My luggage did indeed arrive on Wednesday as scheduled. The short term missionaries here had been very generous with their clothes, but it was definitely nice to have my own things again. The boxes that I shipped ahead of time have been trickling in as well, so I feel like I am really setting up housekeeping here.
Last week was a fairly normal week with clinic Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; church Sunday and Wednesday; outreach Tuesday and Friday; and prayer meeting on Saturday. I am seeing 20-25 patients on each clinic morning. They come from villages as far as several hours away. It is good to be able to try to help them with their sickness and also know that they are hearing the gospel, maybe for the first time.
Randy Smith, the senior missionary, made a trip to town last week to get supplies. The pilot for the helicopter we usually use is going on furlough soon, so we really stocked up this time. There were six flights in with the fuel, food, and other supplies to keep all of us going for the next several months. When you think about supplying 12 people (7 Smiths, 4 short termers, and me), it takes quite a bit of stuff. We are hoping to keep supply runs to a minimum during the pilot's six month furlough, as the helicopter we will have to use instead is much more expensive.
The Smiths left today on the helicopter's last trip to go to Port Moresby, the capital. Their children's passports are expiring February 9th, so they have to go to the US Embassy to renew them. They will also take a short vacation there, and so will be gone for two weeks. Please pray that all will go smoothly in their absence. Erick Duprey (one of the short termers) and Silas and Paul (our preacher boys) are splitting up the preaching responsibilities while they are gone.
Thanks so much for your continued prayers and support. What a blessing to know that the Lord is in charge of all things and will work them out for His own glory when we depend on Him to do so.