By Brian Paris
My wife and I are currently in the US on furlough enjoying our family and American food! The primary reason for this furlough was to be near family when our first child was born. The secondary reason was to share with churches and individuals about our work in PNG; both what we did during our first term and what we will be doing when we return. One of the most exciting parts of sharing about our ministry during the summertime is being part of youth camps where we can engage kids in missions. Earlier this summer my father presented our ministry at a camp of 3rd and 4th graders that he was directing. Each day of the week he spent 30 minutes sharing about Papua New Guinea and our work there. A couple of weeks later he was given a check that was a one-time gift for our ministry; he didn’t know the source of the gift until later and what he found out was a huge encouragement to us.
One of the campers had gone home, printed pictures from PNG and glued them to a shoe box. He then took the decorated box to his church where he asked people to give to ‘the ministry in PNG’. It was the money he gathered that was given as a one-time gift. It’s humbling to have someone so young do all he can to help. On furlough it’s easy for us to be discouraged because we’re far away from the closest thing to home we can call on this earth: PNG. Interactions like this remind us of the importance to connect the ministry in PNG with the church family here at home and we are deeply touched to have the prayers of this camper behind us as we look to return.
Brian Paris is a sociolinguistic surveyor.