Embracing the Crazy

Dear friends,

That’s the best way I know how to sum up the past three months since we arrived back in the USA in April. Although it’s a daily challenge for us (as I am sure it is for all of you) to embrace with joy what the Lord puts before us each day, we are seeking by faith to see what he has for us in this season, and try to get things accomplished in the midst of closures and obstacles that we would not have dreamed of a year ago.

At the moment, we are in College Station at the mission home provided by Grace Bible Church, for which we are very grateful. This time has allowed us to be able to get Cara ready for her enrollment at Texas A&M in the Fall. She has registered for classes and is now just waiting to see how much of the next semester will be in a classroom and how much will be on her computer! She’s also working hard on learning to drive. Her driver’s license test is this Wednesday! One other event for her before school starts is a MK re-entry retreat in Georgia in August (COVID-permitting). This has been a great way for MK’s to process their adjustment to life in the USA, which in many ways is the foreign country. We would appreciate your prayers for Cara during this time, the first week in August!

Michael’s 22nd Birthday – COVID style!

Katie was working for the summer as a counselor at Camp Peniel (near Marble Falls, TX) but the camp had to be disbanded for obvious reasons, so now she is looking for more summer employment before she starts her next semester. Michael graduated from Texas A&M in May (whoop!), and we missed the lack of celebration, but are proud of his accomplishment. He too is now looking for permanent employment in an area related to the biomedical sciences or neuroscience. Andrew continues in medical school, now starting his third year. He and his wife Katie just celebrated their first anniversary. Ben and DakotaKate are both working for the same R&D engineering firm here in town as well. We are grateful for time to spend with the kids during these last few months.

Both of us were privileged to attend a debriefing retreat last month for cross-cultural workers that our church hosted. It was a great time to process our transition to the USA after an abrupt departure from the field. Other than that, Neil is working to finish up his Master’s seminary degree by December (Master of Religion – Leadership.) Becky is teaching Cara to drive, catching up with our kids, helping a local family with some childcare needs, and basically trying to keep from going stir crazy in the midst of lock-downs and quarantines!!

Looking Ahead

One of our primary goals for this time of home assignment is to work out a good plan to help take care of some extended family needs, particularly for our parents as they get older. We have been in conversation with both the field and stateside mission personnel regarding the best strategy for us going forward. We would appreciate your prayers as we seek to continue in ministry and yet also be a help to our families in the coming years. We hope to be able to give you more concrete details in a few months in our next update.

Back in Papua New Guinea, the Gospel continues to grow and bear fruit in many places. The Kaje church recently celebrated their first baptism. Check out this short video of that exciting event! Elsewhere both the Amdu and Wantakia works are currently teaching through the Scriptures chronologically, nearing the presentation of the Gospel in the coming weeks. Please keep praying that the Lord would draw many more to himself in these two tribal works. Exciting days ahead!

We are grateful for your continued interest, support, and encouragement for us in these uncertain times. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” -Romans 15:13

Grateful for you,
Neil and Becky Burleson and kids