There were times I never thought returning to Papua New Guinea would be a reality. I often thought it was only a dream that would never be fulfilled; a longing I would carry with me the rest of my life. That just makes this homecoming all the more sweet!  I am back where I belong. I can feel it in my bones. This islands girl is HOME to stay (God-willing)!

I had every intention of keeping a regular journal after arriving here. I wanted to document everything. But, as always, life and busyness got in the way. I will share what I have written, and try to do better going forward. Ha!

We left our house around 5 o’clock PM Saturday, 14 April 2018.  We had a longer trip to the airport than expected. The GPS we were using took us on a very long and roundabout way through NYC to the airport. We arrived, checked in, and had a very short wait to board our first flight.

Our first flight left at 12:30 AM Sunday with a stopover in Vancouver on our way to Manila. The first leg to Vancouver, BC, was about 5 ½ hours. We were there about an hour to pick up more passengers, and did not get off the plane.  We soon departed for our LOOOOOONG trip across the ocean to Manila, Philippines. This flight was around 13 hours, 50 minutes long. We arrived in Manila around 9:30 AM Monday morning (Manila time).

We had a 14-hour layover in Manila, and departed for Port Moresby around 9:30 PM, Monday. After a 5-hour flight, we arrived in Port Moresby around 7:30 AM Tuesday.

Our landlord and friend was waiting for us, with a few guys to help get all of our bags onto his truck and to our house.

Prior to leaving on this journey, I was experiencing a lot of anxiety and fear about traveling with the whole family, and more specifically with Joy.  A few hours before leaving, I sent out a prayer request email specifically about traveling with a child with special needs. I know many people were praying for us…I could feel it and felt like the whole trip was a series of small miracles.

Joy amazed me throughout the whole trip. It was unbelievable how great she did!  I know that dealing with the changes, lack of sleep, different food, people, environment…sights, sounds, smells, tastes, etc., could not have been easy for her. She loved her first experience flying and took it all in stride…she is my champion and hero!

I did get really sick in Manila due to some food poisoning, but it was still an amazing trip overall. I prayed fervently for healing and God did not disappoint!  My nausea and other symptoms passed before our final flight. This whole trip greatly increased my faith in God!  It also made me feel as though my faith is small. I know I can count on Him, yet why do I worry and doubt?