Sunday, March 29, 2009

Saying Good-bye

The night before we left we had a little good-bye ceremony. I made Western food, and they made Papua New Guinean food that we shared. They presented us with bilums and Cole got a necklace of pig tusks. We presented them with a spade and a large cooking pot.

We had a mixture of emotions in leaving the village of Tokain. Village living is an experience that our family will never forget. I've heard it said that anything worth doing is never easy, and we found that to be true. Not only was village living physically hard, but it was emotionally hard as well. Reaching across cultural barriers was at times very stressful. There were expectations of us that sometimes we were aware of and sometimes we were
simply oblivious to.

However by the time our five weeks were over, these people had a very special place in our hearts. We were continually amazed by their kindness, generosity, inguinuity, creativity, and resourcefulness. Material things they had very little of, but were always willing to share the best of what they had. We continue to pray that God's Word will work in their daily lives, and that they will loosen their hold on the traditional, animistic beliefs that we sometimes observed.

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