A Beginning & An End

To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power…”
2  Thessalonians   1:11

JANUARY 25: First day, first impressions; new country, new faces, mixed feelings.
FIRST WEEK: Relearning everyones names 1,000 times and how to properly pronounce Mooloolaba; new expectations made and old ones passed; nerves calmed.
Weeks went by, friendships strengthened, and old, untouched opinions were tried. Outreach teams were prayed for and divided up. Routine ensued.
APRIL 10: Teams dispersed amongst the nations, many lingering hugs were given, and I had butterflies from thinking of all God was going to do through each of us.

(Me and some of the pastors’  children) On the first day of a crusade that was hosted by Foursquare Church in Goii Village, Chuave, ChimbuProcessed with VSCO with b1 preset

(Me and some of the pastors’  children) On the first day of a crusade that was hosted by Foursquare Church in Goii Village, Chuave, Chimbu

The thing about short-term missions and all one can be taught on a trip is not about, nor is it dependant on, the magical, romanticised aspects each country has to offer, but on the power and magnificence of God & His ability to transform lives. Does getting away from home and being around new people and skin colors and languages help? Perhaps, but our sole purpose of life is to glorify the Creator and not merely His creation.
Here’s what I’m getting at: Did my time in Papua New Guinea change my life in a myriad of ways? Absolutely. Did that change have anything to do with my efforts and striving and ideas and will-power? Thank goodness—no!
As we saw many healings, salvations, and deliverances, I realized that those things truly don’t depend on myself, my words, or inwardly mustered strength, but only on the Lord Jesus Christ.
After the first few days of ministry I found myself getting tired and weary of praying for healing because I thought, surely, the words I had been using wouldn’t “do the job”, if you will, and that I needed to expand my vocabulary to sound more holy, adequate. Repeating ‘be healed in Jesus’ name’ felt too simple after a few times. But I had conveniently been reading Matthew then, and His words and actions convicted my spirit. Seeing His simplicity and confidence in the Father to do the impossible fixed my eyes to remembering it is HIM only who works wonders and miracles, and what freedom that brought!

  
Last day of week 2 on outreach in Papua New Guinea: Tasting 6 different types of potatoes in Goii Village, Chuave, Chimbu 

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You see, as a westerner visiting a developing Pacific Island, the moment you step foot onto new soil you’re almost immediately introduced to trying all kinds of new things that will, whether you want to believe it or not, stretch you. This is why having an unoffendable heart and teachable spirit is vital to doing life with other people, especially when you’re traveling the globe as ambassadors of Christ.
As you navigate the awkward but fun path of cross-cultural-community-living, along with how to accomplish successful ministry & making use of the time you have in the allotted eight weeks given, there’s ample room for things to go very right, and also very wrong.
During our stay in this village, necessities like hearty meals and water were lacking, but the energy and presence of the Holy Spirit was not. The generosity and love of the locals made dry times feel full.
Thankfully our team had been prayed for, prophesied over, and deeply encouraged in the details He was sharing with fellow believers about what our time in PNG would look like. I am grateful and confident in saying that God richly blessed me with a team, 4 brothers and 4 sisters, who genuinely desired to be molded & sanctified more into Christ’s image everyday; who loved and served others so well.

Prior to our final open-air ministry in the town of Goroka where we saw hundreds of people healed and come to saving faith in Christ JesusProcessed with VSCO with g3 preset

(I will eventually write more entries with details about what ministry we did while in PNG and the fruits we saw and unbelievable stories of miracles Jesus did in that nation.)
In the town of Goroka, we were continually astounded by the power of God, especially in the number of hands raised whenever we gave an invitation to receive the offer of adoption into His kingdom.
I could easily tell you the number of people I saw not get healed, rather than those who did, because that percentage was so low. The Spirit of God is alive and moving, and we saw clear, profound evidence of that in a multitude of ways.

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My favorite snack in PNG: Passion fruit 
(picture is blurry because of the bumpy bus ride due to horrible road conditions)

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A typical PNG meal: Potatoes, broccoli, carrots, rice, cucumber, pineapple, orange slices, and chicken

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L to R: Mathias, (me) Hannah, Åshild, and Martin (3 of 4 Norwegians on our team)
Ice cream cones were our favorite treat because the quality and price were fantastic no matter what town we happened to be visiting 

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Me giving a 10 minute devotional sermon at a primary school in Wabag
This morning is definitely a memory dear to my heart. We, the team, had thirty minutes to do two skits and give a message, and, due to the short amount of time given, we tried our very best to be intentional while still having a blast!
I hadn’t really thought of what to speak about before grabbing the mic, but the Spirit knew exactly what those sweet kiddos needed to hear and spoke right through me.

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Crossing the bridge on our hike up to the church in a village called Wapenamanda, near Wabag


 

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Tickle-fight!


Over all, I am in awe of my Father and the grace He continually extends to me. The journey He’s taken me on is not a commonly ventured one, but, for that, I’m grateful.

His word says I, as His daughter, am more than a conqueror through Him. He’s called me to the extraordinary: why settle for anything less?

My teammates and I were kept safe & secure in His mighty hands even when situations seemed questionable. Being on unknown ground leaves so much space to grow in trusting  Him and who He says He is – who He says I am. Prayer truly is a powerful weapon, and I don’t ever want to take that gift for granted.

As my adventures around the globe carry on before my trek home, I pray that my only agenda would continue to be the furtherance and expanse of His kingdom, and nothing else. Brothers and sisters of faith, would you intercede on my behalf?

I am simply a broken vessel desiring to be used for the greater things.  

 

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