It is with great sadness that we announce we will be returning to the USA, leaving Papua New Guinea on Friday October 27. Bishop Bill believes that a new Bishop, who may be announced the first of 2019, may want a completely new staff and so believes we have fulfilled our purpose here. As we prepare to return, we give thanks to God for blessing us with friends while here. They have become part of the fabric of our lives and we will miss them.
We have been blessed to make some very special friends here in Papua New Guinea and would like to introduce them to our family and friends at home.
Bishop William Fey invited Lay Mission Helpers to send Helpers to the Diocese of Kimbe and he was thrilled when 3 “wontoks” arrived. Bishop Bill has been a mentor and a friend. He became very ill in early July and returned to Kimbe from the USA today, October 20. Everyone has missed him and is grateful for his recovery and return. Continued prayers are requested for his continued health and that he takes care of himself.
Father Gabriel Tovo, Vicar General of the Diocese of Kimbe, has been a friend, sounding board and supporter. He is a gentleman in every sense of the word. This man has contacts everywhere in Papua New Guinea and also has a position on one of the local government boards.
The priests of the Diocese have all welcomed us. We have been blessed to spend time with Fr. Yarek (you met him in a couple of earlier blogs), Fr. Gregory and Fr. Jack (also in an earlier blog) from Poland and Fr. Joseph from Uganda. Father Joseph, Father Michael and so many of the PNG priests have welcomed us and are happy to have us as part of the Diocese Family.
Sister Mary Agnes Tuharus, Sister Bernadette Kinakava and Sister Marilyn Babe, Most Sacred Heart Sisters (MSC) Sister Mary Agnes leads morning prayer each day and has helped us learn Tok Pisin (we are not as conversant as we should be, but we are trying) and she is the seamstress everyone goes to for help. She developed polio as a child (Polio is making a comeback in PNG and the government is pushing vaccinations) and she told me she was blessed with an uncle and a teacher who took time to work with her, so she can walk. Her uncle worked with her each time he visited the family, making her move her legs and strengthen her muscles. A teacher spent time with her during school recesses when she could not play with other children in games, by helping her get exercise. Today her only limitation is that her legs tire easily and she cannot stand for long periods. Such a great example of perseverance!Sister Bernadette invited Danita and me (Karen) to Rabaul with her this summer and we had a wonderful time. Sister Bernadette is full of love and laughter. We call her Sister Giggles and she loves it, makes her giggle even more. Sister Bernadette’s uncle is Cardinal John, the first Papua New Guinea Cardinal. Someday we hope to meet him.
Sister Benedict, Sister Sara Park, Sister Florentina Cho, Sister Lomero, Caritas Sisters (SCG) The Caritas Sisters are a force to be reckoned with! Sisters Sara and Florentina arrived in Kimbe just over two years ago to start and develop Caritas Secondary School. Now they have over 500 hundred girls and next year even more! They are also beginning to build more classrooms and are very active in the Diocese. Sister Benedict is the first Papua New Guinean to become a Caritas Sister and, as you can tell from the picture, brings life and laughter with her. Sister Lomero arrived approximately the same time as Danita, Ron and me, arriving with no English; Danita and I are working with her to strengthen her English.
All these ladies have welcomed Ron, Danita and me with open arms and have held us in their prayers.
Deacons to Be: Boniface, Chris and Joseph were among the first we met upon arrival. Boniface and Chris, along with Deacon Chris, journeyed with us our first weekend to spend Palm Sunday in Kaliai. I do not have pictures of Chris and Joseph.
So many others have made us feel welcome it is difficult to list them all but the include Simon at Liamo Reef, Summer at Apple Mango, Chris and Nick at RMI, Joseph, Principal of Ponini Technical School and so many others!
As always, thank you to our wonderful friends at home for holding us in their prayers and supporting us in so many ways. You are included in our daily prayers with thanksgivings for the blessings you have showered upon us.
O, Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything!