We’re gearing up to go back to PNG (hopefully in April), and we are excited. We really built our life there, and in many ways we feel more at “home” there than in the U.S. But we are also realizing that this time is a bit different from when we went the first time in 2011.
We knew that there were costs associated with being missionaries in PNG. Costs like leaving family, friends, church, and some of the more convenient aspects of life in the U.S: affordable things like store-bought tortillas, yogurt, and cheese, fast/reliable internet, good roads, etc. When we left in 2011, we hadn’t truly experienced those costs. Everything was wonderful, exciting, and a bit exotic… I mean, we were going to PNG!! What a great adventure!
And it still is wonderful, exciting, and a bit exotic. It still is a great adventure. In some ways, it’s an even greater adventure because we have a more complete picture of what it looks like, what we’re going back to, and we have a better taste of what we’re leaving behind here in the U.S.
When we went in 2011, we had an 18 month old and a 6 month old. They could engage with Grandma and Grandpa, aunt and uncles, and cousins to an extent.
Kiddos with Grandpa Charlie and Grandma Peggy
Now we will be going back with a 6 year old, 5 year old, 3 year old, and a baby. The older children are much more able to engage with their extended family, which means that they also will be feeling the pains of leaving family behind.
Post Family at the Zoo
In a way, they have been feeling it already when we say goodbye to certain family members and travel across the country.
Post Boys with Great Grandpa Post and Grandpa Doug
With Great Grandma Post and Gramma Rachie
Please pray for our family as we make this transition back to PNG.
When we went in 2011, we were stepping into the unknown in regards to friendships over in PNG, and in the U.S. After being in PNG for a number of years, we’ve come to realize that friendships in the mission world can be very different than in the U.S.
Christina and Friends at a Picnic
With people constantly coming and going to/from furlough, new people coming to the mission field, experienced missionaries retiring, and good friends feeling God’s call to a different country, different part of PNG, or back to their home country, our friendships have known a depth, sorrow, and goodness that we didn’t really expect.
Christina and Friends at a Birthday Party
Saying hello and goodbye for the 100th time isn’t easy. Having new friendships grow and old friendships fade is difficult. But God is faithful, and he has provided friends with whom we can easily pick up where we left off, which is a crucial aspect to being a missionary.
Friends in a Tree
Mama Ruth and Mikayla
Please pray for our friendships in PNG, and the friends we are leaving behind in the U.S.
As some of you know, our “home” church closed peacefully during our 1st term in PNG. So in a way, we came home as “missionary orphans”. Now we have a new “home” church, and they have taken us in like family. They have loved us and cared for us, and we have been able to love and care for people in return. It has been a good thing. Leaving that church body physically behind is going to be difficult. Please pray that we will be able to stay connected with our church in the U.S. while connecting and engaging with other Christians in PNG.
Is it Worth It?
I think that every missionary (and every Christian) has these realizations, and we all have moments where they really, truly have to look at the costs and say, “Is it worth it?”
It’s not a coincidence that the passage that came up for me today, in the midst of thinking about these very things, comes from Mark 8:34b-35: “Jesus said, ‘If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. 35 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it.'”
Jesus also said, “I assure you that everyone who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or property, for my sake and for the Good News, will receive now in return a hundred times as many houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and property—along with persecution. And in the world to come that person will have eternal life.” (Mark 10:29b-30).
Our Answer: God’s Faithfulness
So what’s our answer to the question, “Is it worth it?”
YES! A resounding YES! We are so grateful for the ways in which God has blessed us in PNG. We love our work there, we love our home there, we love our friends there. And while that does not make it easy to leave our work, our friends, and our family here in the U.S., it does make it easier.
Thank you for praying for us as we begin to transition back to PNG, and away from our life in the U.S. Thank you for praying for our family, for our friends, and for our work. There’s a lot left to do before we go, but we serve a big God who gives us the strength to persevere every day.