SwimPOC from Sarah Halferty on Vimeo.
One of the highlights of POC is the physical side. Before coming to POC we knew a little about it, but not the full extent of the matter! Hiking=vertical. Whether you are going down or up, most of the hiking is slippery and rough.
As for the swimming, we have actually had fun doing this! Both of us have been able to swim 1/2 a mile so far (when we have been healthy enough), and we look forward to finishing our mile! Watch the video above to get a taste of what the physical side of our life has been here so far.
In a effort to show you all things cool and different about this country we have decided to do a “Wacky Wednesday” photo every week. This week Evan found a group of missionary and papua new guinean kids who caught a “Mumut” which is a cross between a rat and a possum. What did they decide to do with it? Cook it. And eat it. Yum.
Last Sunday we were able to visit our first Papua New Guinean church. Wow. What an amazing experience it was to worship with other believers in Tok Pisin. We hiked up the hill from our POC Centre and went to a Lutheran church. One of the main things that was different other than the language was the fact that all of the men sat on one side of the building and all of the women sat on the other side. That was different! Our class learned a song in Tok Pisin that we sang in front of the whole church and Evan was able to play his guitar for that. It was an open air church, full of people, even spilling out the doors. There were even a few dogs who joined the service at times! Lots of the kids hung outside the windows listening to the message and everyone was very welcoming and kind. They all wanted to know our names and where we came from.
Before the service started one of the missionaries, Verna, who has been here in this area for 37 years asked me if I wanted to see something cool. Of course I did! So she took me to the Sunday school class just across the path where all of the kids were singing. It was amazing hearing the kids rejoicing God in their own language.
Later that night we had a special treat. A couple of the local guys from the church were invited to come sing in their own language (one of the 850+ languages in the country!) to our group. Wow. They were so talented. And what was even cooler was that Evan was able to play his guitar with the guys and learn their music! They also sang with Evan and I as we led worship. It was definitely one of those moments you could feel God in the room.
Here are a few pictures of the church service that morning.
Waiting for church to start. There is no “set” time the church starts, its just when everyone gets there. Here you can see the girls sit on one side and the guys sit on the other side.
One of the many things we did this week was go to the market in Madang town. It was so fun! We got to go with our tisas (teachers) and learn a little more of the language by buying things. It was so colorful and different than anything that we have ever seen.
Market in Mandang from Sarah Halferty on Vimeo.
Henson, our driver down the mountain.
With our “tisa” (teacher) Ik Bom at the market.
Thank you for your prayers for us over the last day. We had a crazy night the other night. Evan woke up with stomach pains (and other junk) and I fell in the rain and gashed up my leg! All happened between the hours of 2am and 6am.
We are doing much better today. Evan was able to participate in class and even swim some of the mile! He did great. Unfortunately I was not able to swim because they were worried about infection in my leg, but I took lots of pictures and video. So stay tuned!
We really appreciate all of your prayers, and know that we are so thankful for you guys. It still seems surreal that we are finally here and experiencing this beautiful country!
This evening ends our first full day in Papua New Guinea. What an amazing place! We are just amazed by the beauty of this country. We started the day by waking up at 6:00am, in full humidity, under a mosquito net. Then we both had our first ever bucket showers with thank goodness! HOT water. Then we headed to breakfast in the dining hall with all of the people taking the course. There are 20 families here, with all sorts of different mission agencies and from all different countries like Finland, Australia, Brazil and Switzerland (and the US). Then we took a short walk around the center with a missionary who has been here for 37 years! She and her husband are currently working to finish the Old Testament in the village nearby. We have met so many wonderful people here and are making fast friends. One of my favorite parts of the day was getting to take a walk with our new Australian friends to a nearby village. They are much more skilled in Tok Pisin and were talking with the people and making friends. It was so cool! We are having a great time and learning a lot already. Tomorrow starts our first full day of classes.
Everyone hanging out in the courtyard dorm area
Our room off the courtyard.
Our room at POC
Our view from POC
A beautiful Papua New Guinean woman that is chewing betel nut which dyes your mouth red.
Evan playing with the Papua New Guinean children.
This weekend we were able to meet our first Papua New Guineans! It was such a cool experience even though it was brief. We were sitting at the bus stop in Cairns and we had missed our bus. So we were sitting there enjoying the weather and waiting when we began to see a bunch of what we thought were Papua New Guineans walking down the road around us. They were all wearing what looked like soccer uniforms. So Evan being Evan asked them, “What is that that you are wearing? What is the Master’s that you are participating in?” They laughed and said Hi, and that they were in what they called “Touch Footy”. “Touch Footy, what is that”, We asked. They looked rather puzzled until one of them piped up with “Rugby!” They all smiled. “Well did you win?” I asked. “Yes!” They exclaimed and we all cheered. It was a great first impression and they walked off in enjoyment.
We leave for Papua New Guinea tomorrow at 12pm (which will be Sunday your time, at 9pm) Please be in prayer for us in the following ways:
-that our flights are on time and safe
-we will have no problems with our baggage i.e. weight or showing up
-that the people supposed to meet us and help us will show up on time
-that customs will not be expensive (or they will overlook us!)
-we will get a good nights rest tonight and tomorrow night in our new environment
Thank you for your prayers, we are a little nervous to go into PNG but we are excited!
Well we made it to our guesthouse in Cairns! We had a great flight, and were able to sleep which was such a blessing. We were able to get through customs without a hitch and God continued to provide through little things, like providing a free cart when we had to walk a long way, or nice people on the plane to talk to and show us where to go. We are so thankful for all of your prayers…they are constantly being answered in such cool ways! Here are some pictures from our first few hours in Cairns. It is so beautiful here, and the weather is amazing.
The lobby of the guesthouse
Hanging out at the Cafe down the hill…and the pool!
Thank you to everyone that came out to the airport to wish us goodbye. It was really hard. Evan and I are scared and excited to see what will happen next, but just knowing that all of you are praying for us makes it all worth it. Something cool Sarah’s dad, Ron, said this week,
“God gave me a very comforting image that He is in control. The image of letting them go from the “nest”, but unlike a bird that leaves the nest and works so hard to flap their wings and finally fly, the image I had was one of a nest with Sarah and Evan in it, as they left the nest, they stepped right into the hands of God. He carried them and they were in the full protection of the Father. We can trust Him!”
Love you guys, we will miss you SO much.