Sadly, for the second year running, Becky Noble who teaches at the mission school in Papua New Guinea celebrated Easter weekend in a lockdown situation but praise God that Christ is risen and our future is secure in Him!
It was such a blessing for Becky to be able to finish term three in the classroom. The school year is split into four terms. Students had to study at home during term one and two. She really enjoyed teaching all her classes. They had a great time together both in music and Tok Pisin (the trade language of PNG). Her Tok Pisin students finished off the term trying to make fire the ‘old-fashioned way’ with no matches. Teaching and discussing their theme verse song (John 3:36) with her elementary music classes was also a real encouragement. Some children gave clear testimonies in front of their peers, including a few who had only become Christians in recent months since arriving in Papua New Guinea.
Right after term finished, all schools in PNG were closed for at least four weeks due to the rise in COVID cases in the country. This was good timing in a sense, as it coincided with the mission school’s two weeks of planned break. After the break, students will start remote learning. Initially, Becky is not expected to provide work for her subjects. However, if remote learning continues for longer than expected, she will need to work out how the older students can continue their music course from home. Please pray that the virus can quickly be brought under control in PNG. Pray that the missionary team would all look to Him and know His peace in this situation.
Becky had planned to be away for five days on a ladies’ retreat during school break. However, they had to return after a day due to the worsening Covid situation. They were thankful for their short time away. They had spent the afternoon doing a Bible study on peace, when they received the news about needing to make a swift departure back to Lapilo. After returning, they were able to continue some of the planned activities and encourage each other via WhatsApp and Zoom when the internet co-operated! Becky asks for prayer that lessons learnt during this time would not be quickly forgotten.
One of the hardest things for Becky is not getting to see her PNG friends. This year she started a Bible study series in Tok Pisin with two good national friends. They were studying 1 Thessalonians.
In the meantime, Becky has kept busy with all sorts of things. She has been involved in checking ‘remote lesson plans’ and resources for the core subject teachers, helping with photocopying and scanning of documents, delivering supplies and library books to those in stricter isolation. She has also been asked to do some translation of reading comprehension tasks into Tok Pisin, which will be used in the literacy programme for the Mibu tribe.
It is not clear what the coming months hold and preparing for every possible scenario is difficult. Pray that Becky would seek the Lord each day and use her time wisely.