Ukarumpa Carnival

Carnival, Ukarumpa, Papua New Guinea

Every year the High School puts on a Carnival for all of the families around Ukarumpa as a fundraiser for the School. This year was our first time to get to go to Carnival because last year we were just finishing up POC at this time. The kids get really into it as the theme this year was “Candy Land” and so all of the kids dressed up as different characters. There was a face painting booth, ferris wheel, mini golf, pie making contest, bounce house and a nerf gun arena as well as lots of other booths. We had a blast getting to go! Evan sponsored a nerf gun war booth where they took the Band room and converted it into a nerf gun arena. He definitely didn’t feel like he was working all day as he got to shoot nerf guns! Here are some pictures from the day…

Carnival, Ukarumpa, Papua New Guinea


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Bros and Birthdays

10577174_10154445638485332_2718923213532347175_nTheres nothing like having family around to celebrate a birthday. Justin, Evan’s brother arrived 2 days ago and we have been so excited to welcome him here. Just to have someone that gets to experience life and the culture with us here, is so great! We celebrated Evan’s birthday last night with a campfire and some (OMG!) s’mores. We haven’t had marshmallows in the store since we got here a year ago, so it was a super special treat! We also smoked some chicken in Evan’s homemade smoker/grill. We had a great time and are so excited to share this time with Justin. 10629839_10154441323060332_4821942663326943148_n1907425_10154441328835332_3688166549487868927_n

Aussie Sayings {Wacky Wednesay}

Well we are back in Ukarumpa, PNG and settling into our routines again. Thanks to everyone for their prayers, my knee is feeling a lot better and getting much stronger. Even though it was unexpected time away because of my knee, we really enjoyed learning Australian culture. We learned all of their sayings like:


Boot =  trunk of the car
Toilet = Bathroom, I had the hardest time saying this without feeling rude
Fringe = Bangs (hair), I went to get my hair cut and had the hardest time explaining that I wanted my bangs cut!
Mate = Friend, or someone you just met but want to be friends with…like “bro”
How’re you going? = How are you? We kept thinking why are they asking how we are getting there?
Uni = University
Cheers = typically Americans would say this when you are toasting with a beverage, in Australia they say it anytime things are going their way, they are happy, or saying goodbye
Brekky = Breakfast
Bogan = Redneck Australian…ha!
Mucking Around = Fooling around
Rellies = Relatives..they like to shorten everything. Which frankly I think we should all adopt, because who can be bothered to say the whole word?
Brissy = Short for the city, Brisbane

#stupidfreakingknee Saga

kneeWell as I sit here contemplating whether or not to buy airline tickets to a flight we may or may not get on to Australia, because we need a visa in hand, I am reminded just how hard it is to live in a 3rd world country. No one prepares you for this, and to say I’m having “growing pains” about what to do, who to call, where my credit card is, what paperwork to fill out, what city to get it done in… etc. is an understatement. It all started with a simple walk to photograph a family on Center. I walked out of the Director’s Office (where my office is) and BOOM! slipped on the gravel road with all of 40lbs of equipment on my back. I felt a twisting/popping and knew instantly something was not right. I was going to shake it off, but the pain worsened and I thought it best to visit the Clinic. As the Dr. was examining me she decided that it was a torn ACL, which shattered my world! I have had knee problems all through growing up and have already had knee surgery on one knee…now the other one?! And of course they couldn’t do anything about it here, because we just have a small clinic on Center, no, I would have to go all the way to Cairns, Australia to get it checked out. After a week the Dr saw it again and decided it could be a partial tear, but there is no way to know without an MRI. So begins the process of applying for a medical visa.

So we turned in our application and waited patiently for the Dr. to give a note and appointment time on our behalf. We get an appointment, Monday June 16th…but thats in a week and a half! So we rush to get all of the paperwork turned in so that we can drive 2-3 hours to go get a chest Xray (the final stage of the paperwork). We got it turned in on Wednesday and still hadn’t heard anything. I call the Clinic in Goroka who will do the chest Xray and they say that their Dr is leaving for 2 weeks starting Monday, so Friday is the ONLY day we can get it done. So we’re waiting, and waiting, and we finally get the approval at 2:30pm on FRIDAY and by then its too late. TOO LATE! So now we have to drive 4 hours and spend the night in Lae to get this chest xray, which we HOPE will get approved by Friday so that we can fly out and be at the Dr. appointment on MONDAY. I tell ya, my faith is being tested!

Pray for Evan as he is overwhelmed with all that he has to do without having a partner to help him with it here. Pray for the visa application to be approved in record time so that we can make our flights out to Cairns, and just for getting around on crutches and all of the logistics! Pray for wisdom as to what to do, AND lastly for the pain to subside and the Dr.’s in Cairns to figure out whats wrong (and not have to have surgery!)


June 13, 2014

After a frustrating week of going down to Lae to get our medical visas, and the internet not working for 2 days (which is what we needed in order to get our visas finished), God used some ANGELS. We finally have them in hand and will be going to Lae again on Sunday to fly out and catch our flight to Australia. Monday is the Drs appointment. THANK YOU for your prayers. I don’t think we could get through this without them!

Video Taping-Wacky Wednesday


Have you ever been TPed? I know anyone whose been in a youth group knows what I’m talking about. Well kids in Ukarumpa have their own way of “TP”ing a house. Unfortunately Toilet Paper is so expensive here that they have found their own way of playing pranks. Everyone is Ukarumpa has old video tapes, and no one has VCRs anymore. So what do they do? Its called “Taping”. Last night we got “Taped”. I guess as a sort of introduction to working with the youth in Ukarumpa. Don’t worry, we’ll get them back!IMG_0542


Thanksgiving and Annual Christmas Sale {Ukarumpa}

IMG_8848Holidays in Ukarumpa are a little different then what we are used to back at home, but at the same time very similar! This year was our first time away from our family, so what did we do? Invited our POC family (as well as some new cool people too) over for a big meal. We had ham, chicken, cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes! I’d say thats pretty traditional!

Then on Saturday the store had its annual Christmas Sale, which a lot of people get really excited about. None were more excited than Evan who was 3rd in line! People like to treat it as their “Black Friday” and line up hours before the store opens, there was even some pushing and shoving to get the much wanted items! Here are some photos from today…
IMG_8859Ukarumpa, Store, Sale, ChristmasUkarumpa, Store, Sale, ChristmasThe line went all the way around the block!

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Fighting the crowds! They had everything from coffee makers to grills, TVs and washing machines! All very pricey, unfortunately not like our Black Friday prices at home.

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My favorite check out lady

Ukarumpa, Store, Sale, ChristmasThe front of the store, along with the “Paradise Grill” to the right

Ukarumpa, Store, Sale, ChristmasThen we decorated our Christmas tree. We didn’t think we would have a Christmas tree this year, but God blessed us by providing a Christmas tree that was owned by the owners of our home! We were super excited to get to decorate it.

Welcome to Cairns!

IMG_3296Well 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!


Goodbye Texas!


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!”

-Ron Bunyard

Love you guys, we will miss you SO much.



Going Away Festivities

We had some wonderful going away parties during the last couple of weeks. It was such a blessing to able to spend time with all of our friends and family before we leave. Here are some of my favorites from the week:


Kenneth cooking his amazing BBQ at our going away party at 121 Community Church

goingawayparty_13Our amazing sending team leaders and friends, Jonathan and Shelly (and Max!)

goingawayparty_03Our lifegroup leader, Loyd and his wife Mary


Our friends, Shelly and David who will meet us later this year in PNG!


And some awesome friends!




Our beautiful quilt made by Evan’s mom, Jane. It has all of our family’s favorite verses embroidered around the edges.


Last meal with Sarah and her Lightly Photography girls.


Riding go-carts with Evan’s brother Justin!


Our last Ranger game with Sarah’s grandparents!


Last time at our Gilligans lifegroup with our wonderful waitress, Mandy!


Sarah’s last pedicure with her mom and best friend Lydia

Then this weekend we had another goodbye party with family and friends where we got to celebrate with all of the foods that we won’t be able to get in PNG, like bacon and blue bell ice-cream!


My aunt and uncle with our bacon bandaids.



THANK YOU to everyone who made this last week so special!!