Steve and Gerdine Stanley’s journey to England from the Netherlands went really well. They were so encouraged to have friends at both ends willing to both drop them off and pick them up from the ferry.
As they arrived in North Cotes where they have accommodation provided until they can return to Papua New Guinea, they received an email from PNG. Gerdine’s entry permit has been approved! Now they have mailed Gerdine’s passport to the embassy in London to get the stamp put in. If it is sent back fast, they could even be busy booking flights next week! They have not even unpacked their suitcases from their last move!
You might imagine the mental and emotional gymnastics that Steve and Gerdine have to do as they start to think, “Are we ready to go?” The practical questions have changed to “How do we get down to the airport. “Do I have enough pairs of shorts?” Then onto, “Is there space to stay at a guesthouse in Goroka in March, etc?”
The conclusion that they have come to is that they just need to get out there as soon as they can. The mental and emotional adjustment will just have to catch up once they get to PNG.
Steve and Gerdine are encouraged to know that the Kovol people are missing them. One of the villages put on a big feast to “bring them back” and everyone is terrified that they have left for good. No, they are still committed to Kovol, but a year of twins, Covid and paperwork delays certainly add up to a long home assignment. They are very much looking forward to getting back, even though they know that in so many ways life is much harder out there.
They need another 12-18 months to finish Kovol langauge study and then they will finally be ready to start on the literacy programme, to translate God’s Word and to start preparing Bible lessons. That is an awful lot to do, but on the other hand thy have come so far already – it is exciting for them to be getting nearer some of these key ministry milestones.
Pray for Steve, Gerdine, Oscar, Alice and Millie as they return to PNG.