It has been nearly two years (usually six months) since Poul Joensen made a trip to Papua New Guinea. Poul and Carol’s hearts have been burdened to be with the Sorimi people and church again. God has opened that door! They are trusting God amidst the uncertain circumstances of covid, where changes can cause delays or extra costs etc. However, they believe in order to teach and encourage the growing church overseas, this is a new way to “count the cost for His name’s sake” to travel under restrictions that are with us for a while, balancing it with wisdom. A team of mission personnel in PNG coordinate the in/out travels of missionaries, do official administration on their behalf and follow the covid situation, etc. They set specific dates, for groups of missionaries to arrive at Port Moresby (PNG capital). Then the NTM Kodiak plane flies everyone to Goroka town, followed by a short drive to the Lapilo headquarters, where Poul will isolate as it is an approved quarantine centre.
Plans for a trip had to begin at fairly short notice, so in June Poul started his visa application and various paperwork. Thankfully, it was accomplished quite quickly! He finally booked his flight late August. Since then, there has been many ongoing details to accomplish before departure, like covid tests at the right timings with flights, accommodation, domestic flights, shopping for food and supplies, etc. Following quarantine, Poul has three main goals during his time in PNG:
*He will fly to Sorimi for three weeks to do church discipleship and translation with his helpers. They expect the people will have many personal needs and requests after being without a missionary for so long. They hope his tiny ‘cabin’ isn’t overrun by insects or rodents and mold; also that solar panels will enable some electricity for computer work. He has a double burner stove top, no fridge, but a flushing toilet and running water if the water tank and pipe work is fine!
**He and three Sorimi men fly to Wewak town, spending two weeks doing a final translation check with the consultant. Pray things go well, with time and energy to get everything checked as planned! (see pie chart).
***The remaining time of about three weeks in Wewak. A few other men will fly out from Sorimi to help Poul work on other drafts of Scripture, which he began translating in the UK. They will also implement corrections from the check; this should bring the NT to 81% complete in the heart language of the Sorimi people!
Pray that PNG remains amber so Poul can return to UK to isolate at home rather than in a government approved hotel. Poul will be gone from home for eleven weeks, including travel time. He has a satellite phone in Sorimi and email other times, so Carol can stay in touch. It keeps her quite busy in various ways as she can often help from a distance with needs that arise. She will also be involved at North Cotes College and be a tutor for a few single ladies and looks forward to getting to know and encourage them through this year of their missionary training.
There are many preparations to do before Poul’s departure. Thank you for your support through prayer for travel and ministry, and being a part of the team to establish the Sorimi church and bring them God’s Word in their tongue!