Sorry we haven’t posted in a while.  We have been crazy busy!  Here is part of the reason why. This weekend was our annual conference. This is a time for all of the NTM missionaries in our area (There are three different areas in PNG) who live in the bush to come out here to Sobega and be together for a weekend. It is such a neat time!  We were able to hear from all the tribal works about what is going on with them and spend time with people who we don’t get to see very often.

Conferences here in PNG are quite different from a Grace Church retreat (or probably any conference in the US!), however! All of us who are living at Sobega did SO much to prepare for the missionaries coming out and had lots to do while they were here to keep everything running smoothly.  It was SO busy and SO tiring!  But it came together and it worked out well! We certainly weren’t at the Grove Park Inn or Highland Lake Inn, that’s for sure!  Many of the folks living at Sobega had a family staying with them (we didn’t), and we cooked all the meals.  We ate together for supper each night, dining on food that we had prepared and frozen ahead of time or prepared during the conference.  No restaurant or caterers to help us out! And for lunches, we hosted people at our house everyday…which meant even more cooking! Whew! Here’s a pic of us eating together one night:

As you can probably tell, we ate under a huge tent that we rented from another mission.  And had to set up.  I didn’t help, but Joseph and all the guys did.  We did all of our meetings under the tent too.  We were VERY thankful for that tent, because it rained nearly the entire time and was unbelievably cold (for PNG standards) for much of the conference.  Weird.

Adding to the busyness of the weekend was that Joseph was MC-ing the whole shindig and leading all the games.  Any of you who have been on retreats with us in Greenville probably are not surprised by that! He did an amazing job!  He entertained everyone and kept the show rolling all weekend.  He had us divided into teams and awarded points to the teams through the weekend (sound familiar?).  Here are some pics of some of the embarrassing games he made people play during the meetings. (He also organized big group games for each afternoon, but we don’t have any pictures of those.  Would you believe we didn’t take any pictures??  All of these we got form other people!):

Here I am trying to catch hotdogs in a cup between my teeth.

Both of these are guys trying to catch jello (flung with a spoon) in their mouths.

Here is Dave trying to knock the oranges into the circle with a banana tied around his waist.

Stacking coffee beans on a plastic knife.

Gary and Esther Smith (friends of Suzanne Kelly’s from college!) carrying coke cans on a piece of spaghetti.

Another contestant in the hotdog toss.

Aside from fun games we also listened to a speaker, worshipped, heard an update from each tribal team, and prayed together. The speaker and worship team came over from another missionary’s home church in California.  It was nice to give part of conference planning to an outside source!  This team also lead a VBS for our kids.  What a treat for these missionary kids!  And a treat for us that our kids were well taken care of while we met each day!

The VBS singing songs.  They did an excellent job and our kids loved it.

Our two big girls went to VBS and the little two went to to nursery.

We really are blessed to serve with some amazing people.  I love getting to know them.  Here is the whole group!


  1. MomO

    Looks like the girls were worn out, too! I’m jealous – wish we had been there. The games look absolutely crazy and I’ll bet there were a lot of fun.

  2. Pop Pop

    My shy little Joseph

  3. Kelley Haff

    Camp Grace for adults maybe? Looks like all the adults were great sports about it, so very fun, but I’m sure you now have some sleep to catch up on! I will definitely remember this while at the Grove Park in February.

  4. Karen Swoap

    Wow! What an amazingly, encouraging, exhausting conference. So glad you were able to help plan and participate. And of course, Joseph would emcee! Better watch out, because he probably did it so well that they will ask him to do it every time!

    I can’t believe that you met friends of Suzanne Kelly! It truly is a small world.

    Hugs, misses and prayers to you all!

  5. Mary Beth

    Minus 1500 points for not taking any pictures. Plus three million points for helping to cook all the food.

    • Joseph

      Those points seem a little arbitrary.

What do you think?