Hanna’s Newsletter April 2015

By Hanna Schulz

Each month before I write this email I check the last prayer update or newsletter that I sent out for what I might need to update you on. A lot can happen in a month!

Hello All,

Each month before I write this email I check the last prayer update or newsletter that I sent out for what I might need to update you on. A lot can happen in a month!

I sent my last newsletter out in the midst of a month of meetings. Our regional meeting of those who work in Hela, Western or Gulf Province was an encouraging time of hearing stories from various projects. It is good to also hear about the challenges others have faced as it gives me insight into what happens in different places and how people have dealt with it. Our Branch conference was also a good time of sharing stories, praying and reflecting. There were no big decisions to be made at this conference, so instead the time was taken to reflect on the changing face of missions and what this means for us in our work here. There were many good discussions and I enjoyed catching up with friends who are based in another part of the country.

During conference something personally momentous happened, as I was given a house. Robyn (Australia) and Lisbeth (Sweden) have worked in PNG since the 1980s as linguist translators. They worked with the Ramoaaina people on Duke of York Island, dedicating that New Testament in 2007. Since then they have been supporting the Old Testament translation work in Ramoaaina as well as the New Testament translation teams in Label, Kandas and Fanamaket languages. As they are now based full time in Kokopo (East New Britain province) they no longer need their Ukarumpa home and decided to give it to me. It is both overwhelming and exciting to now have a Ukarumpa home to call my own for as long as I remain working in this country and organisation.

At the same time, I have been getting ready to return to the Kope people in Gulf Province and start the serious language learning phase of my work there. There has been a lot of preparation involved as I organise a HF radio and solar power supply, food for two months, nails etc. for the building of my village house, language learning materials and a seemingly endless list of tasks and items.

I will be away for two months from April 22 (this Wednesday) to June 18. This time will be a few days at Kapuna hospital with the Pettersons, three weeks in Ubuo village, a few days break with Beth at Kikori hospital, another three weeks in the village and then another few days at Kapuna. During the first week I am back in Gulf, the new YWAM medical ship will be arriving, which is exciting. We still do not know when the Jesus Film will be ready to launch in the Kope language, but I hope that it will  be during the next two months. Please be praying for the post-production process and for the people to be ready to receive the film.

On June 12 the Pettersons and I will fly to Port Moresby to attend the Linguistic Society of PNG (LSPNG) annual conference. One of the keynote speakers at LSPNG this year is John Clifton, the man who worked with the Kope in the 1980s. I’m looking forward to meeting him and discussing the Kope language with him. I’ll also be taking the time in Port Moresby to catch up with friends from other missions.

I am more nervous than excited about this trip. A friend just described language learning as ‘attempting to eat a mountain with a teaspoon’, which I thought was the perfect picture. I’m standing with my little spoon, staring at a mountain of words, tone, phrases, context and confusion and am feeling overwhelmed. I know that I’m about to step into having less language than a toddler and a lot of cultural questions too. It is going to be difficult and exhausting. It will drive me to tears at times and I’ll need regular afternoon naps. Knowingly stepping from being a competent adult into the role of a child is intimidating. Deep end, here I come!

Yet, it will be okay. I am going into this with training in language learning, supportive friends and colleagues, and a welcoming and encouraging local community. I go knowing that this first trip will linguistically be one of the hardest, but that it will be the foundation for relationships and work for many years, so is totally worth it. I also go trusting in God who is is Immanuel.

Thank you for coming with me on this journey, for supporting and encouraging me with prayer, finances, emails and notes. I’ll have limited access to emails while I am in the village and do not intend to send out a May prayer update. I will send out a June update in the week after I return on June 18 and a newsletter in July. In the meantime, please keep an eye on my blog, as I have written a number of posts that are scheduled to be posted online every second week while I am away.


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