Archive for May 2005
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — In five days (on June 1) I should be on my way! I will fly from Springfield to Los Angeles (through O’Hare — yipee) June 1 and spend the night in Los Angeles. Then the team will assemble June 2 as everyone else flies in through the day. We fly out late that evening and arrive in Brisbane, Australia, after many hours over the Pacific. Our first destination in Papua New Guinea is the northern coastal town of Madang, where we will spend a couple of weeks doing some orientation classes, etc. After that, we head to Ukarumpa in the central mountains and will spend most of the rest of the summer there. On the way home in August, we will be able to do a little bit of sightseeing in Australia, and then I will have a day with the Wesleys in Los Angeles before I finally arrive back in Springfield.
Prayer cards went out by snail mail last week — email me if you didn’t get one and would like one. The cards are a way for me to say thanks for your support, and hopefully they will remind you to pray for me often.
A few more gifts have come in and have been very helpful in meeting the seemingly unending expenses. Yesterday, I opened a card that contained a $20 bill. Five minutes later, I read an email informing me of a $20 fee for an Australian visa. God is faithful.
Today I got my last two shots and picked up my Doxycycline prescription. While I waited for my shots, I read an article about blogging in some business magazine. It looked like many more people were leaving the doctor’s office than were going in. That seemed slightly disconcerting, though I suppose the opposite case would have been worse. I finished the first article and began reading one (written by a bitter ex-student) about a high school English teacher who allegedly drilled holes in his students’ heads and poured in grammar in through a funnel. “David Ringer,” barked a nurse. Hmm, interesting timing. The procedure was quick enough. Even though it’s painless, I’m still not a fan of the wipe-jab-squirt process. But it’s worth it if it prevents my body’s being overrun by billions of life-depriving parasites.
The nurse actually missed the injection site with the bandage. (See the little red dot just above the pad part of the bandage?)
This is one of the Doxycycline pills. One look at those is enough to scare off malaria and all kinds of other things besides (college graduates, for instance).
I’ve been buying, packing, and weighing supplies all week, always conscious of the 44 lb. limit for checked baggage. I’ve been encouraged by the trip leaders to bring my laptop; they say it will help my writing work. It will make my carry-on bag heavier than the “limit,” but apparently that’s OK. All of my other luggage is more or less ready to go now. I bought a lightweight duffel instead of my heavy and unwieldy suitcase, and it looks like I’ll be able to take everything I need (and probably more) with no trouble.
I got most of my hair cut off — I don’t think it’s been this short since the Catastrophe of ‘02. But I did buy a nifty hat to protect me from the elements.
The hat’s ventilation holes are screened to keep out mosquitos and other hungry creatures. Thank you, Wal-Mart!
While I’m gone, I’ll be counting on your prayers for boldness, effectiveness, strength, and protection. I’ve been doing some reading in Acts, and the other night I read the Apostles’ prayer after they were threatened by the Jewish leaders (Acts 4). They did not pray for physical protection or anything of the sort. Instead, they affirmed God’s sovereignty, asked for boldness to proclaim God’s message, and prayed that God would work mightily through the name of Jesus. Though the parallels between their situation and mine are few, I was challenged by those thoughts. Please pray that God will embolden and empower all of us on the team to do His work so that Jesus’ name will be glorified.
To my knowledge, I will not have access to my email account between about June 1 and August 10. I hope to be able to post occasionally here. I’ll probably have to do it by email, which will mean I can’t post pictures until I get back. Actually, Ukarumpa is experiencing a communications blackout at the moment. No one knows when phone and internet connectivity will be restored, and evidently such problems are not uncommon. I will keep in touch as time and technology allow.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — I graduated from LeTourneau University on May 7 and am back home in Springfield until June 1. My shiny new degree is a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in computer science. I didn’t know what I was doing when I picked LETU as a senior in high school, but the Lord did know what He was doing. Over the last four years, I have made friendships and memories that will not easily fade. Saturday’s departure was more difficult than I had anticipated. I had to say goodbye to my closest friends and professors not knowing when we will meet again.
I received two hepatitis vaccinations May 9, and I have to go back for more shots on May 27. Because of the short preparation time, I will not be able to get the full series of immunizations that Wycliffe recommends. Hepatitis series normally take six months. I will also need to begin taking a malaria prophylaxis shortly before I leave the United States. I have to call the doctor today to find out about that.
This weekend, I will shop and probably begin to pack. I need to buy some clothing and other items, and I might have to buy new luggage as well. The airline to PNG enforces strict restrictions on luggage size and weight, so packing everything I need promises to be quite a challenge. I’m sure my perspective on what I “need” will be very different in three months than it is right now.
Thank the Lord: He has provided miraculously for my financial needs. I began fundraising in the second week of March — only a month before half of the trip cost was due. Eight weeks later, family, friends, and even strangers have given over $5,000 and a free plane ticket to Los Angeles International Airport. Praise the Lord! (And thank you, His servants!)
Please pray that my visa will arrive soon. The embassy gave Wycliffe a positive report, so everything should be OK. But I’m still waiting to receive mine.
Please pray for all the preparation work still to be done: packing, immunizations, prescriptions, paperwork, logistical planning, etc. I have much to do before I go, and so do the other team members. Many of the team members are still struggling with finances.
Please pray for spiritual preparation. I can’t let excitement and busyness distract me from what is truly important: selflessly serving the Lord in whatever He calls me to do.