Wednesday, January 24, 2018

We're home!

We are so glad to have returned to our own home in Papua New Guinea and to have completed the long journey back here.  The following picture was taken during one of the better moments of our 12-hour layover in San Francisco; the children had already been awake for 16 hours at that point.  Twenty-nine hours later we arrived in Cairns, Australia.

After some swimming, repacking and two nights of sleeping, two short flights brought us to our home on the Ukarumpa centre.

* We praise God for allowing us to return to Papua New Guinea.  We are grateful that our luggage made it too!
* We are thankful that our home and dog were well taken care of by missionary colleagues.  The children were particularly concerned about the dog while we were away!
* We've felt the effect of your prayers as we've parented Levi, Heidi and Eowyn through this time of transition.  We've gained various helpful insights as we continue to raise our children.
* We would appreciate prayer as we return to our roles on the Ukarumpa centre and find our place amongst our colleagues.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

We are so Thankful

This week we'll be driving to Florida to celebrate Thanksgiving with Andrew's parents.

There is so much to be thankful for!

*We are thankful that the Kasua People of Papua New Guinea (PNG) now have access to the New Testament:

* We are thankful that we are able to contribute to the work of Bible translation; we look forward to continuing our work of fixing small engines and caring for missionaries after arriving back in PNG on 12 January 2018.

* We are so thankful to those who are partnering with our work in PNG through prayer, financial giving and encouragement.

We are overwhelmingly thankful that 100% of our Wycliffe ministry budget has been pledged for the next three years.  We stand in awe at how the Lord has accomplished this.

* We are thankful for the wonderful times we've had with friends, family and churches this year.

Much of December will be spent packing up and cleaning our house in North Carolina; after that we will travel back down to Florida for Christmas.  We are grateful for your ongoing prayer during this period of travel and change; these are usually emotionally challenging times, especially for our children.
Photo credit: Amy Evers

Friday, October 20, 2017

Learning and Jousting!

Last week we were in two different places:

I (Clare) was in Pennsylvania at the Heartstream Resources Member Care Course.  Andrew, Levi, Heidi and Eowyn stayed in North Carolina and enjoyed a day trip to the North Carolina Renaissance Festival.

The week of training was immensely helpful in preparing me to continue as a pastoral care facilitator in Papua New Guinea.  All that I learnt will help me to be a better support to those in challenging situations, whether through listening, asking useful questions, or helping people work through conflict.  I'm keen to get back to this role in January.

At the Autoshop, staff are eagerly awaiting Andrew's return.  In a recent letter Andrew's manager, James Ernandes, described Andrew as 'irreplaceable in his role'.  He shared how Andrew helps the other Autoshop staff better understand the local culture, and how the staff have been helped many times by his commitment to grace, understanding and patience. 

James added, 'And he is one of our best mechanics to boot. We depend heavily on Andrews knowledge base of motorcycles and small engines'.  To read the whole letter, click here.

We are so encouraged to see how the Lord continues to bring in financial partners in a whole variety of ways.  We still need $825/£650 per month in regular support in order to meet our Wycliffe ministry budget for the next three years.  If you are planning to start giving financially or would like to change your current commitment in any way, we'd be very grateful if you could let us know; this will help us reach the point of being released by Wycliffe to travel to back to Papua New Guinea.

It is amazing, as we meet people on our travels, to discover how many of you are praying for us regularly.  We are most grateful.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

A Letter From Andrew's Manager

To all interested in the ministry of Andrew Koens,

In total I have worked 2 years side by side with Andrew, as his manager. In that time he has proven himself to be irreplaceable as a mechanic, assistant manager, and shop historian. He is truly an ambassador for Christ, here in Ukarumpa, Papua New Guinea. It’s been my pleasure to see Andrew help all of us get a better understanding of the Melanesian culture in his daily dealings with our national customers and employees. He is always stressing grace and understanding, before any action should take place. 

There have been times when I would be concerned about employees breaking the rules in the shop. Andrew would always stop me and have me ask, “Why do you think they are doing what they are doing? Are they doing it because it’s culturally appropriate, or is it just blatant disregard for the rules?”.  His patience and gentle handling of people have helped so many situations turn out positive.

And he is one of our best mechanics to boot.  We depend heavily on Andrews knowledge base of motorcycles and small engines. He keeps our missionaries', local nationals' and other missions organizations' motorcycles, generators, air strip mowers, chain saws and any other small engines going.

If you are looking to partner financially with a missionary family, the Koens are worth every penny in their service here. They are a part of our community, our family and our work.

James Ernandes
Auto Shop Manager/DO-Fleet Manager
SIL Auto Shop