Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Avocado Trees and Changed Lives

In our garden in Papua New Guinea are two avocado trees:

They don't bear fruit too often, but we enjoy huge amounts of avocado when they do.  Even more exciting is when the work of Bible translation bears fruit.  It's been thrilling recently to read about lives that have been changed following encounters with the Jesus Video Bike that Andrew has worked on frequently.

We are not directly involved in the translating itself; but just as a tree's trunk supports its branches, we are supporting translation and literacy work by using our practical skills.

The part of the tree that can't be seen is the roots.  We know though that the tree couldn't survive without the roots.  I'm reminded of those who are faithfully partnering with us through prayer and finances from their home countries.  The gifts of prayer and finances go largely unseen, but are vital; without the financial and prayer support of people around the world, there would be no Bible translation work in Papua New Guinea.  

We're so glad to be able to catch up in person this year with many individuals and churches who are supporting our work in Papua New Guinea.  We're excited that we have several new opportunities to share about this work and let others know how they can be involved. 

This month's prayer points:
*We praise God for opportunities to speak to others about our work in Papua New Guinea.  
*We praise God for a successful medical check-up for Eowyn in March this year.  The consultant saw very little change since our last visit, which is a good thing.  We can wait two years before returning for a follow-up visit.

*We pray that God would be strengthening our 'roots' by enlarging our team of financial and prayer partners.

Many thanks,

Andrew, Clare, Levi, Heidi and Eowyn Koens

Friday, April 21, 2017

Saturday, March 4, 2017

We're (almost) Ready to Go!

Greetings from Papua New Guinea!

With a day to go until we leave, life is busy.  We've been organising and cleaning our house, sorting and packing clothes, printing out tickets and travel directions, organising transport, arranging to visit people, working on furlough presentations, designing photo books, obtaining permission to visit Australia,
finishing up at work, and having our photo taken:

As you can see, Levi is looking more and more like his Dad ;-).

Andrew has been building a workshop behind our house out of a shipping container so that he'll be able to work on projects from home in future.  I expect our children will gain mechanical experience of their own out there too.

Thank you for your prayers regarding our house and dog while we're away; we've seen some wonderful answers.

This is what our travel plans look like for the next few weeks:

6 March: Fly to the capital city, Port Moresby.
7 March: Fly to Brisbane, Australia.
11 March: Fly to Melbourne, Australia.  (We'll be visiting the friends we lived with at the time Levi was born.)
14-15 March: Fly to London and drive to Haslemere, Surrey.
19 - 31 March: Visit friends and family in Warrington, Cumbria, Sunderland, York and Leicestershire.
1 April: Move into our flat in Haslemere.

We have much to look forward to, but realise that the next month will also be very intense.  We would appreciate your continued prayer, especially that we will recover quickly from jetlag and for good emotional adjustments with the changes that are to come.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Dealing with Stuff

In five weeks we will leave PNG for ten months of home assignment. 

As well as making preparations for our time away, I'm working hard to get the house ready for others to live here.  One part of that is getting rid of items that our family no longer needs.  There aren't many recycling programmes in Papua New Guinea, but that doesn't mean that things get thrown away!

Some items are given directly to colleagues and local friends; these items range from used plastic food or drink containers, all of which will get reused, to clothes that our children have outgrown but which other children in Ukarumpa or around the country will appreciate. Boxed up items can be donated to the 'Everything Sale', an annual event run by the teenagers here to raise money towards their youth centre.  Some things are sold to colleagues; there is no Ebay here and the range of products available in local stores is limited so people appreciate the opportunity to buy things from each other.

It always amazes me how many lids I find with no containers to go with them.  Those, at least, will get thrown away if no matching container appears!

We would appreciate prayer as we enter this time of transition:

*Heidi is concerned about being away from PNG, from her friends and from our dog.  Levi was distressed when he heard that he'd have to pack up his bedroom before we left.  Eowyn has no memory of living outside PNG.  Please pray for all of our children as they face these big changes in their lives.   Of course there is a lot to look forward to as well.  They are most excited about seeing family.  Heidi also wants to see a giraffe and Levi is looking forward to visiting science museums.

*We are grateful for the opportunities that we have to connect with friends and churches back home.  It's been encouraging to see our schedule start to fill up:

* Please pray for Andrew and I as we work to complete many tasks that we want to get done before our departure on 6 March.  An added complication is that Andrew can't work on some of these jobs until spare parts arrive from overseas; he'd appreciate prayer for these parts to arrive quickly.

*We are thrilled to hear that there should be someone to live in our house and care for our dog from May onwards.  We are praying that someone would be willing to look after our dog in the first couple of months that we are away.