Reaching Multiple Generations

I was first exposed to overseas missions in elementary school.  My world grew multiple times over as I listened to stories from all over our globe, read books and absorbed whatever information I could find.  At that age I knew nothing about what it took to send and keep these people overseas, working towards the great commission in the way God had specifically, uniquely and wonderfully called them.  I now know and can see that God was using their lives and stories to impact, influence and change me.AboriginalColoringThese pictures are from a couple of the opportunities we’ve had to share with groups other than adults.  With younger kids I like to do hands on projects and Aboriginal art is a great way to not only let kids play with colors but also to talk about how different cultures tell stories and how God shares his story with us.  For the youth Ryan used technology (reading his Bible from his phone) and asked a lot of questions to keep the students engaged.  RyanAs Ryan and I prepare for Australia, we are not forgetting the multiple generations that will come after us.  The Great Commission, “Go and make disciples of all nations.”  This is still happening and not yet fulfilled.  Maybe it will happen in our lifetime, maybe not.  But I do know that until it will be fulfilled, that there will be opportunities for others to follow and do their part in responding and acting on this beautiful charge from scripture.  Of course, the nations are in many ways coming to us and missions looks very different now but that’s even more of a reason to get involved.  We are thankful to be able to share our story and hopefully encourage and inspire multiple generations.

Brookton Bush Mission Week

This was posted to a co-worker’s Facebook page.  I’m reposting with permission because Ryan left for Brookton yesterday in order to observe this summer ministry.  Our hope is that next year we will be in Australia and able to participate together in this special outreach.Brookton2Our group heading out to Brookton WA for our Bush Mission Week of VBS and ministry. Brookton is a rural Community east of Perth. It will be hot and dry, but we will have fun!  The team has been working hard to get ready. ( I am so impressed with our Youth). 

Thank you for your prayers. Continue to pray for:
1) Safety for us … travel and while there.
2) Team unity and servant hearts.
3) A good crowd of children to attend.
4) Some teenagers to attend.
5) A good witness to the community.
6) Hearts to be touched.. a lot of love to be shown to the kids
Brookton1I’m so excited for Ryan to be able to spend more time out in Brookton.  This is the community where we want to live and every day he spends there is more time for him to fall in love with the town and the people.  Thanks for praying!


Our Prayer Card- Ryan’s Rookie Card

There are baseball cards, football cards, basketball cards and a myriad of other sports related cards.  Some of the older ones are still pretty valuable, especially rookie cards.  But now there are some cards that seem to not be even worth the paper they are printed on.  However, the thrill of collecting and keeping cards is not always based on their monetary value.  Back in the early 90s, I remember having some cards with figure skaters on them.  After watching the Olympics, I thought that figure skater cards were pretty awesome.


This week Ryan and I received our current prayer card in the mail.  It’s fun to see the stacks of them and know that they will eventually end up in people’s homes, cars, Bibles and other places where they will remind people to pray for us.  Today, when I handed our prayer card to one of the kids at church, I told him it was our trading card.  He has over 500 football cards so the idea of another type of card was super exciting to him.  And because there are two of us, he said it was even more valuable to him.  What a sweet sentiment for Ryan and I!

In the ministry world, our trading cards are our prayer cards.  But unlike sports cards, the value is not in the cards themselves, instead the value is in the prayers these cards will encourage and the work all over the world that these prayer cards represent.  I now have three seasons of prayer cards.  My rookie card from back in 2008 when I was in Papua New Guinea, my first year with Australia in 2012 and now Ryan’s rookie card, our current Australia prayer card.

If you’re in the area then we look forward to putting a card in your hand soon.  Cards will be coming with us to Sacramento over the holidays as well as back to Wisconsin.  But don’t worry, if you’re far away then a card will be coming to your mailbox soon!

Possum Magic- Book Review

Children’s books are very special to me.  I love re-reading the books that I grew up enjoying but I also love reading new adventures and falling in love with new characters.  A friend recently introduced me to this very fun book, Possum Magic, that highlights some of Australia’s unique animals and food.


Take a trip around Australia with Hush and Grandma Poss.  These sweet animals will steal your hearts with their curiosity and adventurous spirits.  And this book has the magic of making you hungry too:-)

Launch in Still Life

We’ve made it through two days and have three left to go.  Thank you for praying us through.  Here are a few pictures of this week so far:


The circle of chairs where we have worship and devotions each morning.  Many families have kids with them through this process.  Although they aren’t with us all day, they do make an appearance in the evening for dinner and toys, like this truck get scattered about.  Children are a blessing.


The walls are being slowly covered with the discussions and topics we are covering this week.  Although the content isn’t new to me, it is great to refresh and have new conversations from different perspectives.


These notebooks are our lifeline for the week and Ryan is dutifully taking notes.  Snacks help keep us alert and this bag of crispy m&ms was a gift from our airplane seat mate.  Thanks Sparkle!


And each evening we get to return home to our friend’s house and their two purring kitties.  Instead of a hotel, they graciously offered for us to stay with them since they are also attending Launch this week.

Meeting Eden Joy


Although there is a lot to do at home, I’m taking the day to meet my newest Nesaiyo (Does everyone remember their Onobasulu?  This is the word for namesake, which can be used for people actually named after you but also anyone with the same name.).  This little one is a month old now (only two weeks in the picture) and I’m thrilled to spend the day with my cousin and her kiddos.  It will be fun to catch up with family and get to snuggle the newest addition.

Flashback to 2011- Life in Walagu


4 years ago today, I was in Walagu (the main Onobasulu village in PNG) fighting with the sun for power and trying to get curriculum work done with the Onobasulu despite many setbacks and crazy things happening in the village around us.  My co-worker Beverly and I were joined by a student named Jenny who was completely surprised at the wide variety of tasks we needed to do on a daily basis that had little or nothing to do with the translation or literacy work.  It makes sense that we would help the people we were serving and working with in a wide variety of areas but working as an electrician and a nurse were not on my resume.  But sometimes you just have to make it work.


In this post from June 29th, I wrote about learning the difference between “bulk and float voltage” as well as connecting batteries with solar panels.  Taking care of big batteries and connecting solar panels is not a normal task in my life now but it was just a part of village life in PNG.  Who knows, maybe this will come in handy again some day:-)


In the post, I also wrote about all the medical issues we were dealing with (ear infections, terrible boils and sores as well as a broken arm).  At this point we didn’t realize that Beverly would eventually set the broken with directions I was getting from an emergency phone call/radio session with a doctor in Ukarumpa.  Despite all the health care issues in the US, nothing compares to the problems that arise when people lack basic things like soap and access to the most basic medical care.  Seriously, how do you keep a little boy, who lives and plays in the dirt, clean when his bathtub is a river with muddy banks!?


Although I don’t miss the wet feet, odd infections and strange stresses of life in PNG.  I do miss the people and the part of my job description that read “play with small children every chance you get”.  The pictures in this post were taken from a July 30th post that happened once we got back to Ukarumpa.  Since we were using HF radio to send emails in the village, posting to the blog with pictures was practically impossible.  But I was thankful for the power we did have to send text only blog updates via email.


Even though I’m now back in the US, the Onobasulu people are still living and working in their communities in PNG.  Please continue to pray for the Onobasulu people.  Pray for health, community unity and successful, continued work on Bible Translation, literacy and education.


My Weekend Playdate

20150301_152106This weekend with Ryan gone I had some extra time so I decided to help out a cute friend.  This little one needed an extra friend to stay and play because her mother is currently pregnant and on bedrest.

20150301_151947We had lots of fun, played games, did puzzles, threw balls, played with letters and much much more.  She’s a super active, sweet and precocious 17 month old.

20150301_152031I’m thankful that I could redeem this weekend, help out a friend and have some company so that I wouldn’t be alone.

20150301_152011Please pray for this family, for lots of other helpers to entertain the little one and keep the mama sane while she has to rest and minimize getting up and down.  Please pray for the contractions to stop and that the newest little one would stay put for the next three months.  Thank you!

Adventures in Substituting  

I normally substitute for ESL at an adult school.  A classroom full of motivated adults is a far cry from a classroom full of wiggly elementary students or hormonal middle schoolers.  But there is a school just a stones throw from our house so last year I had submitted my paperwork just in case they ever needed a sub.  I was never called and had no intention of subbing there this year so assumed that I was off the list.  But Monday morning I was called because they needed a substitute for PE.  Sweatpants at work?  Yup, I’ll be there.

IMG_0520This is what the school looks like from our front door.

I arrived at campus on Monday and braved three periods of junior highers who were definitely not excited about soccer drills and running laps.  The day got a little longer when I was asked to stay after PE to fill in for a teacher who had chipped a tooth.  So sweaty and still in sweatpants, I found myself in a 4th grade classroom teaching a math lesson.  Means, medians, modes, etc.  Not my strong suite.  And the students also had to teach me how to use the interactive white board.  This is a far cry from the overhead projectors used when I was in elementary school.  After lunch things went pretty smoothly when we switched over to social studies and the kids just needed to be kept occupied until their teacher returned numbed and swollen from the dentist.

I really don’t mind subbing for elementary and middle school and there is a lot for me to learn and engage with.  This is a formative time for kids so it’s special to be a part of that if only for a random day here and there.  But with that said, I definitely prefer the adult ESL classes.  I not only get paid more at the adult school but I actually get to teach subjects I connect with and am passionate about.  And best of all I get to engage with and get to know students who want to be there and want to learn.

But whether at one school or another, substitute teaching is always an adventure.

Wisconsin Reception Pictures

140902_RyanJoy_Reception_412What fun memories!  Let’s go back a bit to Wisconsin.  Each of our three receptions were so different but so much fun.  It’s great to be welcomed into another crazy family.  This picture was taken the day after the reception and it’s brought to you by the color plaid.

Ryan has two older brothers.  Steve, his wife Elizabeth and their two boys.  And Neal, the one who took all the subsequent pictures during our 3rd and last reception in Pardeeville.  Thanks Neal:-)  We love the black and white!


























140902_RyanJoy_Reception_312This is my favorite picture of just the two of us:-)