Everyday Miracles

L to R: Betsy (our hausmeri), Elijah (her husband and part of maintenance staff), Yandu, Moses having lunch at our house

When we lived in Tennessee, Justin’s job was in corporate IT work, namely healthcare. The company he worked for was not religious or faith-based, not a non-profit. He used his skills in technology to help companies meet the needs of patients and providers while growing their profits. It was a good job. Justin has been a Christian for a number of years, so he represented Christ in the workplace, but seeing God at work was sometimes difficult to do.

On the other hand, Stephanie worked part-time for a faith-based hospital as a chaplain. Not every time, but quite often, she was afforded encounters with patients and families that were significant for them and for her as she bore witness to the movement of God in others’ lives. Even in caring for Amber Joy at home, “God moments” were plentiful and it was not unusual to glimpse the Holy Spirit at work as he crafted our family and its story.

Recently, Justin and I were talking about how, since we’ve lived in PNG, we seem to be experiencing some reversal in these experiences. Justin works, almost daily, with Papua New Guineans, training, teaching, and leading them using his skills to promote growth in the churches and the hospital where we serve.  He goes from repairing life-saving hospital equipment to developing and installing finance software to IT inservices for Bible college, nursing college, and hospital staff. He drives visitors to and from our station to the airport and has met a plethora of people on work and witness teams who have visited Kudjip. He’s had some amazing experiences praying with people and talking with them about Christ which directly pointed to God and His redemptive work in this place. Even in the midst of the "missionary work," Justin has continued to be surprised when God shows up in the unlikely places, too!

Meanwhile, the movement of the Holy Spirit for Stephanie has been less obvious. She has held various roles since arriving in PNG and has had glimpses of how God is moving in her and in the people with whom she works. But how God is using her or using these experiences has been much less apparent. She has conversations with other missionary wives around her kitchen table, teaches a weekly exercise class, and tries to answer the door with a smile when someone comes by to sell something. She makes lunches, helps with homework, and hangs the laundry. Her part-time job with the Field consists of filling out applications to renew missionary work and entry permits so that their work and entry into PNG is legal. There have been few days that ended with her overwhelming sense of the powerful presence of God. And it’s been a year of grieving all that was lost when our family came to PNG.

The message that has come through clearly to us recently is that this God who works so obviously for one of us in this place is the same God who is the undercurrent for the other. There are always miracles…some we’ve witnessed: a new Papua New Guinean friend, a pineapple out of the garden, 
training someone to fix a hard drive, setting up a monitor so our daughter is less scared at night, preaching at a nursing college service,  preparing lunch for and serving our hausmeri, escorting someone to the hospital after they’ve walked miles to find the station, installing a phone system, filing necessary paperwork for work permits, playing a game as a family before bed, attending a member care conference, listening to a doctor vent after a difficult call, and having people over for dinner…

These are the miracles we’ve seen at Kudjip. There are many that are going on unseen right now…we know that God is using us in this place, but we also know that He is using this place to change us.

Sometimes, he comes in the fire or the earthquake. And sometimes, with a still small voice. May we have eyes to see and ears to hear both. 1 Kings 19:12


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