Tomorrow is the big day.  Ryan flies to Australia on his first solo international trip.  He’s almost done packing and we just decided on his hashtag (#ryantravelssolo) that will be used in order to document his travels.  He doesn’t have his own instagram…yet but you can follow him posting to my instagram: joycandee.  He’s going to try and post once a day as he travels to Perth, Brookton and beyond.20160111_160534Here’s Ryan getting his potassium intake up before the flight.  Notice the flannel shirt and zipper fleece?  He’ll be trading those in for shorts and a t-shirt because it’s currently summer in Australia.  Perth and Brookton are forecasting highs in the 80s and 90s.  And my weather loving husband is of course hoping for thunderstorms which out there is an actual possibility.

Please pray for safe travels for Ryan.  Please pray that the trip is productive.  And please pray for our marriage, this trip is a great opportunity but it’s also difficult to be apart.  Thank you for all your prayers!

A New Way to Follow Us- ryanwithjoy.com

This blog has been a great tool over the years and I am going to continue blogging for the foreseeable future.  However, Ryan and I are now sharing this life and we want you to hear from both of us.  This blog is mainly my voice, my stories and my perspective.  But Ryan has his own gifting, talents and way of communicating.

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Introducing…Perth, Bookton and Beyond.  This is our new website which is still a work in progress but the goal is to more easily share pictures, Ryan’s videos and other information that isn’t as conducive to the blog format.

Please add ryanwithjoy.com to your bookmarks and have a look around.  More videos and pictures are in the pipeline and we’ll keep you posted if any major changes take place.  We hope you enjoy having another way to share in our journey.

Back to the Future

Today is the day when Marty McFly went to the future.  In anticipation of this momentous occasion, Ryan and I watched all 3 of the Back to the Future movies last month.  It was fun to watch these movies with my husband.


We enjoyed thinking about Marty’s future when fax machines still reigned and “Skype” was a new novelty.  Nope, we don’t all ride on hover boards or have clothes that automatically fit us with the push of a button or shoes that lace themselves but I’m sure the writers had fun dreaming of all the details.  I’m pretty impressed with all the things they did get right.


Ryan and I also enjoy parking at a spot in Port Hueneme that is near the rail road tracks where they filmed some of the scenes from the 3rd movie.  We get to take a walk or head to the beach and remember Marty McFly.

The future is here.

Please Pray

I’ve been feeling overwhelmed lately.  So many good things are happening but with the new comes greater responsibilities.  Ryan and I are both being pulled in multiple directions with many important opportunities but they all demand time.  And we all know that time doesn’t multiply itself, it simply keeps moving.  With this said, I ask for your specific prayers for Ryan and I as we are navigating this big transition from current jobs, to full-time support raising, to work and life in Australia.  This picture shows the open area outside of Brookton which is an hour and a half outside of Perth.  We long to call this place home.


Here are some prayers and praises.  I’ve listed the praises along with the prayers so you can see how they are woven together for us.  Thank you for praying!

  • Praise God for technology that makes our lives more organized, helps us stay connected and simplifies some things.  Please pray because I’ve been having technology issues at the school where I work, Ryan’s kindle fire (basically what he used as a computer) stopped working, my computer has been acting strange and Ryan and I are trying to figure out what to re-invest in as well as finding the time to fix or diagnose the problems.
  • Praise God for us being approved to start support raising and getting closer to Australia.  Praise God for the tickets to Atlanta in two weeks for the next training.  Please pray for this process because many previous supporters can no longer give so Ryan and I are basically starting from the bottom again.  Please also pray because support raising is a full-time job and we both are trying to juggle this while working.
  • Praise God for extra hours at work for me.  This will help us financially while we transition to support.  Please pray for me as I struggle with how to balance my jobs, support raising and the relationships and responsibilities that come with working at a school.
  • Praise God that Ryan can now quit one of his jobs.  Please pray for the timing and the transition because Ryan has been working with this company for over 8 years and he wants to transition out well and maintain a good relationship with his co-workers and the company bosses.
  • Praise God for daily provision in our lives and for our community here in Camarillo.  Please pray for us as we make big decisions regarding when to give up our apartment and jobs here and being traveling to support raising.
  • Praise God for a wonderful husband and marriage.  Please pray for us during these stressful times that we would grow stronger together, support each other and find the time to continue to nurture our relationship.

Updating Our Mailing List

Over the years I have updated my mailing list many, many times.  I started compiling a mailing list in college while going on short term trips, this list was lo-tech and I believe, happily lived in a word document.  The next update while preparing for Papua New Guinea required an excel spreadsheet.  And I could have just continued using an excel spreadsheet like many people do.  But instead I updated to a little program called Donor Manager.  This program served my purposes well, was easy to use and kept me organized while I was overseas.

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Now that Ryan is in the picture, we once again have an excel spreadsheet from our wedding mailing list and we’re currently working on merging all the contacts from that, along with all the Donor Manager contacts into a new program called TNT.  This program is Mac compatible (although it seems like Donor Manager also can be used on Mac now) but TNT has the added benefit of working with our organizations software so that we can more easily download and track our support and supporters.

Since you’re a blog reader, you know that I post our newsletters here.  However, we always send out the email to the mailing list first.  So if you don’t get our newsletters straight to your inbox and would like to receive them that way, please let us know.

Updating our mailing list will be an ongoing task but a good program makes it a little easier.  And I will happily spend the time updating and adjusting as long as it means that we get to keep in touch with people and more easily connect with people face to face too!

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.


Continued Prayers for Nepal


When media responds extensively to events in our world, we often feel overloaded by information.  It’s easy to get caught up in the initial tragedy and grief.  (This response can be genuine but unfortunately it isn’t always.)  Sometimes the coverage is so intense that from our comfortable lives we can get bored or annoyed hearing the same or similar stories over and over again.  But then as the coverage fades, it’s easy to forget the people who are still rebuilding their lives and sometimes still suffering.


Let’s remember to keep praying for the people in Nepal who are still recovering and rebuilding from the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that happened on April 25th.  This graphic (which was current as of June 11th) shows that most people have received relief supplies.  From my friends who live and work in Nepal, the news is that relief is still ongoing but at least some normal pre-earthquake work has resumed.  However, please keep praying because monsoon season will be a challenge for people who still don’t have permanent shelter and access to normal supplies, food and otherwise.  Your prayers make a difference in Nepal.