A few weeks ago, Chris Hughes returned from the third house building trip. A team of five missionaries and three Ata men left their families for two weeks and worked very hard to get Chris, Ingrid and family one step closer to moving in. These trips take a toll on both the team and the families. They were so blessed to have Ingrid’s brother Endre help on this last trip. He and his family are visiting right now! As an electrician, he was able to set up their solar electrics for them!
When they arrived in Mamusi the house was just a shell. They aimed to close it in and bring it to life by installing windows, power, plumbing, gas and internet, which would necessitate building the office and workshop space under the house as the tech control panels go there. They also wanted to install the kitchen, a fireplace for the cold Mamusi nights, and make a start on sanding and varnishing the floors and putting the internal plywood walls up. The goal was to get the house to the point where they could go in as a family for the next trip in June, live in one of the rooms and work from there. They should be able to make it work, but it was hard going and each day they averaged about 16-17 hours of work whilst all the time being desperately aware of the need to balance progress with relationships to their new Mamusi friends. Add to that sleep struggles and bush living and you can see why the house building season is tough.
For Ingrid, staying behind is not limited to building trips, it is also taking over the home and family before trips so Chris can get everything ready and after trips when he comes home so exhausted that he can hardly put words together. For building trips especially though, staying behind with the kids means lowering expectations for what can be done in a day. Ingrid is learning that it is ok not to be very productive during these trips. It is more important to take time to do fun things (often with other mums and kids whose daddies are away!) and make memories together. Everything is so much better once they are together again! Then comes the long, slow recovery; fighting off illnesses and regrouping as a family before they get ready to do it all over again. It is tiring, but God helps them in more ways than they can count, and they are so grateful that He sustains them and gets them over each new hurdle, in a large part through your prayers! One of last month’s unexpected blessings was having Miss Jo (a retired teacher/missionary) visit and teach Jonathan for a few weeks.
This is an incredibly draining season for Chris and Ingrid and they are feeling exhausted, but they have seen a huge answer to prayer; God has given them teammates!
A mostly unseen component, which has compounded the pressure over the last months, has been trying to find teammates as they go along. Since October last year, they have been getting to know Brody and Jen Pav (with their two-year-old son Evan). Chris and Ingrid are so grateful that the Pavs have committed to joining them in Mamusi!
God for Miss Jo who helped with home schooling for a few weeks.
God for a productive trip and a capable and hard-working team.
God that Endre was able to visit and install most of their electrics.
God for the camaraderie between the mums and kids who are left behind in Hoskins.
God for answering their prayers for co-workers.
For endurance, stamina and increased capacities to keep going.
For wisdom as they plan for the next building trip in a couple of weeks, this time hopefully as a family.
For the Pavs as they start down the road of preparing to build their bush house.
For their devotional times, that they will be faithful but also that God would help them delight in His Word.
Pray that they would know how to go about getting a good break before fully moving in to Mamusi.