Hanna’s Newsletter June 2014

By Hanna Schulz

Thank you for your prayers and joining me on this journey. The last month has been full of many small things that add up to a lot going on. My primary task is still looking at options for where to work long term.

Thank you for your prayers and joining me on this journey. The last month has been full of many small things that add up to a lot going on. My primary task is still looking at options for where to work long term. I continue this process by meeting with other translators who are at a similar stage of decision making. We’ve continued hearing from regional directors about possibilities and priorities in their areas of PNG and are looking more closely into one or two options. There are still three regions we have not had time to hear from.

One of the options we are looking at is among the Nomu, Sialum, Gitua and Kumukio languages, along the coast from Sialum station in Morobe Province. We have met with others working in that area to hear their stories and are planning towards a visit there later this year. This visit will be a chance for us to find out more about the people, churches and languages in the area. We also hope to run a workshop (maybe in song writing) to encourage the people. Please pray for the many details which need to come together for this trip to happen and for good contacts in the area.

As part of the process of planning for this trip, five of us are heading to Lae for three days to meet with ELCPNG (Evangelical Lutheran Church of PNG) leaders while representatives of the LCA International Mission board are in town. PNG is a relational country, so meeting leaders through already established relationships is the best way to connect. The Sialum area of Morobe is a traditionally Lutheran area, so we are hoping that this meeting will help smooth the way for our visit there. Please pray for this meeting and that communication is clear as well as for safe travel as we drive down tomorrow (Wednesday) and back up on Friday.

The trip is also a chance for Catherine, Rebekah, Inga, Susie and myself to get to know each other better. Increasingly, translation work is done with a team approach, so although Catherine and I still intend on partnering, this could well be as part of a larger team. Please pray that as we travel, live, shop, relax and have meetings together, that we will be able to get to know each other well and see what strengths and weaknesses we have. Shopping is a least favourite activity of mine, so it will probably highlight my grumpy side… I guess honesty is good in the team building process! When we return from our Lae trip, a colleague here will be guiding us through some team building times, to reflect on what might – or might not!- work between us.

Another area we are interested in is with several languages in Gulf Province. I worked in one of these languages (Koriki) over Christmas. The Pettersons have worked in that area for about 30 years, but are currently the only ones working with about 12 languages. If we were to join them in that region, we could continue the work they have started, expand into new areas and help carry an enormous load. We intend to go to Gulf Province with the Pettersons at the end of July for a few weeks. This is another trip with lots of planning still to be done! Please pray for all the details that need to come together for us to visit there and wisdom in knowing if it is where we  should serve long term.

My secondary task at the moment, working with Barbara on the Ngaing grammar paper, has been progressing slowly but well. Barbara is about to return to the village to collect, transcribe and gloss more stories for us to use as part of the analysis. Please pray that this will be a productive time for her.

All of the uncertainty of decision making has been wearing me down. I like to have a plan, so have been feeling lost in the fog of unknowns. I am working at trusting God for each step on the journey, even when the length of the road to a decision is unknown, as are the number of twists and turns before the way is clear. Complicating the process is that Catherine is slowly recovering from a shoulder injury. The challenge of living with an injury gives her less energy for decision making, as well as meaning we keep all plans very loose, as we do not want to do anything to make it worse. Please pray for healing for Catherine and peace of mind for both of us as we continue down this twisty and foggy path.

Yet again, I have not managed to write a prayer update of succinct points, but have painted you a picture of life and ministry in all its complexity. Thank you for reading to the end and for praying as you see fit.

Blessings from Hanna.

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