Archive for June, 2012

June 28, 2012

On grieving and letting go…

by mendibpng

The last couple of weeks have been sad. Every year around this time, we say “good-bye” to friends going on furlough and also to those who are leaving for good. These times of grieving come and go so often that sometimes I just want to stay in my house and hide from it. A couple of weeks ago a close friend of mine left Papua New Guinea with no plans to return. Even though for 6 months I knew her departure was coming, it still gutted me. The more I tried to pretend like it wasn’t happening, the more it was difficult to contain my emotions. I didn’t want her to feel badly so I tried to hide it from her. One day I just came out with “I’m really sad you are leaving” and we both started to cry together. It turns out she was glad I told her! Sometimes the person going needs to know that she will be missed!

I think the thing I grieve the most when I say “good-bye” to someone is the possibilities. When you have a friend you can drop in on or call up at any time for a playdate, those possibilities vanish when they leave. Once she leaves, access to her is limited. All of the fun family activities and holidays you’ve spent together are happy memories, but in the near future, there won’t be any more of those. I told another friend recently that when someone leaves our community, it’s almost like you are grieving like you would for someone who died. The way we did friendship has to end and it forces me into a new way of doing life here. I think the most painful part of the grieving process is the ‘letting go’ part.

I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to saying ‘good-bye’ or if it will always tug at me like this. This week two more friends leave and those of us who stay behind will grieve their loss. I have found that the best way through this is just to let the emotions come. Of course it’s not healthy to wallow in them but just feeling sad is ok sometimes. I tell my kids this a lot because they are grieving too! I think about cultures where rituals are a big part of life…I am glad that we have taken the time to say ‘good bye’ to leaving friends properly.

One day, we will all be together in heaven…and all of this loss and pain will be just a distant memory (or will we forget it completely?) I keep thinking of the people I miss and how great it will be to see their faces again!

Since transition is also a big part of the grieving process, I will end with a quote from my favorite transition expert, William Bridges in The Way of Transition

“Transition does not require that you reject or deny the importance of your old life, just that you let go of it. Far from rejecting it, you are likely to do better with the ending if you honor the old life for all that it did for you. It got you this far. It brought you everything you have. But now—although it may be some time before you are comfortable doing so—it is time for you to let go of it. Your old life is over. No matter how much you would like to continue it or rescue it or fix it, it’s time to let go.“

June 27, 2012

You know you are in Ukarumpa when…(a mom’s perspective)

by mendibpng

My friend Clare helped me come up with a few of these… J

  • Seeing liquid dish soap (or some other item you’ve been pining for) in the store makes you excited
  • A package from your home country is the highlight of the week…or month…or year!
  • All of your friends live within walking distance.
  • Your kids have dried mud on their legs from the knees down
  • You know when to expect your children home from school because you hear the school bell from your house
  • You encounter people from many different nationalities at the store. I once counted seven nationalities from one trip alone!
  • Herbs and veggies grow year ‘round in your garden.
  • The sun coming out means you can have a hot shower and get your laundry dry.
  • You buy a crazy supply of the thing you love to cook with because next week it may not be available for several months. (I have 3 bottles of Hot Wings sauce in my pantry.)
  • Bible study is your ‘night out’ with your husband.
  • A trip to the nearest town (30 minutes drive away) is the first outing off center you’ve had in months. We call it ‘retail therapy.’
  • You try to sneak out to the fruit and vegetable market at 6.30 am, but your children all wake up and want to come with you.
  • A sun shiny day means you can get the baby pool out but you have to add several buckets of warm water so that the kids lips don’t turn blue.
  • You take the time to roll out tortillas and make pizza from scratch because food from your home country is comforting.
  • A girl’s night out can be a sleepover at the volunteer center, a trip to the sauna or a movie night at someone’s house.
  • A ‘date’ night with your husband is putting the kids to bed early and having a late candlelight supper at home because there are no places to eat out.
June 26, 2012

Grandparents Visit

by mendibpng

Right to left: my dad (Pap Pap), mom (Oma), Jenny Beth, me, Ellie, Ben, Noah, Jacob and Josiah

Our kids loved connecting with their grandparents after not seeing them for two years! We Skype  regularly so the twins knew my parents instantly and went right to them when they arrived.

Jenny Beth drank in all the extra attention from my parents. It didn’t take long for her to ask for my dad to get her out of her bed in the morning (and not mommy!)

Playing scrabble with Oma

My parents braved a cold Ukarumpa morning to see the market!

On Noah’s birthday we had pizza, hot wings and cake that Oma made. Here is Noah taking a turn at PNG fireworks (steel wool set on fire).

All of our kids LOVED the presents my parents brought. Joe got his birthday present a month early (a remote control helicopter).

Mama Hana has been with us for 10 years, and what a blessing it was to introduce her to my parents! She gave them each a bilum she made for them.  (string bag)

Five of our translators came to Ukarumpa to help teach a computer course.  One day we hosted them for a meal so that they could meet my parents.  Pictured from left to right: Jessie, translation advisor, Dominic (Onnele), Ben, Petrus (Malol), Joe (Barupu), Clement (Pou), my mom, my dad, and Kenny (Sissano). My parents told me later that this was a highlight for them, to meet some of the people we work with.

One of the great things about having parents visit is that there are more hands to do all the ‘normal’ things…like helping occupy the twins and making a fire for us every day so that we had hot water.

We had a wonderful visit, and I was so thankful that my parents bravely traveled around the world to come visit us!!

June 17, 2012

Josiah: live out your baptism!

by mendibpng

Today we headed down to the Ba’e river to baptize Josiah.  Words seem inadequate so I’m going to tell the story in pictures.

Josiah and Ben led worship, including “Too Far Gone,” a song Josiah wrote this week.

My dad,  Rev. George Hobbs, gave an explanation of baptism and asked Josiah questions relating to his belief in Christ.

Joe gave his testimony.

As soon as Ben baptized Joe, Jacob and Jenny Beth paddled out to meet them!

I couldn’t resist putting this picture in. My dad warmed up Jenny Beth after a swim in the very cold river. Having my parents here to experience this day with Josiah made it special. I loved every minute of it! God is good, all the time!!

June 3, 2012

Have you ever seen the rain…in Arop village?

by mendibpng

Our kids LOVE it when it rains…this week it started raining just after we ate dinner and so they rushed out to enjoy their water logged playground outside our house!

The littlest Pehrson didn’t stray too far from me even though she was having the time of her life!

Rolling around in the muddy rain water…

the girls

and the boys!

June 1, 2012

10 things you need to know about Noah

by mendibpng


Noah is often the first person to offer to help in the kitchen.

Noah’s top 10:

1. My favorite food is curry

2. My favorite color is hot red

3 My favorite sport is soccer or basketball

4 My favorite things to do are running, climbing and reading what I consider a good book

5. My favorite types of books are the kind full of action and adventure like Rangers Apprentice, Redwall, or Percy Jackson

6. My favorite thing about homeschooling in the village is if I chose to I can be done at like 10:00 AM

7. The best thing about being an M.K. is I have lots of friends some here and some there

8. I like to be around people but sometimes I just have to be alone

9. In Ukarumpa I like to ride my skateboard down a steep hill or ride a rip-stick

10. I am almost 11 years old and I am going into Grade 5

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