Great Expectations…in PNG

“Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.”  -Alexander Pope

I’m a missionary…I should have learned by now not to have any expectations for things…However, it is truly impossible to rid yourself of all expectations. They are a part of our mindset whether we like it or not. But left unchecked they can lead to disillusionment or even failure. As we prepare for life in PNG we thought it would be fun to address our pre-field expectations (like it or not) and then re-evaluate after our first year in PNG…

Expectation #1 Learning the Language People often ask us, “what language will you be learning?” In Papua new Guinea there are 800 languages! So which language should we choose to learn? Our guess is that we will be learning Tok Pisin, the trade language spoken by many. Other missionaries have said this is an “easy” language to learn and understand because it is a blending of languages. However, I’m doubting it’s ease because the language is comprised of a series of many idioms, meaning we need to know the culture to understand what’s being said. My guess is that our children, particularly Ariana will be able to learn the fastest because of her age and intelligence (smarty pants!). Wojtek will be in 2nd place because he already possesses the ability to speak multiple languages. I think I will be the slowest to learn but also will have the greatest need to learn because I will need it to communicate to patients in the clinic.

Cultural guru and language aficionado…Ariana should have the easiest time mastering Tok Pisin

Expectation #2 Ministry We are going into this with the skills already in place to succeed in our role as nurse and pilot. So honestly, we are anticipating some learning curve, but mostly that we will be able to jump in and begin serving fairly quickly in our roles. That being said we are also expecting that there will be a lot of extra demands on our time for various ministries. We are anticipating having to evaluate the various needs and pray about how the Lord wants us to best spend our time. One perk of being in PNG is that Wojtek’s job will take him away during the day, but most nights he will be at home with the family. This is awesome since with his current job he leaves for two months at a time!

Multiple short flights during the day rather than long extended flights means he will be home most evenings with the family!

Expectation #3 Lifestyle We are expecting life in PNG to be more difficult. No modern conveniences like a clothes dryer, or microwave. I don’t even know if we will have a water heater! The water that comes is via rain barrels. We doubt we will be able to go to the store to purchase a box brownie mix, or a pre-made meal. On a busy work day we can’t order a pizza or pick up Royal Farms chicken on the way home. Life will take a great deal more planning and energy. I will need to plan ahead for laundry too since it rains often and I will rely on a clothes line to dry my clothes. I will also need to meal plan and make sure there is food readily available for four growing kids who can’t just grab a bag of goldfish when they want them. I’m expecting muddy clothes every day, school lunches where I have to make homemade bread and I don’t think I’ll be able to purchase lunch meat. Date night might be a walk on the road since there aren’t any restaurants or entertainment. I do think we will have reliable internet based on what I’ve been told. However, who knows what standard they are comparing to. It will be so interesting to be able re-evaluate in a couple of years to determine if the expectations are legit or not!

Rain Barrel attached to the house where all running water comes from in Ukarumpa…

Expectation #4 Other Missionaries Statistically, the number one reason missionaries leave the field is relationships with other missionaries. While I know this to be true, I also know that Wojtek and I rarely have had difficulty getting along with others. We are hopeful that our experience of having lived overseas previously and the fact that our marriage is cross-cultural will aid us in this adjustment. Many of the other missionaries come from other countries besides the US and bring with them their cultural nuances that may be different from our own. Our hope is that we will forge deep relationships with people who share a common vision and purpose for being there.

Wojtek and I with fellow missionary newbies at equip training this past April. We are looking at things through our own cultural lens…

Expectation #5 PNG culture The people of PNG will be warm, welcoming and a wonderful culture to interact with. There will be animism and blending of faiths but overall a warm reception. This is based on what we have heard of the culture, but we hope our own experiences will be similar!

Expectation # 6 Food We are overall not picky people, but we are anticipating food to be very different somewhat less enjoyable. The emphasis on sweet potato and cream of coconut could mean that most of our food will be sweet and not savory. That will be difficult to adjust to for some of us, but especially Wojtek! I also am thinking there will be less meat available, very little fish since we are in the highlands, and a whole lot of bananas (to my chagrin) We are expecting to follow the principles taught to us at Moody Bible Institute many years before … “Where He leads me I will follow…What he feeds me I will swallow” …In Uganda this meant eating fried grasshoppers. I’m already praying their diet isn’t heavy in insects…

A Day in the Life of a Missionary Pilot…

As you may know, Wojtek is a pilot who went to Moody Bible Institute for Missionary Aviation. When we arrive in Papua New Guinea his work day may go something like this…

In Papua New Guinea I wake up early, ready for another day of flying into the remote villages of PNG.  The air is cool as we are located in the highlands and the elevation staves off the tropical heat felt at the coastline.  When I arrive at the hangar my first flight of the day is to take a missionary family of translators to the Lote village deep into the jungle.  It’s only a 25 minute flight for me, but if the family were to make the trek on foot they would be carrying their little ones and all of their supplies on their back for two grueling days through jungle, swamp, and many impassable areas.  On top of the unsafe terrain there are also a variety of snakes and jungle animals that make it unsafe to go by foot.  By serving them and bringing them back to the village the hope is that the Lote tribe will finally have the Bible in their language by the end of the translation project, scheduled for that summer.  I’m looking forward to being the pilot who delivers those new testaments to the people once they have been printed!    I completed my preflight checks and headed out, when I arrived in Lote the strip was a 600 foot grass runway that is meticulously maintained by the villagers who use bush knives to cut the grass.  The air strip is their lifeline to the outside world and if they weren’t to maintain it properly they run the risk of it being closed and being cut off from medical supplies etc. 

After dropping the family off, the Lote people load up the plane with coffee and other cash crops as the aviation ministry is often the only way they can transport their goods and make a sale.  I then make my way back to the airstrip located on Ukarumpa base.

I get back to Ukarumpa in time to grab my lunch, when the radio goes off again letting me know that in another nearby village there has been an accident.  One of the mud houses collapsed crushing a young woman’s leg in the impact.  She needed to be immediately medevac’d out in order to get medical care for her leg.   On this flight I had to calculate fuel carefully as I had to take one of the nurses from the clinic with me and the village was a bit farther away.  When the nurse arrived with her emergency kit we got going and headed off to the village.  Arriving there, this air strip was more difficult to maneuver as there was a good deal of cloud coverage and there were many mountains making visibility low.  Thankfully there was enough of a break in the clouds for us to attempt a safe landing.  We loaded the young woman in the back who was barely conscious due to pain and shock.  The nurse got to work immediately as she stabilized her for the trip back to base.  I got the all clear from Ukarumpa and began the 45 minute flight back.   The clinic thankfully had the capability to treat orthopedic injuries so the woman was able to get life saving care thanks to aviation ministry.  

All was quiet on the radio after this, so the remainder of my day was spent doing air craft maintenance in the hangar until the end of the day when I could start my 2 mile trek back home to my wife and family for dinner. 

It’s a Kid’s Life…in PNG?

With four kiddos in tow, we have been getting a lot of questions about what our kids will be doing while we are busy working in the clinic, flying planes and ministering to the people of PNG…

Have no fear, they are not merely along for the ride. Our kids have a very exciting few years ahead of them, and experiences which we hope and pray will shape them, challenge them, and help them understand that this world and the church is so much bigger than the lives they’ve led and experienced in the US.

For our kiddos, the biggest fear/question they had, was whether or not they would have any friends in PNG….

Ukarumpa, the place we will be living in the Eastern Highlands of PNG is essentially a 1 sq. mile compound made up of expats from around the world. The kids will attend either Ukarumpa Primary or Secondary school to receive an excellent K-12 American Standard education. They have school year round, and will forge deep friendships with their fellow Missionary Kid friends because they will share a common bond.

TCKs: Missionary Kids are also known as Third Culture Kids (TCK)s, This term came about because when a child goes on the mission field they never fully fit in with their host culture, but when they come back to the United States they don’t fully fit in with the American Culture either. They will be part of a third sub-culture. Only other missionary kids who have experienced this will truly get how it feels to live in the middle of two different worlds. One of the most difficult things for a missionary kid is when they have to go home on furlough and say goodbye to all their friends, and when their good friends go on furlough and leave them behind in Ukarumpa. MKs have to be excellent at adapting to change.

Activities…will your kids be able to play sports?

The next big question we’ve been getting is whether or not our children will be able to continue their sports/activities?

Ukarumpa has many activities that the kids can get plugged into. They have sports such as basketball, baseball, volleyball and track.

Band and Choir for our musically inclined children like Ariana our oldest…

And even barrel racing for the horse lovers!

There are plenty of ways for our children to cultivate their gifts and skills in Ukarumpa.


One of the saddest parts about leaving is that we will have to leave behind our beloved dog and cat. They are part of our family and it is so saddening to be leaving them behind. But our kids will have the opportunity to own some very interesting pets in PNG. When we were at Equip and the kids learned about PNG animals these were the pets they hope to bring home…

Ariana would like to have a cuscus for a pet…

A cuscus is a marsupial, similar in many ways to a possum. It primarily eats fruit, leaves and the occasional small bird. They are supposedly very sweet and shy and their fur is soft. They are commonly seen as household pets but do live in the wild in PNG.

Katrielle would like to own a pig…

And nope! The end.

Selah would prefer a Sugar Glider…

I’m with Selah, these little flying squirrels are super cute! and from what I understand, very affectionate.

We will have to wait and see what fun creatures come to live in the Zielinski household! But I can say, if Zion wants a snake for a pet, the answer will be emphatically NO!

Who needs a sandbox when you can play in the mud? (picture this…only no tarp, and just mud!)

In PNG it rains nearly every day, so mud is common place. This means more laundry for mom, but endless hours of muddy puddle fun, mud slides, building mud dams, you name it!

The Z Kids will be multilingual

One huge benefit from serving together as a family is the fact that the kids will be much faster at language learning than we are. They will be able to communicate, which will ultimately lead to better relationship building with the local Papua New Guineans. Plus they can help their mom get by in the market as I’m trying to shop for bananas!

So amid the difficulty of saying goodbye to family, friends and culture…the Z kids have much to look forward to as they step into their new lives in Papua New Guinea!

Just for fun…check out this PNG recipe! …Ariana will be learning to make this in the next few weeks…

If you want to try a fun traditional Papua New Guinean Dish check out this recipe for MUMU


  • 1 large Banana Leaf for cooking only not edible (I’m planning on using tin foil)
  • 2 bunches Kale
  • 2 Taro roots Peeled and cut up (may substitute a parsnip or cassava root)
  • 2 Green plantains peeled and cut up
  • 2 Sweet potatoes peeled and cut up
  • 2 lbs Chicken boneless skinless thighs, cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 lbs Pork belly cut into bite size pieces (may substitute pork shoulder)
  • 1 Pineapple cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 can Coconut milk
  • 2 Limes cut into wedges
  • 1 Tbsp Salt


  1. In a large aluminum pan Place a layer down of banana leaf.
  2. Next place a layer of Kale leaves
  3. Place the root vegetables and plantains, over the kale
  4. Next place the pork and chicken over the root vegetables
  5. Sprinkle the salt over the meat.
  6. Put the pineapple over the meat.
  7. Squeeze the lime quarters and throw them in as well after squeezing.
  8. Pour over the coconut milk
  9. Cover with the remaining kale and cover with the rest of the banana leaf.
  10. completely cover with a piece of aluminum foil.
  11. Place BBQ on high heat and let cook for about 1 hour. Open up to make sure that the meat is cooked through and root vegetables are tender. 

So…Papua New Guinea…Let’s talk about this…

Can you tell me what this phrase means in Tok Pisin??

kaikaim lewa bilong yu (lewa means liver, the liver is the emotional center in tok pisin, so any emotion pertains to the liver) So this literally translates, “bite liver of yours” and it means:

a) This belongs to you

b) Your hair is becoming

c)I’m completely devoted to you.

d) You need to get it together

(Email me if you want to know the answer!!

As we’ve been sharing with people our heart and passion for the people of Papua New Guinea, there have been a number of questions that keep being asked. The first being…

Question 1: “You’re moving to Papua New Guinea and you’ve NEVER been there before…aren’t you scared?”

Where in the world is PNG?? See the red circle just above Australia?

So to first answer that question…I have to be honest…there are many unknowns about packing up four children, saying goodbye to all we know and hold dear and moving into the jungle of Papua New Guinea to an entirely new culture and an entirely unknown set of circumstances.

Are we fearful? Not really…fear is the wrong operational term. We are excited about the opportunity to minister and bring the gospel forth, we are thrilled about the adventure, and yet we still have apprehensions about what to expect once we get there. When you feel called to go, the Lord gives you His peace, and that peace eases the fear of the unknown in a mighty way. We also can rest in knowing that ultimately He is the one in control over our circumstances

Question 2: The world’s a big place, how did you know you were called to Papua New Guinea?

For both Wojtek and Jen our calling started out general. We both loved the Lord and at an early age felt called out to serve Him in a full-term capacity. By our mid-teens we both knew that calling was global missions. Two years ago, the Lord gave us a tremendous burden for Bible translation and unreached people groups. This led us to Papua New Guinea. There are A LOT of Bibleless people groups in PNG. We didn’t know with certainty that we would end up in PNG but we felt very led that direction.

When Wojtek became a member with JAARS/Wycliffe in November, we were given four possible locations to serve. After praying about each location the Lord made it clear that for our family, our licenses/Visas as an pilot and a nurse, and just for the type of community we were seeking, PNG was the best fit for our family and giftedness.

Question 3: What will everyday life be like in Papua New Guinea?

Three days a week I,Jen, will probably be going shopping at the local “store” prior to heading in to her day at the clinic. The local market is open in the early morning and from what we understand is available Monday, Wednesday and Fridays. As you can see, I will be able to choose from an array of delicious produce, and I’m told they often have strawberries, which are not pictured. I will have to be extra prepared with my meal planning because if I forget an ingredient it’s not like it’ll still be open when I get off for the day.

Also, unlike here in the US, everything is prepared from scratch. So on Thanksgiving if I want to make a pumpkin pie, I must first buy the pumpkin, steam the pumpkin, make the crust from scratch and transform this lovely mess of squash and dough into a picturesque pumpkin pie…It may just be pie though, since I’m not certain I’ll be able to find a turkey! I’ve been told that it may be simpler and less expensive to purchase crocodile meat than poultry. I wonder how that will taste with mashed potatoes? There is a small shop as well that I can purchase American cereals and other imports for anywhere from $12-20 per box. I think most of our meats will be able to be purchased at that store as well. At that price I’m thinking we will NOT be eating cereal in PNG.

An Average Day…

The kids will head off to a day of learning in the K-12 American Standard School. Perhaps after school they will be playing in the school band, participating in soccer, or learning how to barrel race on the Ukarumpa horses? Not to mention, helping their mama keep up with the laundry and cooking!

Wojtek will head out to a day at the “office” where he will transport Bible Translators to the village, medivac the sick out, and wrangle with snakes in his spare time… When he’s not under snake attack he will be building relationships and brushing up on his Tok Pisin (the language we will be expected to learn)

And I-Jen, will head out for a day in the clinic to deal with malaria, dengue fever, chicken gunya and any other rare tropical diseases that may come my way. If I’m lucky I may also see the occasional prenatal visit, or wrap a burn or two since that seems to be my specialty! All the while praying for opportunities to share the love of Jesus with each of my patients.

After a long day at work and school we will return to our home. It will most likely look much like the one in the picture above. Eventually we will have the option to buy, but initially we will probably stay in a modular home like this and will rotate homes every 9-12 months as missionaries go on furlough and then return to Papua New Guinea. Pets are also shared in this manner….but stay tuned to hear what our children desire as their PNG pets!

There are still so many unknowns… like how do you prepare for holidays in PNG and still make it special for your kids? How can I pack/ship enough clothing and shoes for four years of growth? How can you keep an avid reader in books when you can only take two suitcases and then pay for shipping for the rest? How will you be prepared as a mother to return to Papua New Guinea and leave your oldest child for college? How do you you handle it when your children are sick with something rare and unknown?

These are the unknowns we think about and try to prepare for. These are the realities. But just as the Lord has given us peace when we needed it in preparing to move to the unknown, we know He will pave the way to sustain us through these future unknowns as well, because He always Was, Is and Will Be faithful.

Until the next time then! Stay tuned to catch the next post on more fun PNG facts…

Do My Prayers Really Matter?

As believers, prayer can be such a difficult concept and discipline to truly grasp and understand. When we believe that God is sovereign, prayer can sometimes feel antithetical to His Sovereignty. We hesitate to assume that our prayers actually accomplish anything more than aligning us with God’s thoughts and ways. However Scripture paints a much bigger picture of prayer and of God who created prayer as a means for us to communicate with Him and to bring our needs and requests before Him. In James it states:

There are countless other verses on prayer including:

1 Chronicles 16:11– Look to the Lord and His Strength; Seek His face always.

Ephesiahs 6:18 -And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Romans 12:12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

And while it is safe to assume that God uses many of our prayers to direct us in line with His ways and His will, there is an aspect to prayer that is beyond our finite understanding. If you watched the short video above you can see evidence of WHEN God’s people started praying about a specific Bibleless people group, at that very time God began to move in hearts and lives and a tremendous work was started to further Bible Translation.

I love the story about Sam in the video, who was only 5 years old when he began to fervently pray for a specific Bibleless people group. The very year he started praying, God started moving in the heart a translator and gave him a passion and a burden to go and serve that specific people group! The faith and prayers of one child created a ripple effect that resulted in the people of Easter Island getting the Bible in their language!

What if, many years ago someone like Sam began praying for the people of Papua New Guinea and God used those prayers instrumentally when we received our call to missions. It’s more than just coincidence that Wojtek and I each received a call to missions the same year at the age of 14 and 18, but on different continents before we even knew one another.

What if… We had a team of people like Sam and the others in the video who actively engaged in intercessory prayer for our ministry with Wycliffe in PNG. What mountains will be moved between now and when we leave to raise up our Partnership Team? What wisdom will the Lord give us and opportunities for ministry we will have as a result of faithful fervent prayer? I wish I had the insight to see the ripples of impact prayer is and will have on our Wycliffe ministry and for the people of Papua New Guinea.

Your prayers make a difference! God hears you and He delights in when you spend time talking with Him and sharing your requests with Him. As we prepare to go to Papua New Guinea we are earnestly searching for a team of people who will step forward and say YES to praying for our family and our ministry regularly. We have seen first hand how powerful this is and we wouldn’t dare GO without the power of prayer behind us. If you feel called by the Lord to participate in our Wycliffe ministry as our prayer partners please let us know you’d like to be on our prayer team!

And as much as we appreciate your prayers and need prayer warriors as part of our ministry team, we also are honored to be able to lift your requests up before the throne as well. Shoot us an email if we can be praying for you this week!

Starfish and New Testaments

I’m sure you can recollect the well told story about the old man who was taking his daily walk along the beach, when he spotted a young boy crouched by the water, scooping up something from the sand and throwing it back into the ocean. As he got closer, he realized the boy was repeatedly stooping, scooping and throwing little stranded starfish back into the ocean.

Eventually he questioned him saying…”what are you doing there, boy?” The boy replied, I’m saving these stranded starfish. If they stay on the beach they will dry out and die, so I’m putting them back into the ocean so they can live.”

The old man was silent, and then quietly chided the child. “Young man, there are thousands of starfish on this beach and it goes for miles and miles. I hate to say it, but you will never make a difference.”

The Boy replied…”Well I just made a difference for THIS starfish,” and continued on with his work.

As believers it can be easy to feel a lot like that old man, and think wow…there are 1.5 billion people in this world who STILL do not have access to the whole Bible in a language they understand.  That is A LOT of starfish.     But as Christians…every life we touch with the gospel, every stranger we clothe and minister to, every person who is encouraged by our faith…they are starfish.  Saved one by one from their path of destruction and given a new lease on life. 

However, today I’m not writing to discourage you, or make you feel like we are only accomplishing a drop in the bucket of Scripture translation. Instead, I am SO excited to share with you the number of New Testaments that were dedicated by Wycliffe Translators in the month of April alone!!  The month of April was like a giant wave that dragged a whole ton of those little starfish back to the safety of the sea.

April 2019:

  • Xamtanga New Testament on April 1-5, 2019
    • Location: Ethiopia.
    • Population: 300,000.
  • Ngombale New Testament on April 27, 2019
    • Location: Cameroon.
    • Population: 105,000.
  • Romblomanon New Testament on April 27, 2019
    • Location: Philippines.
    • Population: 120,000.
  • Kandas New Testament on April 28, 2019
    • Location: Papua New Guinea.
    • Population: 700.

When you do the math that is 525,700 souls who now have access to the Word of God in a language they understand!  That’s A LOT of people who like the starfish in the story above were thrown back with a new lease on life. 

Please join with us in prayer:

 -Praise the Lord for these translations and pray that these communities are transformed by the power of the gospel.

-Pray for the Bibleless people groups around the world! 

Your prayers really do make a difference for both the one and the many!

And also, please consider joining us in tossing starfish back into the ocean by partnering with us in our Wycliffe ministry to see this life altering work extend to the people of Papua New Guinea as we prepare to Go. 

The Last Translator…

I have read this passage from Matthew 24:14 dozens of times and part of me has always seen that as an unattainable goal! With over 7,000 language groups, and half having any portion of scripture translated it seems like such an insurmountable task.

Check out these scripture access stats HERE

And yet the more I see the state of our world and its depravity, the more I yearn for Christ’s return and for the event promised in Revelation 7:9
“After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.”

To me this has always seemed like a distant and lofty goal. Like a yeah…maybe someday… kind of goal. However, after visiting the Wycliffe Center in Orlando we came across this amazing painting:

The Last Translator

At first glance this painting may not catch your eye. But I found myself coming back to it again…and again…

Wycliffe believes that this Last Translator is very likely alive on this Earth today, which means that ALL NATIONS could be reached with the Word of God during our lifetime!

Due to advancements in Bible Translation and in technology, including aviation ministry, translation is SO much faster than it was in previous years. The motto used to be: one missionary, one tribe, one language, one lifetime. Meaning, translating the Bible was your life’s work. It took 65 years to translate the first 500 Bibles, but only took 20 years to complete the next 500 translations In other words, things look insurmountable when you think of thousands of languages needing the Bible, but in reality, things are moving right along.

Wycliffe’s vision 2025 goal is to have a translation project started in ALL languages of the world. So it is very possible that the Very last translator is alive and on this Earth and that in the near future we will see the completion of Matthew 24:14

As my sweet daughter asked me… “Mom could I be the last translator?” I replied to her…it’s possible! We all have a role to play to further Christ’s kingdom on this earth. And I will say the same to you! You could be the last translator, or you could be a participant in getting him or her on the field! What role are you being called to play to reach the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

So Why Can’t People Just Learn The Trade Language To Understand the Bible??

There is a recurring theme when I’m talking to people about the need for bible translation and for hearing the bible in the language of the heart….Here in the United States we speak English. We live in a huge country, with one primary language. So it is easy to expect foreigners who come to the U.S. to learn English and assimilate into OUR culture. There is often even an intolerance to speakers of other languages within the borders of the U.S. if they don’t also speak English….  

What percentage of understanding must a person have to be considered fluent??

If someone is 70% fluent…do you think they understand enough to get around? 80%? I think most would consider 80% fluency to be pretty decent…. However, if you lose 20% of the context of more difficult words…even this much loss of understanding can distort the message of the Bible.

Consider the implications this level of understanding has for the crux of the gospel message..John 3:16

If you only understand 80% of a language, this means you have to remove 5 words from John 3:16. 5 words may not seem like a lot, but consider the words that are the most difficult to understand for someone who is trying to hear about the Gospel in a language other than their heart language…

If I had to pick…I personally feel that the word love, gave, believes, perish, and eternal are difficult to understand. In many languages these word can have different meanings based on context, so could easily be lost in the translation….

This leaves us with: For God so the world that He his only Son so that everyone who in Him may not but may have life.

So what’s missing?

The Gospel.

If we can’t bring the word of God to people in the language of their heart, crucial components of God’s love for us, and His sacrifice on the cross, and our need for a savior are lost in translation. Without that…we certainly aren’t giving a gospel of good news.

To give you perspective….in the United states we have over 100 translations!! I personally have over 17 Bibles of various translations in my home…. Even though I could only find 13 for the picture…

So needless to say….with 1.5 billion people around the world not having the living and active Word of God in a language that they can understand… the harvest is many and the workers are few. There is a TON of work to be done.

What can WE do….

Pray…pray that the the Lord of the Harvest will raise up workers

Send…If you want to know how to come alongside by financially partnering with us in our ministry with wycliffe visit our partner with us page

Go….We are ALL called to respond to the great commission. Ask the Lord of the harvest if you are to respond with Samuel’s response and say “here am I, send me.”

Wholistic Nursing Care Leads to Soul Care

Years ago I had the privilege of working alongside my mother-in-law in a small make-shift clinic with a dirt floor and a straw roof in East Africa. There as I acted as her “nurse” (before ever attending nursing school) I helped her bandage wounds, care for infections, treat spinal TB and while doing so share the love of Jesus Christ with these poor, hurting individuals. In them I saw so much more than a patient with serious physical need. I saw a soul hungering to be ministered to in both body, mind and soul. In those moments in that small dark clinic, Jesus revealed to me how to become the hands and feet of Christ in missions ministry.

This is a picture of my mother-in-law caring for the sick in East Africa 2007.

Fast Forward some years…a bachelors degree in nursing….a husband skilled in missionary aviation and a passion for unreached people group… this small seed that was planed 12 years ago in a bush clinic in East Africa is coming to fruition in a different location, with different people groups, but with the same needs and desperation and yearning for so much more than physical care.

The clinic in Ukarumpa PNG

We have known we were called to Papua New Guinea for almost two years now, and over time the passion and heart for the people there has blossomed inside of each of us. Wojtek’s ministry will look different from mine, but both have the ultimate goal of furthering the work of Bible Translation and reaching the people there with the Good News of Jesus.

This last week I had the privilege of speaking to one of the physicians located at the Ukarumpa clinic in Papua New Guinea (PNG).  He shared with me the incredible operation they have there and how the clinic has partnered with the PNG government to increase the accessibility to health care to the Papua New Guineans in an extremely underserved area.  The medical services are offered to the Papua New Guineans at a very subsidized rate enabling them to seek care when in the past this had not been an option to them.   The clinic also ministers to the missionaries and their families keeping them vibrant, healthy and able to keep on serving in their roles. Currently the clinic operates with 5 doctors on staff, 2 Physical Therapists, 3 dentists and a small handful of nurses. They have a high-tech microscope for lab diagnostics, digital x-ray and diagnostic ultrasound available.   

One of the things I learned that really struck a cord with me is how many patients are presenting with serious burns due to cook fire injuries, as well as dehydration and more serious diseases such as TB, HIV, meningitis, malaria, cholera and various other tropical disease nightmares.  The nurse in me is itching to get over there and make a difference by helping these people who are suffering! 

Certainly, the physical needs are many, and the workers are few and overworked considering the number of patients needing care.  But what a better way to be the hands of feet of Jesus then to minister to the physical needs of both the local people and the missionaries residing on and near Ukarumpa. 

Jesus was our primary example of healing the physical body in order to minister to the soul as it says in Matthew 9:35 “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.”   Healing was a vital part of Jesus ministry.   He fed the multitudes, he cared for the physical needs of his disciples, and he healed the sick, lame and blind.  

While we may not possess supernatural healing powers, we do possess the skills and resources to touch the physical body and make it whole again.  When a person is ailing and physically troubled, there is little stamina left to care about their own soul.  However, when the physical body has been rejuvenated that individual can then make room in their lives to hear and then respond to the life changing gospel message of the Bible. 

Please join with me in praying for the medical ministry at PNG!  And pray for me (Jen) as I further my skills and knowledge to be prepared to join this amazing medical team.  

If you have any questions feel free to give me a shout!

The Journey Begins…

Thank you for those of you who were praying!! In November 2018 Wojtek completed and PASSED his 2-week long technical evaluation of his pilot and mechanic skills. This was no small feat. He had to essentially prove he was level headed and skilled enough to land and take off on a 600 ft grass strip in the bush and be adaptable to all sorts of scenarios and changes. He nailed it!

We were really in prayer about this eval, because essentially the Lord could have either opened or closed the door to missions at this juncture. We were at total peace going into it, knowing that the Lord’s plan is always the best, but we were willing to go overseas should He open that door.

Doors flung open…

Once we were officially accepted as part of JAARS, which is the flying arm of Wycliffe Bible Translators we then had the challenge of selecting a site. We had originally felt pulled towards PNG, but the process of selection solidified that choice for us. Ideally we wanted a location where we both could serve. Wojtek as a pilot/mechanic working to progress the Bible translation work, and Jen as an RN, ministering to the physical and spiritual needs of the people there. In order for us both to work we both had to be able to get visas AND there needed to be an acceptable school for our kids. PNG fit ALL of these things for us. Not to mention….

Is home to over 800 languages!!!! out of those 800 languages, the majority have NO portion of Scripture translated into their native tongue, the language of their heart. As a result, there is a TON of work to be done in PNG. And with no roads to connect the villages, aviation becomes a necessary support to the linguists who are going out into the bush to learn the native languages and to give them the Word of God.