Thick skin & soft heart

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Last week we were taught by Hannah Peart about 'Missions'. What a hero that woman is! Hannah started studying nursing after high school and after graduating (15 years ago) she started working full-time as a nurse in the mission field. We enjoyed her great stories and wise lessons on how to reach people with a totally different cultural background and worldview.

We learned that 'missions' is not just 'helping poor people', it is all about relationships and changing lives by putting people in touch with God. It's great when people become Christians and give their lives to Jesus! But once you are gone they are on your own. That is why it is essential not only to evangelize, but also to disciple; spending time doing life together, teaching biblical principles for life, train in how to understand God's voice themselves and to be dependent on Him (instead of depending on Western people).

In addition to amazing miracles and cool things, you will also see and experience harrowing, painful and heartbreaking situations on the mission field. An appropriate prayer that Hannah often prays is: "Give me a thick skin and a soft heart". She also taught us how important it is to really connect with people, to interact with them and get to know them. In this way you will find out how you can connect to their experience, so that you can transfer information much better.

We also thought about poverty. Poverty is not only a lack of things, but much deeper; broken relationships. Poverty is rooted in lies and can be remedied with truth. There is a big difference between 'felt needs' such as skills, trends, holidays, entertainment, etc. and 'real needs' such as relationships, safety, protection, stability, etc. By making a translation from the felt needs to the real needs, you achieve so much more! For example, by playing & interacting with children who are bored and in need of entertainment, you can also meet their deeper need for community and relationship.

In addition to the classes, daily work in the kitchen, homework & other meetings, we had a Christmas Karaoke night on Monday, together with the whole base! We highly enjoyed the great (sometimes a bit off key) performances!

Tuesday we gathered with our outreach team to ask God which 4 villages in Papua New Guinea we can best go to (the first 4 weeks in PNG we'll be on land, going to a different place every week. The last 3 weeks we'll stay on the ship where we will go to a different island every day (by smaller boats) to provide medical care.)

Friday evening we went to the market with our outreach team to hand out flyers, dressed as the 'wise men from the East' (big heads and costumes) to invite people to the Stable On The Strand (SOTS) event; because next week is already the last week before we have our Australian outreach! From December 16 - 22 we will help with the organization of SOTS. This is a huge Christmas event (>1000 volunteers) with a large Bethlehem stable, Christmas market, large stage with music, lots of entertainment for the kids, food, etc. We have signed up for various shifts; I will be active in the emergency room, selling drinks, henna body art, animal handling (camels, goats, etc.), coffee, tea and hospitality.

Next week we will be taught by David McDaniel, I am curious!

Thanks for your lovely messages and support! I thoroughly enjoy life here on the base and preparing for the outreach! I can't wait to actually get to PNG! I will keep you informed 🙂

December 8, 2019

1 Comment

  1. Erik van Halsema

    Nice to read all your news again, good luck with the preparation for the outreach!

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