Back in the village

In August André and Aurélie Tousch and family left the village where they serve in Papua New Guinea and went to the mission centre in the Highlands of PNG, first for a two week break and then to prepare more Bible translation. André finished drafting Romans and Ephesians and started drafting 1 Corinthians. Aurélie reviewed Mark in order to get it ready for a consultant check and then she started drafting Luke. André and Aurélie also had team and planning meetings.

This time at the mission centre was very profitable for the children. They could attend the missionary school for a week and then they started the new school year with the French home school curriculum. The curriculum is quite demanding and they have to work a lot. They would join the children at the missionary school at break times, which was a great opportunity for them to make new friends and learn to interact with other children of their age.

As a family, they arrived back in the village at the end of November, with their colleagues the Williamsons. They were very encouraged to see the believers again. While they were away, they stood united in spite of difficulties. It is hard for André and Aurélie to see so much poverty but their brothers and sisters chose to rejoice because of their blessings rather than to be bitter.

While André and Aurélie were out of the village on couple had a baby but he died a few weeks later. It was so sad. The church supported them through the trial.

Another couple also had a baby. The mother delivered the baby on the bark floor without help, as her husband was out fishing. She says, “I prayed the Lord to help me and the baby came out quickly. I had no light, no torch at home, it was all dark, I shouted and called the neighbour, and she came and took care of the baby and washed him while I was recovering.” What a contrast with our nice, clean hospitals.

It is now the beginning of the rainy season. No more water rationing, the tank should be full until April or May. The rivers are overflowing their banks and flooding the gardens. Their friends then have to hurry up to dig up their yams, sweet potatoes, taros and maniocs, before they rot away. The floods bring sediments on which they will plant sweet potatoes at the end of the rainy season. One thing the people like about the rainy season is that they can now travel in their dugout canoes rather than hike. It makes travelling easier. However, the rivers get more dangerous as the crocodiles can now hide in the deep water without being seen.

The rainy season is also bad for fishing, so, overall, the people do not have much food left to eat, no fish, and soon no garden food, so they fall back on sago starch, which they love, but sago requires an awful lot of work in hard conditions. Rainy season also means there is tons of mosquitoes carrying malaria. Humidity is higher and increases the risk of sickness and infected sores. However, the temperature is not cooler; it is hot, damp and unbearable.

The people in the village don’t have a lot of food to eat, they are often hungry.

Recently the Tousch family have been quite sick, there must be a bug going around.

Thank you for your prayers for André and Aurélie and for their village friends, for their colleagues the Williamsons with them in the village and for the Callahans on home assignment in the USA.