Sunday, November 16, 2014

Horsen' Around

No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle.  ~Winston Churchill

 Not long after I arrived back in Papua New Guinea in April, I took up my old job of horseback riding instructor at the paddocks (you can read about those adventures here) with over 20 students from four different countries and even more languages. Experience and age ranged widely, from those first learning how to groom a horse to students schooling dressage and jumping. We have lots of fun together learning about horses...and students come away with more than just equestrian skills. Through the Pony Club, both young people and adults learn about responsibility, teamwork, perseverance, and character development, and many of them develop lasting friendships with fellow members. It's a safe place to process emotions regarding transitions and the sorrows of missionary life (often easing the adjustment period, especially for new children struggling to adapt) and it provides an athletic outlet for those who might be regularly trapped behind a desk and who may never otherwise have a chance to play with horses :) It brings people together of all generations and walks of life, giving them the chance to praise God through their equine involvement.

Playing "red light, green light" with the beginners!

Earlier this year, at the conclusion of the beginner course, we held a gymkhana, or a “fun show” with classes that involved balancing full cups of water, racing around barrels, climbing over tarps, and bribing your horse to follow a carrot. It was lots of fun and a great opportunity for the youth to demonstrate what they learned.
Don't spill! She's trying to balance a full cup of water while still performing all the tasks correctly!
We had so much fun at the last gymkhana that we hope to hold another one this fall. There's no end to our horsen' around!

Horses have been a huge part of my life for nearly 20 years, and they continue to be one of the primary ways that I de-stress here in PNG; I'm grateful for my ability to continue to be involved with them as the main riding instructor, the trainer, and the "vet." You can read about some of that journey here and some stories from my sister here.

Here I am working with Cassia, a 9-month old filly born on-site

Sunday, November 9, 2014

A Year's Worth of Grocery Shopping!

 Shopping in Papua New Guinea is always an adventure—you never know what you might find!

Would you like a bag of MSG?
Often there might only be one kind of item that you are looking for...but sometimes, like in this aisle of tuna, there can be more varieties than you have ever imagined!
I had no clue there could be entire aisles dedicated to tuna...
When you do see something you like, it’s important to buy as much of it as you want—because it could be months before the store would get it in stock again. Knowing exactly what you are buying can sometimes be tricky—because the food might be labelled in only one of several different languages, including English, Bahasa Indonesian, Tok Pisin, Hiri Motu, Chinese, and Thai.

My friend, Hanna, tries to read some labels...and then just takes her best guess!

In June, I travelled to Lae, a port city about 4 hours away, where there are more stores and variety of products than we might find in the nearby town of Kainantu. Lae even had gluten-free items, and so I attempted to buy enough supplies to last me until my next potential trip to Lae—probably next year!

Look at our receipt!
A year's worth of food means lots of packing into boxes before we can go home!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

God's Finger

“If you are really praying for something, and if you really want something to happen, sometimes God can put the finger on you.” Katawer grinned, remembering his journey to becoming a translator for the Arammba people.

Photo from

Back in the 1980s, the Arammba had begun praying daily for God to send a Bible translator to their area. One day in 1989, a missionary came and settled in Kiriwa village. “We thought, he will be the one who will be the translator in our area,” explained Katawer. But, the man wasn’t able to stay and soon left.

So the Arammba people began praying again, and another missionary came and settled in Kiriwa. “Again, we thought he’d be the one who will be helping us in translation,” remembered Katawer, “but he was here to teach in a Bible school, and then when that was done, he left. And then, we had no hope. We thought, no one is ever going to help us on our translation. We had been praying for years and felt like giving up.”

But then, the Boevés, from the Netherlands, arrived in Katawer’s area and explained that they were there to help with Bible translation. “We were very happy!” Katawer’s eyes shone. “In 1999 he called a workshop and taught us how to go about translation.” Katawer and a team of four other translators first tackled the book of Jonah and later the book of Genesis.

“After it was printed, we brought it back to the village,” Katawer explained. “That day, everybody celebrated the dedication of Genesis. All the Arammba villages gathered together, and we had the first dedication, and everybody was happy.”

After so many years of praying, the Arammba finally had Scripture in their own language. “I didn’t know that I would become the translator,” Katawer said, “but I’ve learned about praying for something to happen. Sometimes, when you pray, God will say, you are the one to be doing the work!”

My friends, Michel and Erna Pauw, have recently teamed up with Katawer to help him continue to translate the Bible for his people.