Friday, November 18, 2011

Stories, stories, stories!

In Tok Pisin (the trade language of Papua New Guinea),the word story is a verb.

Jess and I with our host parents, Andrew and Margaret
To story is more than simply talking. It’s to sit down with someone, to engage in his or her life, and share experiences, from the minor jaunt to the creek for washing clothes to the high excitement of seeing the Prime Minister to comparing countries (in everything from methods of growing corn to whether America had monkeys to differences in politics and voting). Every day throughout my five weeks of living in Silum, I was shaded by a guava tree or was invited onto a veranda or stretched out on a banana leaf or balanced on a log and storied with the Papua New Guineans of Aronis. Oh, yes, please come! Sit down! They shake my hand enthusiastically and motion to their neighbors. Come over! Let’s story!

For all the POC participants, the last five weeks have been filled with enough stories to put the Grimm brothers to shame. There were crises and climaxes, challenges and blessings, joys and pains. We faced dragons and fairy godmothers and saw God do amazing things when we could do nothing. We climbed mountains and laughed over our mistakes and cried and prayed.

What was it like? I know you’ve had to imagine a lot, and now I’m excited for the opportunity to take you beyond that and share with you some of the photos and some of the stories.

Right now, however, I am in the midst of packing (yes, again!), debriefing, last assignments, and preparing for yet another transition as I move on Tuesday to Ukarumpa. Ukarumpa (NOT Oompa-Loompa…those are the orange-skinned creatures from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) is the main linguistic center where I will be living for the next couple of months (nothing is ever certain, of course…). It’s relatively close to Goroka or Kainantu when you look on a map. If you are curious to learn more about Ukarumpa, I suggest you check out my friend Wendy Johnson’s blog HERE, where she gives a great tour of the area.

Thank you all for your prayers, your notes, and your love (and thanks, Hannah, for your awesome posts—I hope you all enjoyed them as much as I have reading them now!). God has been working in your lives these past weeks too, and I want to hear about it!

So, let’s story. :)