Encounter 2015

IMG_6898Encounter this year was both very challenging and very rewarding. Encounter is a week long spiritual retreat for the high school here in Ukarumpa. When people have asked “How was Encounter?” my response has been intense. Intense worship…intense speakers…intense spiritual warfare…and intense fun. The speakers this year were David and Lynn Wake, an Australian couple who lived here in PNG back in 2008 and lost their eldest daughter to brain cancer. They had such a powerful story it was impossible not to be impacted by them. We were also able to baptize 3 of the kids, including one of our Soul Purpose band members! We were really excited to see these kids make a public commitment to the Lord. Sarah led a discussion group of 10th grade girls and Evan led his Senior guys in discussion. We felt like we were really able to get close to a lot more of the kids. Encounter was an intense time where God really showed himself and we really felt like we had been through war afterward. God won…and thats all that matters :)

Here’s some pictures from the week…

IMG_6455IMG_6472IMG_6534Leah and Alan provided fabulous talent show entertainment as MCsLeah and Alan provided fabulous talent show entertainment as MCs

IMG_6670Evan found his “long lost brother” Yohan….

IMG_6690IMG_6964MJM_1547MJM_2076IMG_6732Worship and Baptisms at the river. 11225217_10153045986746389_6437045154433900534_o-1IMG_6900

Check out this super funny “rules” video we made for Encounter!

Faces of Translation-Autoshop

Evan works at the Autoshop here in Ukarumpa. Check out this video to see what his everyday life looks like as well as hear from some of his coworkers about what its like to work at the Autoshop! Have skills in welding, automotive mechanics, or sales? We need you in Papua New Guinea!

Faces of translation – Autoshop from The PNG Experience on Vimeo.

Papa Arua’s Funeral

 

Papua New Guinea, Ukarumpa, Funeral Last week a man that had worked in our community for almost 40 years died unexpectedly. It was a great loss and many from the community people attended his funeral. They asked me to photograph it and so I did, even though I had never photographed a funeral before. It was definitely a cultural experience for me.

So what are PNG funeral customs? Arua had died at a hospital in Goroka, a few hours from here.  Then the day of the memorial service, a group went to Goroka to fetch the body.  A memorial service was planned for 2:30pm, and it started on time, but the body didn’t actually arrive until nearly 4:00.  People filled the time with giving testimonies of his life and how this godly man had impacted their life. The body showed up in an ambulance with the family and the police escorting them with wailing sirens. The trucks decorated with red streamers and followed by many of the friends and family in vans. At the service the gospel was shared, and in many it was much like a memorial service that we would have in the States. It was amazing to hear the impact that this man, Papa Arua, had on so many people and how many people he had led to Christ just by his example. He was a security assistant and so he was greatly known in the community for being a “peacemaker”.
After the service real haus krai began when the body was taken to the home and people stayed up all night literally crying over the body.  Papua New Guineans are not stoic in their greif – wailing is expected.
As the employer, our organization had an obligation to provide certain things – we bought the casket and paid for transportation of the body back to his home town several hours drive away from here.  There was a cultural expectation though that we couldn’t send the body back by itself.  It would look very bad if we didn’t also send thousands of kina worth of food gifts to his home village as a sort of thank-you for letting us “borrow” him for so many years.  There was a community collection and people donated towards this gift, and then a director went and bought gifts like oil, flour, sugar and rice to send back with the family to their village. The next morning a caravan of people drove about 7-8 hours into the Southern Highlands to his village where they will have another haus krai and then bury the body.
Please pray for this family and their loss, he leaves behind 4 children and his wife, Rose.

Evan’s 30th Birthday!

This week we celebrated Evan’s 30th birthday party which was a lot of fun! We had about 20 people come to a party where I made a cake (my first 3 layer cake!) and hung pictures of his childhood all around. Evan cooked burgers for everyone and we had a lot of fun, though we wished we could’ve celebrated with family and friends back home as well!

IMG_9007

Graduation 2015 and Goodbyes

Graduation, UkarumpaEvan and I have had a great relationship with the seniors this year and are really sad to see them go. Last night was graduation and I just love how intimate the class is. Because they only have 21 they really take time to honor each student. Some of the kids asked Evan and our friend Leah Rigsby to lead worship for the night and they did an excellent job. The next few days are going to be gut-wrenching as we say goodbye to these kids as they scatter around the world. Ukarumpa is such a unique place, but one of the worst things about it is all of the goodbyes that we are constantly having to say. Please pray for us as we say goodbye and for the Class of 2015 as they leave Ukarumpa and start their lives as adults. Many of their parents will be coming back to continue their work here and so many of the kids will be all on their own. Pray that they will take everything they learned here and apply it and that they will continue to love and lean on God with all of their hearts.

Graduation2015_7Selfie stick during the Ceremony!

Graduation2015_6Graduation2015_3Graduation2015_2Graduation2015_4Graduation2015_5

 Also we made them a funny video about transition and R.A.F.T to leave with. Heres a screenshot of the greatness done by Leah Rigsby, Halbrooks and us.

screen-shot-2015-06-17-at-1-57-26-pm

CRAVE 2015

CRAVE2015 from Sarah Halferty on Vimeo.

Thank you all for your faithful prayers for CRAVE. We definitely felt them that night. It was an amazing how God worked through just a short time of planning to unify the student body and come together in worship. The night consisted of 3 speakers, 2 adults and one senior, 4 bands and discussion groups about various topics, an art room, a fire pit/acoustic worship, and a prayer/encouragement room. We was really cool to walk around and look at the different rooms that were going on between each set. We had about 70-80 kids that showed up as well as 20 adult sponsors. Many adults came that would never otherwise have worked with the youth before, so that was really cool! We led an acoustic set and a live set with various teens within our band that don’t normally play on Sunday nights. The last set that we led was amazing. It was 10:30 at night, and we had been going since 4pm that afternoon. The kids were tired, we were tired but we got up there and rocked out and the kids were so amazing! Looking down and seeing them crying, praising, and jumping/crazy/dancing was a memory that Evan and I will NEVER forget. It was such a sweet time of worship. Also Leah Rigsby playing the drums while singing, pretty memorable!

CRAVE 2015_Halferty2High School, Worship, Mandolin, Papua New Guinea, Ukarumpa

High School, Worship, Papua New Guinea, UkarumpaHigh School, Worship, Papua New Guinea, UkarumpaHigh School, Worship, Papua New Guinea, UkarumpaCRAVE 2015_Halferty1High School, Worship, Papua New Guinea, UkarumpaHigh School, Worship, Papua New Guinea, UkarumpaIMG_0582

 

Discussion groups about things like Homosexuality, Secular Entertainment, Spiritual Gifts and more…

High School, Worship, Papua New Guinea, UkarumpaIMG_0632
IMG_0597Great speakers and an acoustic worship time by the fire….as well as a prayer room where the students were able to go around the campus and do a prayer walk as well as pray together with teachers.

IMG_0587

IMG_0643

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

 

Carnival, Ukarumpa, Papua New GuineaCarnival, Ukarumpa, Papua New GuineaCarnival, Ukarumpa, Papua New GuineaCarnival, Ukarumpa, Papua New GuineaCarnival, Ukarumpa, Papua New GuineaCarnival, Ukarumpa, Papua New GuineaCarnival, Ukarumpa, Papua New GuineaCarnival, Ukarumpa, Papua New GuineaCarnival, Ukarumpa, Papua New Guinea

Encounter 2014

IMG_9407

Thank you to everyone for your prayers this weekend as we went on a youth retreat with the High Schoolers. We were supposed to go out to Goroka, but because of road blocks we stayed at the Training Center which is a great facility on our Center. It was such an awesome time getting to hang out with the youth of Ukarumpa. We played games, had dance parties and most of all worshipped God in a real way. It was great to see the kids really getting vulnerable with God and letting him transform their lives. One of my favorite parts of the retreat was seeing one of the girls in my community group get baptized. We were blessed with great speakers that came all the way from the US to speak truth into these kids lives. It was a great trip with not much sleep, but plenty of fun. Please pray for Evan’s knee as he injured it while playing Rugby with the guys. We are hoping that it isn’t anything too serious! Here are some of my favorite pictures from the week…

IMG_9322IMG_9335IMG_9343

IMG_9292IMG_9427IMG_9436IMG_9395-2IMG_9457

Evan playing at Talent night with his 11th grade guys

IMG_9553

Me and my discussion group of 9th and 10th grade girls

IMG_9584

Our speaker photo bombing the male sponsors