Papua, New Guinea

Half a century halfway around the world

In the Pettygrove household August is birthday month; Jodi, our two boys and myself. Our two girls decided before they were born that they wanted to have their personal merriment day held independently and thus were born outside of birthday month.

Half a century: I will not take the time here to weary you with reflective thoughts on turning 50. According to my kids I would just repeat stories that I didn’t remember telling before and therefore reinforce their notion that I am getting older. Bah…

Where was I? …. oh yes, halfway around the world: One huge advantage to being a missionary is the perception of community. This is true in many aspects of life but I want to focus in on being a Wycliffe missionary and the community I felt during our birthday month.

First, for Elijah’s birthday we had a fellow Wycliffe member in the States help with sending us some things that Elijah needed / wanted a few months ago. In that parcel was included an unsolicited b-day present for Elijah. Elijah loved it and you will have to ask him what it was. For my birthday we had a fellow Wycliffe family that we had started our training with in the States come and watch me open up
gifts that our children had sent. Their two girls brought me some candy as a present, yum :) We had cake and coffee that was yummy too. When Jodi’s b-day was approaching I again thought of our friends and invited them back. Some other Wycliffe members who are language workers came back from the village.
We have come to know these young ladies and Jodi feels community with them so out goes the invite.
Another young lady teacher who is from WI and now knows our oldest daughter was needed to make the party complete and so it was.

I had the people but due to being a man, preparations were lacking. I had to ask one of the young ladies to make the cake. She went over to our family friends and got some supplies. I did not have a good plan for the frosting and the cake ended up getting frosted by a guest during the party. Also our family friends made tortilla chips so we had something to dip in the salsa. Good thing to have when you are having a taco dinner. All in all it was a community party.

Missionary life is full of hellos and goodbyes more than the average life. We are here with our friends now but already our furloughs are being planned at different times. However, maybe in another 50 years
we will find ourselves back on the other half of the world coming together for birthday month repeating stories to each other that we don’t remember telling before.

The truth is… We will always have community.

(more pictures on the Picture Page)

Leave a Reply