Pryor's in PNG
This year we did not send out a Christmas newsletter full of deep and meaningful thoughts. Neither was there a New Year's letter full of plans or reflections. Our newsletters have been few and far between this year. It isn't because we have nothing to share, but quite the opposite. God has been gracious to us in all our years here in PNG. In that respect 2016 was no different. We have been blessed with work and resources that have kept us all quite busy. However, as I tell my kids, “You have time for what you make time for.” So no more excuses.
The end of 2016 was a flurry of activity for us here in Samban. A crew was milling in Yamen village, (an Ap Ma village about 12km from us here in Samban) about 10 of our local men were involved in the milling and transport of equipment and timber. Work hasn't finished in Yamen it has only been shut down for the holidays and is due to start back up in February.
While Jesse and his crew were working hard in Yamen the clinic staff had year-end review and annual reports to write for the provincial and district offices as well as vaccine reports and TB reports to submit and year end stock-take. This year we saw more than 1500 patients and provided vaccinations and baby check-ups for more than 486 children and flew out 12 emergency evacuations with the help of Samaritan Aviation and MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship).
The Ap Ma FODE Centre (distance education school for grades 7-12) wrapped up on the 20th of December but a teacher's work doesn't end when the doors shut. Karie was up late Christmas Eve and Day trying to get all the term grades marked and reports made for 2016 as well as compile the new 2017 enrollment statistics to mail to the national offices. Next term we will have 37 students enrolled in classes. By July we hope to turn our government 7-12 school into a dual enrollment program by partnering with CLTC (Christian Leadership Training Centre in Banz, PNG) and offering Christian education and Bible studies. Each student would be required to take one Christian studies course along with their government required studies.
Our family spent New Year's at a missionary guest house in Cairns. While we were there we were able to visit eye doctors and dentists and purchase some items for the school, home, office and clinic that we just can't get in PNG. We also had some good family time exploring a cave and old mine works in Chillagoe. On our return to PNG we turned in reports at various government offices, did supply shopping for the new year. This included personal supplies as well as the building projects and milling we are planning to undertake.
January is almost over and things are changing fast here. The FODE class room has been moved to the old mission house. For those of you who have kept up with us or visited us over the years this is where the clinic was before we built the new building. Thanks to Karie, Naleh and her friend and fellow MK, Riley Cooke the classroom has been spruced up with some new paint and tables and chairs and curtains. Classes start Monday the 30th of January.
In the church Jesse's Ap Ma reading with the adults through the book of Acts is wrapping up and we are going to focus this year on reading Luke and getting it recorded. We were able to get the Christmas story done last year and through the Sunday readings have found several good strong readers to help us do the recordings.
The normal family and house routines are much the same. We have 4 hogs about 15 chickens, a dog, a cat, three goats, a huge garden to tend and the daily home-school battles. Naleh is finishing up her grade 10 this year, Elijah is in grade 8 and Judah is grinding away at grade 5. Naleh enjoys painting and playing volleyball. Elijah is interested in computers right now and plays volleyball and soccer. Judah has also been playing soccer every afternoon with his group of friends. All of them have been pitching in to keep the house from falling apart due to our crazy schedules. Karie teaches the kids from 8-12 then has FODE class from 1-5 and Jesse is normally out working from 8 until dark. Friday afternoons we have tried to keep free for an office time to catch up on reports, payroll etc. but more often than not, this happens in the evenings after kids are long asleep.
Lastly Jesse is in town now to pick up “the new guy”. Isaac Aughenbaugh has agreed to join us here in our work in Samban. His gifts and abilities are a great fit for the work we do here and we are anxious to share the work with him and move forward on a lot of unfinished projects.
We are excited to see what God has planned for us this year.