The Cold Part

snowdrivingIt’s the last day of April and I drove today through the snow.  Maybe I’ve done a little snow driving before in California but nothing that I can really remember and definitely not in April.  I can now say that I’ve driven through the Rockies in falling, blowing snow.  The coldest it got was 25 degrees according to the temperature gauge on our car.  But it was a beautiful drive (at least what I could see when I wasn’t needing to focus solely on seeing out the front windshield) and the light flocking of snow made everything look lovely.therockiesWe’re hoping that this is the coldest it will be on our road trip so it can only warm up from here.  There is snow on the ground in front of Ryan’s brother’s home but it didn’t stop us from having a great evening with some of Ryan’s old friends here in Colorado.  It was a night for Rook and catching up.  We’re thankful to have arrived safely and are looking forward to a lot of work this week mixed with good family time.

Pacific Northwest Roadtrip Summary

We are now safely back in Sacramento.  Thank you everyone who prayed for our trip, everyone who hosted us, shared meals with us, treated us to meals and more, everyone who gave up their time to visit with us and hear more about our hearts for Australia.  We love and appreciate all of you.IMG_20160228_141131.jpgGod was definitely at work in our relationships and in so much of the trip’s timing.  We celebrated and prayed with people.  We worshipped and hiked.  We enjoyed learning about history and events that happened in places we stopped along the way.  We ate and visited, shared stories and made memories.  IMG_20160304_160945Ryan and I drove over 2000 miles.  We ate countless delicious calories.  We saw our support needs to reach 50% go from $1800 a month down to $450 a month.  We spent less than $100 on car repairs.  We experienced about 5 minutes of snow falling and at least a couple inches of rain although Ryan estimates at one point we were just shy of Noah’s flood.  We saw 2 state capitols and visited 5 museums.IMG_20160303_120724Please keep praying for us as we now reorganize for the next two months of California based travels and support raising.  Please pray for our car and the wisdom to know what to invest in and what to just keep driving through.  And please continue to pray that God provides above and beyond our 50% support goal by the end of March.

My Favorite Time of Year and Car Trouble

I love Easter and that is why I love Lent.  I love the season of Lent.  I love this time of remembering, the building up and anticipation of why Easter Sunday is special.  The resurrection doesn’t mean anything without the reality of the cross.  Lent is also traditionally a time of self denial.  Of course, on the road our remembering and traditions will look different but I’m still excited to see how God meets us during this time.  Our need for God in every moment of our lives continues to be very apparent.20160211_122307You never want to start a car trip with car trouble.  Therefore we thought we were being proactive when we had a little work done on the car.  However, the next day our check engine light turned on.  It could be something small or it could be a sign of a much bigger problem.  Please pray for wisdom and for things to get sorted out so that we can safely be on the road again early next week.  Thank you for praying us through our travels.

Multicultural Perth

There is no doubt that Perth is a multicultural city.  Richard, a friend currently living and working in Perth, posted this picture and comment after one of his recent train rides within the city.  “On the train I heard four languages being spoken around me and figured there were persons from five different nations sitting in my area. That’s Perth!”

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Ryan and I hope to have the chance to get to know this amazing city better.  We noticed while visiting Perth that public transportation is a wonderful introduction to the great variety of people who live, visit and work in Perth.  We had a few very interesting conversations, one particularly memorable one with a man from Adelaide (another Australian city).  He had his own very strong opinions about Perth and the people.  Ryan and I are looking forward to more public-transportation induced conversations in the future.

Reasons #38- #40 Why I Love My Husband

#38- He’s chill and easy going.  I can easily get anxious, overwhelmed and hyper.  But Ryan’s patience and calm demeanor is a sweet oasis for me.

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#39- He can take care of our cars.  General maintenance can be expensive, especially if you have to pay a mechanic for the labor.  Ryan may not be a super mechanic who can fix everything but he can easily do basic maintenance, even if my car proves to be a more challenging patient.  This is NOT a requirement for all men but after growing up with a dad who did almost all the maintenance on our cars, I’m very thankful for a husband who isn’t afraid to get a little grease under his finger nails.

#40- Because he loves me.  Maybe it’s just me but sometimes it is much easier to love someone when they already love you and consistently show their love.  I hope Ryan and I never stop trying to out love each other.

A list of 40 things seems quite small compared to the growing love I have for my husband.  But each reason for love is a part of our story and I enjoy being able to share at least some of the reasons he is special with all of you. Click here to look back on some of the previous reasons:  Why I Love My Husband.

Selling PNG and Other Onobasulu Changes

The Onobasulu Bible Translation program is once again going through some changes.  Progress is being made with the Bible Translation and Literacy among other important steps for the greater Onobasulu community.  But there are challenges to face and hurdles to overcome.  These cover the gamut from logistics to finances and even emotions as these changes impact all parts of the greater Onobasulu community.

Beverly's House

The main factor at the forefront right now is the decision for the main ex-pat Bible translator, Beverly, to change her assignment and work from Texas, this means selling her home and car in PNG.  Anne also works on the translation away from PNG, so now the two main expat Bible Translators will be primarily living and working in their home countries, the USA and the Netherlands.  There will still be a home in the village, the Walagu Lodge, but Beverly will (pending the sale) no longer have her Ukarumpa house.  Please be in prayer for Beverly because selling her home is a huge emotional step and it means saying good-bye to a big part of her PNG life.  Please pray that both the house and the car sell quickly and that she has the time and energy to clean out her house and take the things she needs to back to the US and store what needs to be stored in PNG.

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This is Beverly in her car, in front of her house, filled with the Onobasulu co-workers.  You can see Joseph’s pink jacket in the back.  Beverly loves pink (did you notice the pink house!?) and the Onobasulu guys also have an affinity for pink.  It definitely makes Joseph easy to spot in a crowd.

Because Beverly will no longer be in PNG full-time, the Onobasulu program will have to rely even more heavily on the Onobasulu people themselves.  This is a very good thing but it also means the translators need more training in order to prepare themselves for the work.  Beverly is currently in PNG helping Wabele, Joseph, Yobe and Jack get through another important training course.  This course will give them key knowledge in order to do more of the translation work on their own.  They of course know the Onobasulu language but Bible translation requires knowledge of Greek, exegesis, hermeneutics and many other difficult concepts.  These four men have been attending these courses for years now, slowly learning and working along the way.  However, this was an extra course that they had not planned on attending for awhile so they are currently underfunded and need another 90% of their costs.  If you feel led to give please donate at Wycliffe.org, every little bit helps.  This money will go directly to fund the national Onobasulu translators and help them become more prepared for the huge task of Bible translation.

Most importantly please pray for the Onobasulu program.  Please pray for Beverly as she is transitioning to a home assignment.  Please pray for the Onobasulu translators: Wabele, Jack, Yobe and Joseph.  And the Onobasulu literacy guys: Hauwo and Jeffery.  Please pray for their families.  Pray also that God would raise up another generation to help them translate and continue the literacy program for the Onobasulu people.  Please pray for a smooth transition and for God to provide people on the ground in PNG to help with communication and some logistical challenges with having no full-time expat co-workers in PNG.  And finally please pray that God would continue to be glorified through the Onobasulu language and that people would come to know Him because of this life changing work.

Petrol tipped to hit 85 cents.

I often skim the Australian headlines and this one caught my eye, Petrol tipped to hit 85 cents.  85 cents is pretty good for Australian gas prices.  But don’t get too excited because that’s still the price per liter.  There are roughly 4 liters in one gallon so Australians are still paying more than we are at the petrol station.

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When Ryan and I were visiting Perth in October, we saw prices ranging from about 1.38 to 1.64 a liter.  We also found some surprising differences including the ability to fill up your car before giving any payment information.  I think this is how it use to be in the US too but we’ve long since changed to having to give credit card information or cash before the pumps will work.

The first time we filled up the tank I walked into the petrol station kiosk because we couldn’t pay at the pump and I asked if we had to say how many liters we were going to need.  The man gave me a strange look and just told me to fill the car up and come back to pay.  At first I thought he was being nice because I was an American and was obviously having trouble with the simple task of filling up the car with petrol.  But then after visiting other stations, Ryan and I realized that they just don’t have a pre-pay system.  I guess Australians are more trustworthy to pay after they pump.  I’m also not sure if this is all of Australia or just in Perth/WA.  Maybe I need to poll my Australian friends from other parts of the country.

Either way, pre-pay or pay after, whether in Australia or America the lower gas prices are helpful for our wallets.  It is a temporary dip and we’ll inevitably see prices rise again but for now we’ll enjoy it each time we head to the petrol station.

Perth Platform Rescue

I really will get back to the US soon but here’s a little Perth news.  Many Americans don’t ride public transportation often if at all.  Maybe if you’re in a big city but here’s a tip no matter how often you ride public transportation.  Mind the Gap.  The gap is the little area between the train and the platform.  It looks small and inconsequential… until you get stuck.  This man in Perth got his leg stuck after stepping wrong while boarding the train.

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But fortunately thanks to other passengers he didn’t have to stay that way for too long.  Check out the link here: Perth Platform Rescue and watch as fellow passengers push against the train to free his leg.  Thanks Missy for bring this to my attention.  And remember everyone- Mind the Gap!

The Kainantu Bridge has Fallen Down

We’ll get back to the Wisconsin recap in a bit but I figured I would share the latest and not-so-greatest from Papua New Guinea.  The bridge that connects Ukarumpa to the rmain road has finally fallen down.  It’s been out of commission a few times and precarious at all other times since before I was even in PNG.  The bank holding up the bridge on either side was eroding away so it was inevitable that the bridge would fall and this is what it looks like now (thanks Kelly for the picture).

Kainantu BridgePlease be in prayer for everyone in Ukarumpa and the Papua New Guineans in the surrounding area.  This is a main thoroughfare and it will impact food prices, travel and work for many people in addition to countless other inconveniences.  There use to be a ford a bit upstream but even if that reopens it still limits the types of vehicles that can cross and when, due to weather and time of day.  Hopefully the local government will be able to provide the materials and labor needed to fix the bridge sooner rather than later.  There are a lot of area politics that impact the decisions regarding what will or will not happen.  So pray for wisdom as the leadership in Ukarumpa participates in this discussion.

Our Journey

While I celebrated at the wedding shower of a friend today, I couldn’t help thinking through all the changes that come with marriage.  The anticipation of engagement and everything leading up to the wedding is very exciting.  The wedding itself is a joyous occasion and for Ryan and I the celebrations are continuing.  But the reality of life and the changes after I Do, are now part of the everyday.  This reality is still settling in 7 weeks into my marriage.  In my head I knew that things would change but living through these changes is another thing entirely.

IMG_0263One of the changes that I still have yet to wrap my head around is the idea that I am no longer making decisions for myself only.  We are now two, together, walking hand in hand.  Life is a journey and I now have a partner for this journey.  That journey seems to be a theme that our friends and family have picked up in their gifts and cards as well.

I’m especially intrigued with the tandem bike theme that keeps showing up.  We’ve had multiple friends who’ve recommended riding tandem bikes and written about how tandem bikes have helped their marriage.  And the tandem bike cards are some of my favorites.  I love the idea and the picture of riding together through life, both literally and figuratively.  However, I’m not sure that Ryan and I will be able to take their advice to heart anytime soon.  I’m not the best bike rider even on my own so the thought of hopping onto a tandem bike with Ryan scares me for the both of us.  Maybe in the future, once we’ve learned to walk together, we will eventually ride together.  But, at this point, the journey is challenging enough on foot.

Even with the challenging changes, I love the man who I get to face them with.  Love and Life are both journeys and I am thankful to have an amazing partner for both of them.