Jun 13 2022  
Bitter Sweet Transitions
Every time we transition from Papua New Guinea to home assignment in the USA there are lasts and firsts abounding.  Last school concerts for a while, last "See you later" hugs from friends, last instructions to our house and yard helpers before our departure, last day of in-person-handovers in our various ministries, for now, and last visits from locals who are already grieving the loss of our presence and occasional practical help.  Lasts are hard not only for us, but also for those who are left behind.
In the photos above, Nehemiah gave hugs to his PNG brothers and his young buddy, Zion.  Hannah gave a hug to a classmate and choir friend who may be away from PNG upon our return.  In the photos below, Darlene got a group hug from the older girls group at Sunday School and Christopher sat with Sillion, our friend and yard helper.
Darlene and Hannah traveled on four aircraft before reaching Dallas, TX, and were privileged to travel with some other colleagues from our mission for part of the 53-hour journey.  And look who was in Texas, besides Christopher's family, for Darlene and Hannah to greet and receive those first of many hugs?  It was a joy to witness Nathan's graduation from the International ALERT Academy on Friday, 30 May.  Holding the Unit 65 flag was a special honor awarded Nathan by his classmates and leadership.
Nehemiah and Christopher got to attend the school awards and graduation ceremonies back in Ukarumpa.  Both Nehemiah and Hannah earned some sports awards and Hannah was also named Middle School Female Student of the Year.  The guys' journey to the USA was "uneventful," but also very long! 
We are feeling satisfied and relieved to be an in-person family of five again.  We have started the first of our family adventures, this one to the northeast, and look forward to catching up with many of you in the days and months ahead. We can't thank you enough for standing with us in prayer and friendship.
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