We survived conference…just barely! We were all sick for much of the time (as our Facebook fans know,) with the stomach bug really getting the best of us! I actually had a cold and the stomach bug, so I guess I win for being the sickest. Or maybe Lucy does because she threw up the most. Despite our health, we were able to enjoy bits and pieces of this once a year gathering.
In case you are wondering, this conference is for New Tribes missionaries in the highlands region of PNG. That means all of the tribal missionaries within this region as well as those living here on the base where we are currently residing who do support work for those in the highlands. Many of the tribal missionaries were able to come out to be with us, but not all, and some were also absent do to being away from PNG for one reason or another.
All the tribal missionaries in attendance gave reports about what is happening in their work, which was exciting to hear about. Some of the folks have been in the “bush” (as they call it here) for just a few years, while others have spent decades there! We really enjoyed hearing from all of them! Some of the “teams” are down to just one family and would love to have new co-workers, so those places could be potential areas for us to work, but we won’t decide that for a while. It was nice to see who needs help and who doesn’t.
We stayed at a New Tribes facility about 30 min away from where we are that is basically a retreat/conference center. (It is used for a program called Interface that is for college students to get a taste of mission life.) There were a bunch of little one room cabins that all surrounded a communal bathhouse where we all stayed, as well as a dining room and meeting room. I don’t have a picture of the dining hall, but let me tell you they did a great job feeding us! It was so nice to not have to worry about cooking while we were there, and the food really was top-notch. They even gave us yummy snacks every day during our break time. We gathered daily in the meeting room to sing, share, and hear from a speaker. Here’s what that looked like:
Here’s our little cabin:
Our little cabin had 4 bunk beds and a couple of shelves.
We had free time some days between lunch and supper, so we had to find things to do to keep the kids entertained. Naps didn’t go so well at the normal time because the cabins were always blazing hot in the afternoons! (Oddly enough the cabins were cold at night) Fortunately things cooled down a bit by 2:00 or 3:00 so Everett would take a later nap, but Lucy just missed hers. One day we filled up these big wash tubs with water and let them splash around a bit when it was hot out.
Look at this cutie! He loved his little tub!
Sorry we don’t have more pictures! We were seriously barely making it, so pictures weren’t high on the priority list! But we are glad we got to go and that we managed to learn a bit about what NTM is doing in the highlands despite our sickness!