Their desire is to continue ministering in PNG and to allocate to a tribal location. If they still do not have a third unit to work with them and their co-workers the Hansens then they will be focussing on a tribal work that will accept a two-unit team.
Steve and Gerdine are grateful to be living close to the NTM medical clinic. The clinic has an ultrasound machine and Gerdine has monthly check-ups with the doctor. Delivering in PNG is risky because of limited healthcare.
The toilet project, their gift of two new toilets for a local primary school, is over. The final product is nothing fancy; uneven brickwork, rough concrete (they were getting sand from the river, which was full of rocks) and grass walls – but the important thing is that it is not going to cave in, the vent will control flies and there is a clean water tap available for washing hands. Steve and Gerdine are glad they did it because it helps the community and it reminded them just how much work it is to do even something so simple. They are much more able to appreciate the investment of time and energy any future project will take so that they can make decisions that are more informed.
Disruptions continue at the vocational school and Steve is wondering how he will get the rest of the chronological lessons into the school year when adult students are so often truanting. After losing four weeks of school time to a murder in the local community the two week school holiday came… and students didn’t come back.
Elections in PNG have also meant very few students in class. It is hard not to adopt the “who cares? There’s always next week” attitude from the students.
Gerdine is making good progress checking, tweaking and preparing post literacy books in Tok Pisin (PNG's trade language). She is learning a lot as she sits and discusses grammar, style and culture with her helpers.