Happy Birthday Luke…and Why We Would Recommend Hosting an Intern:

by mendibpng

luke bday
(above) Luke firebends his birthday candles

You may be wondering how Luke came to be a part of our family. We received an email from Luke’s dad last Spring, asking about the possibility of Luke having a gap year in Papua New Guinea with us. Luke wanted direction for his life BEFORE he decided on which college and course of study to pursue. He hoped that spending a year with a missionary family might give him some of that direction. Often when things come up, Ben and I begin talking and talking about the decision. We weigh the pros and cons. We pray a LOT. This time, we didn’t have to go through that process. Rather, we both knew that God was behind this. I love it when God does that. So we wrote Dan (Luke’s dad) back and said that we were willing. Some of our close friends thought we were crazy. Some of them told us how crazy we were and some of them laughed at us. We already have five kids of our own plus our work requires us to be in constant transition. However, we moved ahead because of the certainty we both felt: God was behind this. The rest of that story (going to Wycliffe’s training for interns, raising support, waiting and WAITING for a visa) was up to Luke. He didn’t get the ‘easy’ route. Nope. He had the chance to see the reality of what it takes to get here. But he persevered and here we are!

Luke tree



Some things we like about Luke…

1. His sense of adventure is a breath of fresh air to us. We came to Papua New Guinea in 2002 and it is fun to watch someone else experience life here since it is ‘normal’ to us now.

2. He is a big jungle gym for the twins.

3. He carries heavy stuff and helps with tasks like taking down my Christmas decorations. Oh, and he’s tall too!

4. His arrival in October sparked a major reorganization of our house.

5. He makes us all laugh. My favorite Luke quote is “I like the way my feet look when they are dirty.”

6. He brought us fun things from the U.S. like ‘Avatar the Last AirBender’, spices, hot chocolate mix and gummy vitamins and chewable vitamin C! (albeit he ate most of the vitamins himself!)

7. He helps feed our twins so they ‘qualify’ for dessert.

8. He has an ability to bring out the best in my kids. He has played chess and had long talks with Josiah. He started Noah on a cross fit routine. And he thinks Ellie is funny.

9. We get to have a lot of late night deep conversations with Luke.

10. We have a connection with the Elliott family in the U.S., who we had never known before this year! For me, in particular, I have enjoyed making the connection with Luke’s parents who are also missionary kids. Thank you Dan and Heidi, for having the faith to send your son half way around the world…we are glad you did!


One Comment to “Happy Birthday Luke…and Why We Would Recommend Hosting an Intern:”

  1. Thank you, Mandy! Reading this is a wonderful gift for me on Luke’s birthday.

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