Welcome to PNG

On Saturday morning, we headed to the airport to board our flight for Port Moresby, the capital city of Papua New Guinea.  At the end of our two our flight we cleared immigration and customs and exited the airport where an employee of SIL was waiting to meet us and take us to the mission guesthouse where we stayed for the weekend.

As we were walking to the van we saw a group preparing to welcome someone who must have just arrived from overseas.  How would you like this kind of welcome?DSC_0009 DSC_0006

Sunday morning, our friend Stephen came and picked us up and took us to a Baptist church for the morning service.  We were a bit late in arriving and the usher marched us down to the some of the only seats available – in the front row as luck would have it.  At least the congregation was singing a song and all standing as we walked in.

After church we went back to the guesthouse where Sarah stayed.  Stephen dropped Tim and I at a nearby shopping area so we could look into buying a SIM card for our phone.  There were none available so while Tim stood in line at an ATM to get some cash, I spotted a friendly looking woman and asked her help in how we could catch a bus to the big shopping mall.

The mall is truly amazing.  It’s a modern three story building and is very western-looking. We have nothing like it in the Solomon Islands.  We purchased a SIM card, found a little lunch and took a bus back to where we had started our adventure. Lucky for me, Tim had a good sense of where the guesthouse was from the shopping area and we walked back.

As we returned to the guesthouse, Sarah was heading to the mall with some MK’s she had met.  Two of the girls will be classmates of Sarah’s and recognized her from Facebook.  It was great to meet some of the kids from her school already.

Sunday night Stephen came and took us back to his house.  His wife, Elizabeth, and their daughters had put together a feast.  Three women on a missions trip from Dallas were also there and a man who has come to do maintenance for a year.  It was fun to meet up with these folks and Stephen’s extended family.

I had brought Elizabeth a market basket from the Solomon Islands as a gift.  Later, Elizabeth gave me a beautiful ‘bilum’ (string bag) from her home province of Enga.  What a fun memory.  DSC_0012

We wanted Sarah to meet Elizabeth and Stephen so she knows someone in Port Moresby. When she comes home to the Solomons at Christmas, she will probably need to spend a night or two in Port Moresby on her own.  It will be nice for Sarah to have ‘family’ there to help her out if she needs it.  Stephen, Elizabeth and Sarah exchanged phone numbers before we parted for the evening.