The Rev. Jeffrey Horn, and his wife, Lora, are new LCMS missionaries in Papua New Guinea. Here's a recent post from Horn about his time there so far.
Hello world. It's been weeks since I have been on to post. Learning so many new things about life in PNG that its hard to know what to say sometimes.
But in the interest if keeping up communication, here are 10 things I can tell you about life in Papua New Guinea:
1. It is so beautiful here! The interplay of mountains, jungle, gardens, sunlight, clouds, rain, flowers, fruit, animals and people is amazing. No two days look exactly alike. Can't wait to see tomorrow!
2. U2 is the perfect soundtrack for driving around PNG. Sometimes I feel like we are in a Rattle and Hum video.
3. Sunlight here is thick. You could cut off a slice of it, chew it, and spit out flowers.
4. It is very cold here at night. It has regularly dropped into the high 40s at night. In addition to three blankets on the bed, we put hot water bottles at our feet. My pajamas have more layers than a crescent roll. But when the sun comes back in the morning all is forgotten.
5. Almost anything can grow here. Remember that scene in the Narnian Chronicles (The Magician's Nephew) where toffee candies are dropped on the ground and toffee trees grow up? Yeah, it's like that.
6. The big exception to point five is grapes. They struggle to grow here. As a result, wine for communion is very expensive. 50 kina, or about $25 per bottle. This is very hard for poor congregations to afford. A pastor I met has to spend two days in travel and most of two Sunday offerings to get one bottle of wine for the Lord's Supper. Some of the really remote areas have it much harder. I have heard reports of it being years between times when the elements are available for Communion. Something can and should be done about this. I will tell you more about some possible helps later.
7. Driving in PNG is an adventure. You might think the steering wheel on the right side, and directions reversed on the roads is a challenge. That was actually easy. What is challenging is that the main highway is two lanes. Very little of it has lanes painted on it. The gutters at the side do the road are a foot wide and a foot deep. My tires have nitemares of falling into one. Often cliffs rise upon one side of the road and gorges drop on the other. You are almost always climbing, descending, or curving, which makes passing an adventure. You are likely to find people, pigs, dogs, children, goats, or a semitruck around any turn. Landslides are a serious possibility on any particular day. Potholes are so frequent that the surface of the moon has sued the Highlands Highway for copyright infringement. We drive past one pothole daily that could give the Grand Canyon an inferiority complex. When the fog settles in at night it can seem like you are driving upstream in a river. That's no joke. While we have not encountered them yet, bandits and road blocks are also a sincere possibility. Bridges can be an adventure. When you drive along the road most people will wave and smile at you, and we wave back and shout hello. If I do that to pedestrians back in LA they will lock me up for observation. But with all that, driving in PNG makes you feel alive! Every trip is an adventure, and often has stunning sights as a bonus.
8. Tea rocks! It is seriously comforting. We all drink it.
9. Whenever you go to a meal and are served a warm coke, you can be sure that you are in an interesting place and you will remember the meal when you are old. Speaking of sodas... They are so much better here. They taste like the sodas of my childhood. They are made with sugar and not many chemicals. Yummy!
9. We are eating well and losing weight like crazy. Two months - two belt notches.
10. There is so much work to do here. There is so much work to do here. There is so much work to do here. Good work. Preaching Christ crucified. Teaching good doctrine. Preparing solid new Lutheran pastors. Edifying pastors and evangelists in the field. Confronting false doctrine. Protecting the little sheep. Building relationships. There is so much work to do. I thank God for the privilege of living and serving here. There are so many amazing people here!
I could go on, but it's time for bed. Thank you for praying for us. We need it very much. God give you joy in Christ!
Learn more about Horn here: http://www.lcms.org/horn.