Saturday, November 21, 2009

A visit with friends

This morning two PNG friends stopped by to visit. They brought us kau kau (sort of like potatoes), cabbage and passion fruit.  We offered hot tea and popcorn.  We sat on the back porch and admired the kittens.  (The grandma cat of the kittens that were born a couple of weeks ago had 4 kittens night before last!)


It’s interesting to compare notes on American life versus PNG life.  My Tok Pisin language skills are limited so every once in a while I act something out that I don’t know how to express – they get a good laugh out of that. 


Today we talked about childbirth.  I was explaining how the husband is typically in the room encouraging the mom.  They said they tell the men to get away.  I told them about pain medicine such as epidurals.  They said they just tell the woman to bite her teeth and deal with it.  God gave women pain and He’ll take it back.  In other words it won’t last forever.  One of the ladies said that sometimes the roof practically comes down with the yelling. 


Paul joined us after a while and we got to talking about how in America people often let their animals  stay in their houses, wash them, brush them… there’s even a special hospital for animals.  You should have seen the looks on their faces.  It really sounded silly telling these things to PNG ladies.   For us it’s normal but sitting here in this context it sounded ridiculous! 


We feel like we’re on a different planet sometimes.  At a glance life in the center can seem somewhat similar to America:  regular houses, a store, school, clinic, post office, etc. and yet there are unseen pressures and immense cultural differences.  Some of the Papua New Guineans in this area are followers of Jesus.  I’m really looking forward to getting to know these brothers and sisters in Christ  on a deeper level in heaven where the language and cultural differences won’t hinder deep fellowship.


One thing that will be different this year is Thanksgiving.  The kids have school and everyone works as usual.  For a second I wondered what was up with that but my brain adjusted to the fact that Thanksgiving is an American holiday.    We have a lot to be thankful for – most of all the gift of eternal life that Jesus has given us.  I took a nap this afternoon and dreamt that Jesus was washing my laundry.  That might sound a little sacrilegious or strange but in fact Jesus has washed my “dirty laundry”,  getting rid of every stain and washing me clean!


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