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Aug 30 2021  

Joshua 24:15b
“As for me and my house,
we will serve the LORD.”

The writer of this edition of The Clark Connection is our family’s young adult, Nathan, who made the most of his final days in the country he has called “home” for the past 18 years.  His life and ministry these past several months remind us of Jesus’ earthly ministry, whose example was provided that we might walk in his steps (1 Peter 2:21).  Practical service, healthcare, physical activity, traveling, preaching the good news of the Kingdom, teaching, shepherding, making melody in his heart to God, and meditating on the Word of God have filled Nathan’s days.
With a hard senior year behind me I tackled the normal college applications and scholarship applications for the 2022-23 school year.  I also sent out emails asking for ways to serve language teams and departments here in PNG. I was rewarded with more responses than I could handle. I assisted a “Culture Meets Scripture” workshop diving into the Word with Papua New Guineans who were discerning what God says about some of their cultural practices and why those practices even exist in the first place.
When the clinic discovered my interest in becoming an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), they allowed me to shadow the doctors when they were treating Papua New Guinean patients, and sometimes gave me hands-on experience with stopping blood flow from knife and axe wounds, taking blood pressures, and talking with patients, all of which affirmed my belief that I can use my gifts, in emergency response work.
My friends Johanan (PNG) and Heewon (Korea) and I hiked out to Onamuna Village for a weekend, where we were hosted by my “Mama Uma,” our family’s much-loved house helper for the past 17 years.  We were blessed to provide 7-hours-worth of ministry through singing, Bible teaching, puppet and drama training, demonstrating how to teach a memory verse, and sharing Gospel truths through various  forms to both children and teens, as well as the eavesdropping adults outside.  The village life, food, baths in the river, and breath-takingly beautiful hikes were fantastic, but the biggest take-away was that God provides illumination and power when His desperate children come to Him humbly in prayer, needing His direction for how to proceed with a task too big for intuition or experience to handle.
The following weekend my dad, brother, Mr. Lovell (my work-out partner), Johanan and I drove to Binimamp Village in the flat Markham Valley where my friend Samuel’s family has served through Bible translation and literacy for the past 2.5 decades.  Since Samuel’s family is based in the US for now, we were able to help reestablish reliable communication with the translation team.  Hospitable people fed us mounds of cooking bananas cooked in coconut milk and allowed us to show night-time Bible-based videos in the local language. The experience there helped us to see how challenging Bible translation and teamwork can be in a sin-filled world where even huge killer-wasp nests impede the work!
With a new school year only one week away for my siblings, the Clark family drove down to Madang and the North Coast to visit the village family which cared for and taught my parents and me during our first months in PNG back in 2004.  It was important that I say my last good byes to family that has known, loved and prayed for us since before I could walk. Upon arrival, my village mama kept hugging me, exclaiming, “Bebi bilong mi! (My Baby!)” over and over.  She spent the next two days getting me mixed up with my dad!  Some firsts for me in Matugar this visit included attempting to climb a coconut tree, reef fishing with a net, and outrigger canoeing on the ocean.  Our family spent the last couple of days relaxing at an ocean beach resort snorkeling, enjoying each other’s company, eating great food, and talking to birds.
We arrived back in Ukarumpa a few days before our Clark Family Worship Concert.  I got to make memories singing, acting, playing horn, and speaking alongside of my siblings and parents.
With school back in session, I got to be assistant coach for my sister’s PE class and the Ultimate Frisbee club. I also helped in middle-school social studies classes taught by one of my favorite teachers who has inspired me to be a history teacher one day.
The last two weekends of my time in PNG were focused on thanking and challenging the community of people who have taught me, loved me, and cheered for me as I’ve grown up.  Our family hosted a mumu (earthen oven where sweet potatoes, greens, meat and other garden produce wrapped in banana leaves are cooked on top of very hot rocks) for our church family, teachers, and local friends. It was especially good to share the time with my older village brother Kay, his wife, and their baby girl.  At my final public farewell at church on 15 August, I was honored and privileged to preach a sermon based on Joshua chapter 24. I challenged the households of my church family to mark the path that Joshua, as well as my own father, chose – “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”  A final motorbike ride with my dad was the “icing on the cake” for my last Sunday in Ukarumpa.
I left PNG on Monday, 23 August, not knowing if or when I’ll step on its soil again. I hope so. But for now, I’m looking forward to daring adventures and rigorous training at the International ALERT Academy in Big Sandy, TX alongside of other young men who want to grow in Christ and manhood and be equipped to serve on emergency response teams.  Thank you all for your prayers and friendship.
Departing Singapore for Doha enroute to the USA.
Nathan & Christopher’s  State-Side Itinerary
  • Lynchburg, VA    25-27 Aug.
  • Westfield, NY     28 Aug—6 Sept.
  • Upland, IN.         8 Sept.
  • Longview, TX     10-24 Sept.
  • Nathan in Alert Training 23 Sept. - June 2022
  • Christopher Returning to Papua New Guinea 25 Sept.

Thank you for the many notes of encouragement and gifts received to facilitate this big trip as we walk through this transition and settle Nathan into a new chapter of life.  We are planning to start our next state-side visit in June 2022 in time to catch Nathan's graduation from the Alert program and catch up with family and friends.
 
 
 
 
Click below to see our recent mailings:
Happy are the Clarks
Clark Photo Journal (Prayer Request for VBS)
Clark Photo Journal (On the Road Again)
Clark Photo Journal (Signs of Sorcery)
Clark Photo Journal (May Moments)


Wycliffe Bible Translators:  www.WYCLIFFE.org
PO Box 628200  Orlando, FL 32862-8200

Copyright © 2021 Christopher & Darlene Clark, All rights reserved.


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