When will you be leaving?
We've been asked to leave in January 2021, if possible. If we're not able to raise the rest of the support we need by then, our departure date would push to July 2021.
How long will you be there?
Typically, missionary families stay in Papua New Guinea for a four-year term of service, and rotate with one year back in the States to visit churches, supporters, friends and family.
What languages do they speak?
There are over 800 language groups scattered throughout the mountains and islands of Papua New Guinea, which is part of why we have such a huge need for missionaries who are willing to live among the native people, learn their language and translate God's word, and for an aviation program to make their long-term ministry possible. The official (trade) language of Papua New Guinea is called Tok Pisin (sounds like Talk Pigeon) or Pidgin English. It's an English-based Creole used in government, commerce, administration, etc.
Here are some of the language groups Ethnos360 works in:
What will you be doing?
For the first 6 months or so of our time there, we will both be doing full-time language and culture study so that we can function and minister effectively in our new home. Once we have passed that phase of orientation,
Cody plans to fly Quest Kodiak airplanes between Goroka and our many bush locations. He will be ferrying missionaries (ex-pat and indigenous), building supplies, teaching materials, and necessities for daily life back and forth. He will also fly medevac flights when needed, as well as serve, support and encourage our missionaries in whatever way he can while he is out at their locations
Beka will be caring for Abishai, handling errands, correspondence, and whatever else she can to free up Cody so he's able to focus on flying, and holding down the fort at home, especially when he is required to overnight due to weather or a late flight. As she is able, she also hopes to help out with patient care at the clinic and on medevac flights. There are lots of opportunities for ministry, discipleship, and pitching in to help the base run smoothly, so we will have to gauge what we are able to take on when we arrive.
What about Abishai?
Abi will go, too! This base has lots of kids for him to make friends with and even a school he can attend when he's old enough. We're excited for him to experience everything the Lord has prepared for us as a family.
What do you need to bring with you?
We've been told some things like quality mattresses, bed sheets and cookware are either difficult to find or extremely expensive in Papua New Guinea, so we'll probably be paying to ship some of those belongings over with us. Cody's flight equipment and Beka's medical supplies will also probably come along.
It would cost about $10,000-$15,000 to purchase our own vehicle to use overseas, so at this point, we're hoping to find and purchase a used four-wheeler we can ship over to use on the base and just rent the mission's vehicles as needed for transportation to town.
What is your support level?
Right now, we're at about 85% of the monthly support we need to raise before we can leave for Papua New Guinea. Our goal is to raise 100% before we go so that we can give our very best to the people we are there to serve.
How much Money do you still need to raise?
We still need to raise about $850/month to reach our recommended support level.
What kind of wildlife will you encounter?
Papua New Guinea's national bird is the bird of paradise, so we're hopeful we'll see some of those. Google told me there are marsupials there as well. Most of what I hear about from our contacts there are wild pigs and chickens.
What are some of the challenges to introducing the Gospel there?
There are SO many different languages, and it takes years to develop the fluency it takes to teach clearly in each people's heart language. Another challenge is something called syncretism, where a people group assimilates a new belief into their old belief system rather than trading one for the other. One example of this would be going to church on Sunday to 'appease' the God of the Bible, then offering a sacrifice to the spirits in their garden to make sure their veggies grow. Location is also a barrier. The reason our aviation program is such a help is that many of the people we are there to reach live in mountainous, primitive locations with no road system. It can take days of hiking to reach the village from the nearest town, and even then, you can only take what supplies you can carry with you. This can make it difficult to stay for the extended period of time it takes to do this work well. One more challenge is literacy. Bible study is so crucial to growing to maturity in our walk with the Lord, but many of these people groups have a completely oral language. Our missionaries are tasked with developing an alphabet, and teaching them to read and write in their own language so that they can study the Word of God for themselves and teach it to others.
What part of the country will you live in?
We will be living at the mission base in Goroka, which is in the Highlands Region of Papua New Guinea. Our housing, the mission clinic and the school are all located there, and the hangar is about a 30 minute drive away when the road conditions are good.
What is the local cuisine liKE?
The Highlands region has an excellent climate for growing all sorts of fruits and veggies. chicken, pork (usually during feasts), and a type of sweet potato called kaukau are a big part of the local diet. Per Google, fish such as Goby, Catfish, Sardines, and the Kokoda Mogurnda are also popular.
How fast is the internet there?
It's slow. You usually need to purchase a data package via a mobile device to have access to internet that's functional for work and streaming.
Why did you choose Papua New Guinea and what about the helicopter?
We were also considering serving in Brazil, Indonesia, or the Philippines. Part of the reason is that Papua New Guinea's staffing need was most urgent.
The other part is that our aviation leadership felt that with Beka's medical training and with what they know of Cody as a pilot, we would fit best with the team in Papua New Guinea. Papua New Guinea's aviation program currently runs with three Quest Kodiaks and a Bell LongRanger Helicopter, which they are hoping to eventually replace with three Robinson R66 helicopters. Leadership may ask Cody to train on the helicopter down the road so that he is able to fly both types of aircraft. But for now, they are pretty short-staffed and in desperate need of fixed-wing pilots. Cody already has the majority of the training he needs to fill that position, so they've asked us to go ahead to the field and start flying the Kodiaks.
What training do you still need?
Cody has received a lot of good preparation in small Cessnas, but before starting his field check-outs, he will need to go through a one-month long intensive Quest Kodiak 100 course in Spokane, Washington. This will familiarize him with the differences and advanced systems that come with the aircraft he will be flying in Papua New Guinea. The cost for this course is about $24,000.
What are you most nervous about?
Cody: I'm nervous about getting through the national aviation certification process and the field check-outs. It's a new flight environment, they do a lot of legs flying by instrument, and it'll be in an aircraft I haven't flown yet. I think it will also be pretty challenging to go through all of the transition of moving overseas with a 2 year old.
Beka: It's a big change. As much as we've moved and traveled, I don't feel like I'm any better at it. I know that this transition will hold a lot of steep learning curves. Different language, different culture, different way of cooking, different electricity...and no matter how much I study ahead, I can't be so prepared that I don't struggle or get caught off guard by something. It is a challenge for me to rest in the Lord's perfect preparation, and the confidence that I can be out of my depth and He will still be faithful to walk me through it.