We’ve now been in the U.S. for one month! Some days it seems as though time is flying by with the comforts of this “home”, and other times, we feel displaced and want to go “home” to Papua. Even though it’s tough living there and we constantly miss all of you while we’re there, it has become where our hearts feel at home, and where we feel we are where God wants us to be. It’s true what we read about in missions training – full-time overseas workers always seem to be in between worlds.
(We’ve included lots of pictures about what we’ve been up to this month. To get right to the point and see our prayer points, scroll all the way to the bottom. Thanks!)
How are the kids?
Many of you have asked how the kids (Kalem and Adria) are doing. They are enjoying being home (U.S.) and missing home (Papua) at the same time. They miss their house and school and friends and animals. And we all miss having our routine. We were transient for so long before we finally established our lives in Wamena, that we were really enjoying some “normalcy” each day (albeit, normalcy peppered with things that throw us for a loop – like tribal wars).
But there’s nothing like time with family. For those who may not be totally familiar with our family dynamics, we have two older sons in the U.S. who are married with kids (Tyler and Cassey have 3 kids, ages 1, 2, and 5 and Isaiah and Ashley have 2 kids, ages 3 and 6 mo.) We also have an “almost-son”, Palto, who is from Haiti and lived with us for a few years. He is now engaged! We’ve spent almost all of our time with all of them, as was the purpose of our trip.
(Please forgive the poor quality of some of these pics. We find it hard to lug a big camera when we’re chasing toddlers everywhere, and are using cell phone cameras!)
Time with partners, also!
We’ve also been able to share with three of our partnering churches, one in Oregon and two in California. God’s timing is perfect, as in two of those churches it was their annual Missions Sunday! It has been so great to connect with all of you that are such a great support to us. We truly couldn’t do it without you, and we love to see your faces and hear about what’s happening in your lives, too.
Medical Appointments and Other Fun Stuff
Something we really appreciate about coming back to the U.S., and something we try to take advantage of while here is HEALTHCARE. When in Papua, we have to fly to the other side of the country (a 6 hr flight), or even to Singapore to see a doctor or dentist for almost anything.
For example, Adria has been complaining about headaches every day for the last 8-12 weeks. And now we know why! She needed glasses. A quick visit to the eye doctor yesterday and now, hopefully that will go away!
There are also a couple of fun perks to being an MK. 😉
Some things to pray about
- Since we’ve been here, we’ve also learned that two of our immediate family members, Fawn’s dad J.D. and Michael’s twin brother Jess, have cancer. We are still waiting for more information. Would you please pray for both of them? And for wisdom for us as far as how we can help?
- As we stated above, the purpose of our trip is to connect with our sons and their families. One of our sons and his wife in particular are the reason for our trip. We want respect their privacy and not give too many details, but would you please pray for them? They are in a season where they really need the evident touch of Jesus in their lives.
- Please pray for our co-workers, especially those we work and live with in Papua, Indonesia and others in Ethiopia. The Indonesian government is again applying pressure to meet unrealistic requirements, and visa renewal time is quickly approaching. Also, our helicopter and the crew from Ethiopia have been seized indefinitely on Sudan on it’s way back to Switzerland.
The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace,
The Stephens Family