[You can click on this picture if you want to see it a little bigger]
For years when thinking about our future plans to move into a tribe, my mind has gone to who our teammates might be. We have known for years that NTM expects teams of three families to enter a tribe together (lots of good reasons for this), so we knew we would have teammates, but had no idea whom they might be. It has been a prayer of ours that we would have teammates with whom we got along easily and whom would become dear friends, since committing to be teammates seems almost like a marriage! These are the people with whom we will do everything for the duration of our tribal ministry. They will be much more than just partners in ministry. They will be our church; they will be our playmates; they will be our friends; they will be the only people who speak our language and the only people who understand the idiosyncrasies and struggles of being an American living in this vastly different culture! So, knowing myself and the value I place on interpersonal relationships, I have been praying for years that God would provide the right families to team up with once we got to this place in our ministry!
It seems God has answered our prayers! Since coming to PNG we have been living (VERY) closely to two other families, and during this time have gotten to know them well and have seen how our families interact. Over the last several months we have begun to feel that this may be the team God has been preparing us for, and as of this week we have committed to serving with them! It all worked out so easily and we feel so good about it! All three of our families finished the NTM training years apart and had plans to get here at different times, but it seems God has ordained our steps and brought us here at the same time.
I so wanted good friends as teammates, and these two women have both become dear friends of mine, whom I will be happy to have as my support in an isolated place where friends are limited! Another thing I longed for in a team was kids for our kids to play with, and as you can tell, there is no shortage of those! We have 7 (and 1/2) kids among the three families, ranging in age from 17 months (Everett) to almost 5 (Belle).
We’ll be introducing you to these two families over the next couple of days. Thanks to all of you who have been praying for the formation of our team. Please keep praying about WHERE we will serve!