Wrapping up

As the Stous family approach the one-month mark before they head back to the USA on home assignment, they have been starting the mental preparation of not only the cultural shift of the upcoming changes, but also working through what their work will look like while they are there.

One of the last major projects they were able to finish this year is establishing the alphabet that the people will use in their first literacy class. In truth, they had established it about two years ago, but then ran some of the letter choices by the people in a way that makes the decisions “theirs” instead of “the missionary teams”. The people’s attitude towards literacy is a “you tell us what to do and we’ll do it,” which can be a helpful attitude. However, one of the issues with that attitude is: what if the team make a mistake, will the people be willing to override their mistake? By including the people in these literacy choices, the hope is that they will feel ownership over their written language, making changes where they see fit, be it spelling or even letter choices.

As they wrap up their time for this term, Rhett is gathering the sort of language data that he will be able to process when in the USA. It is the sort of long form data that on specific language points can help them during teaching later, so that they will be able to present the Gospel in a way that is thought provoking and compelling, rather than vague and able to be blended with their preexisting beliefs.

The Hansens are still in Germany as Natalie is having some health issues which are being assessed (please pray for her!), but they are hopeful they will still be able to return to PNG later this year. They and the Stanleys will be working on literacy preparation, and hopefully testing out the language soon.

The Kovol area has not been affected by landslides, although, the people did hear about it, and they dug a large trench to improve drainage.

Pray for:

  • Their flights home and smooth logistics
  • Team unity as they continue to seek it
  • The family, while excited for home assignment, they are tired and needing rest as well
  • Natalie’s health, especially as they continually adjust to different stages of parenting young twins in addition to their older boys

Praise the Lord:

  • That the school year has come to an end, and they were able to finish strong
  • For His provision of flights and supplies when needed despite lack of fuel throughout the country
  • For a good meeting with the Kovol people regarding the decision-making process for their language