see me coming, because I chat with them quite a bit. We had 2 men for security and their muscles to carry the things we bought back to the car for us, where David waited, and the two ladies who choose the food and I got to pay for it all. You can just imagine the talk and questions that were going back and forth between the 3 ladies as we worked together, it sure was a good time together.
As one bag was filled with food one of the men would carry it back to the ute for us, it did need the two guys because when we got a bit of food one of them had to stay at the ute with it. We had started off with a huge bag full of sweet potato and had to hire a wheelbarrow to cart that one to the ute. Paying $1 for the guy with the wheelbarrow. You need to keep your eyes open in the market because these men are running around with either full or empty wheelbarrows all the time and can run into you if you aren’t aware of them. I guess even up here time is money.
One thing we missionaries struggle with is standing out like a sore thumb, with our white skin. It was on this shopping day that I was first taken for a PNG lady. We 3 were standing in front of food laid out to look at it and I was just a couple of inches further out from the other 2 ladies. Feeling a shove in my back I turned around to face the guy who had shoved me, he got the shock of his life when he saw my white face. I had been mistaken for just another woman for once in my life up here.
We came home with heaps of food and a good time of enjoying each- others company. But sad to say we couldn’t cook the mumu because that same afternoon we got word of a young man dying on the Lapilo, playing field during a game of soccer. He was a Bena man who was very well known and loved by our folk because his Dad is the owner of the land that that base is on. Just 41 years old with 4 sons, Bizo loved the Lord. His American wife is also a believer and well- loved so we are all hurting with her and the boys right now even though we can rejoice over where Bizo is now. Culturally it would not be good for us to cook the mumu so the food was sorted out for the workers and they all took it home to enjoy quietly. There were chickens and lamb flaps to go with the vegetables, as well as some goodies for them to enjoy.
Last week David got really ill with some sort of a flu, he just slept and hardly ate for the first 2 days. But now David is over it and Wendy is down with it!! It sure has wiped us out for a while. Please be praying with us about this we need the energy to continue the work here.
Thank you all for your love and encouragement to us in the work here,
David and Wendy