Back on their feet

Rhett and Stacie Stous and family are back in the Kovol village in Papua New Guinea and they feel like they are finally settled somewhere that is not temporary. Weekdays are full time language study/school, while weekends are for time as a family, as well as side projects like hanging a door to their bedroom. The people have been very happy to have them back and have taken them hunting and gardening. Stacie and co-worker Natalie got the opportunity to hike over to visit one of the ladies who was in labour, though they were not able to stay long enough to be there for the delivery. An opportunity to see a side of the culture that is not an everyday occurrence.

Stacie and the boys have started school, which ties them down for much of the day. With breaks and interruptions though, it helps to start the year early so school can be put on hold when they need to without throwing everything off. Thankfully, the people are still very enthusiastic to help, and they always have people ”assigned” to be nearby in case any of them need to talk to someone! Language wise they are still on the rote memory of individual words, but they can form noun phrases. There is always the temptation for them to try to go beyond their ability, to start in on verbs and more complicated grammar, in order to make conversation that is more interesting, without a foundation of words to draw from; they know they will just end up confusing themselves and others!

Their co-workers the Stanley’s are still in England and may be back early 2022. The Hansen’s are trying to figure out what is going on with the verbs – there are many irregularities, so finding the grammar rules is tricky. Rhett and Stacie are so, so thankful for all the work the team have done in their absence, as they have built a solid foundation. One of the biggest blessings has been that the language helpers are familiar with the procedures, so Rhett and Stacie do not have to keep trying to explain what they are trying to illicit!

They planted a garden near their houses. It is tiny by Kovol standards but a decent size by American standards. Their gardens are generally far away (an hour hike would be considered close) so it helps them to have one nearby since so much culture and language are tied to the garden. They are also very excited about the side bonus of fresh produce!

Praise God that they are back to work and that the Kovol people are still excited to have them in the village

Pray for Rhett and Stacie to have the discipline to study as they should, and for opportunities to join in on Kovol life

Pray for their boys that they’ll continue to enjoy life in Kovol and that they can make some friends

Pray for their co-workers and families too.