I will make known to you the path of life. In your presence, there is fullness of joy.” Psalm 16:11
Bush roads in Papua New Guinea can be rather daunting things. Often no more than a sandal’s width, they snake between the coconut trees, grooving the sides of the mountains like a well-worn belt. After a rain, the single fallen tree becomes a precarious bridge slanting across the river, and the path itself can fill with a torrent rushing down into the valleys, making me wish for ice-crampons to stay upright. On these barest of paths, women climb cliffs bent double under bilums (string bags) full of produce, while men, fitter than an Olympic athlete, race to the adjacent valley, barely breathing hard. Chopped from thick bush by machetes and packed hard by the tramp of bare feet, these bush roads are the veins and arteries of life in Papua New Guinea.
Before I was born, the Lord began carving my own life path toward missions in Papua New Guinea, and it hasn’t always been a smooth one. Doubt, depression, tears, and sacrifice have fallen alongside my footprints as often as the laughter, the joy, and the certainty that this was the road I need to be walking. You can read about the remarkable circumstances that led me to serve as a linguist in Bible translation here.
Just like the psalmist, I’m continuing to take the next few steps down that bush path, mud squishing between my toes and uncertainty around the corner (will the rains have eroded the path? will there be a snake in the way?).
But, I know I walk with the One who built that path—and in His presence, there is fullness of joy.