from Home…and still waiting for Home.
“O Lord, you have been our home in all generations.”
Dear Prayer Warriors,
Happy first day of 2022! Bill and I are both, indeed, safely home in Papua New Guinea! Bill made it back the first week of December and I made it back yesterday with my coworker, Marissa. We are very thankful for this as there were many opportunities for paperwork and air travel difficulties along our 3-day long travel itineraries. He has been very kind and I am writing you from our little PNG home.
is a funny word for us. At first, home was our place of birth and origin. All the sights and sounds and rules of the new culture were foreign, and we were required to submit ourselves to being taught by it if we were to become part of and be able to tell God’s Story in this new place. Then, somewhere along the last 19 years, time and “being” in this new culture become our new reality. We feel his presence when we work here. He gives us joy and a kind peace to continue living and working in a place that is all but forgotten by most of the world. He somehow gives us a passion for it and presses his Great Commission ever to our faces, never letting us forget what He has called us to. He makes himself our “home” here. And yet, when we travel back, for a moment we also feel ourselves in another familiar place called “home.” Living between two worlds is not at all comfortable. Our hearts are constantly torn in two distant parts and then three as we push the other two worlds away to focus once again on the one that will hold us for eternity. Choices. Worlds. Lives. Homes. Transitions. We are all moving toward a day when we will finally rest in an eternal home and that brings us both remarkable joy.
The “First Home”
was amazing! It was so good to catch up with daughters, sons-in-law, grandbabies, parents, sisters, brothers-in-law, aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews & nieces, life-long friends, supporter (old and new) and more. My highlight, of course, was meeting my one-year-old grandson and realizing that his 14-month baby face matched a photo of mine from 14 months old taken back in 1975! Living with my girls and their families was also a highlight and a means to praising God for his faithfulness in their lives. They are both recently moved into new locations (still in Louisville, KY) closer their church families and community and are moving their families towards Christ in their daily walks and routines at home. We treasured up many memories from day to day and my sister even printed a book to allow us to hold memories literally in our hands. Our tribute from home goes to our parents, Jack and Jane Housley and Ken and Gail Taggart, though. These four men and women of faith have been a faithful part of this ministry in their prayers, encouragement, and their financial giving and we are so thankful to have them as our heritage. They are constantly pushing us to continue in the work of the Lord and reminding us to keep our hand to the plow, even when we want to give up until He takes us home. First Home is doing well, and it was good to be part of it again. My favorite part is that most of the people in this First Home of mine are people that I will see again. We will spend a very long time in an eternal home together one day.
The “Second Home”
is a sweet place to land after three days of travel. As we stepped back into the warm, balmy air and joined in the push and shove of crowds moving in one direction or another, we were given a SURPRISE…Bill had flown to the capital city to rent a room for us to shower & sleep for last 8 hour layover before escorting us home. We finally made the last leg of our flight. A friend picked us up and we made our way to our little truck and finally back to our home and front porch, which was a lovely sight. Since we have been gone, there have been good and bad events take place here as is true in every place. We do live in a dangerous place and bad things happen, but we can’t focus there. We choose to find the positive about this place that the Lord has placed us to work. We find sight and sounds and people that can help lead our hearts to praise. Calls come in right away from the village church…checking to see if we arrived. Calls come in from students in the remote areas who hiked up to call and report that they have paid their school fees and are ready to get back to school. A student shows up on the porch with a big smile, a hug and his school fees and welcomes us back. These are things that bring us joy in this, our Second Home.
Second Home in 2022
will be busy. We will have another 16 students joining us and we are thrilled! Twelve students will be coming from four of our Inapang tribal church plants. One student will be from a town location as his father is from our home village of Itutang and he is a nephew of one of our church elders. Another two will be coming from the local area around the school – the son of our local Council who is also our “Papa Ground” and then a nephew of our local Magistrate. The last student is an exciting one for us. Our dear friends on the Dinangat team began church planting in Morobe province right before us in 2002. Our churches and tribal elders have met many times before to encourage each other or help each other and now, we will be enrolling one of their church elder’s daughters in RVA! We are excited to link the churches together in this new way and to serve the Dinangat church! Please pray for these girls and boys as they prepare to begin their educational journey with RVA! Pray that their hearts will be soft towards us and towards the gospel. Also, pray for our little RVA team as we are back on the ground and have a lot of practical work to get done to be ready!
Thank you so much for praying for us. Thanks to those of you who complained about my lack of emailing this year and have prompted me to get back at it. Thanks to those of you who are giving financially to us a family or giving consistently to the Ramu Valley Academy or have chosen to make the six-year commitment to sponsor a student. These things are such an important role, and we couldn’t be making progress with these students and their families if you weren’t giving in these ways. We are so thankful for the team that is working together with us to see Christ made much of in this next generation of the local tribal churches here in Papua New Guinea. We will be posting pictures of the arrivals and the orientation week when it happens the end of January, so if you have facebook or are able to check us out on a friend’s account, then you can follow their journey online.
Hope of Home
Lastly, I just want to give glory to Jesus for setting my HOPE and my ETERNITY through his blood payment for my sin debt. His word tells us that any follower of himself will have eternal peace in heaven, but here on earth he has promised that we will leave some loved things behind, we will find hardships and trials and we will face persecution for even desiring to live a godly life while in this world. We see this truly happening in our “First Home” and in our “Second Home.” But, it’s okay because none of these places here on earth are truly anyone’s home. And, we don’t get to be here long. Soon, we will open our eyes wider and we will see the King himself will welcome us…. SAFELY HOME.
By God’s Grace & For His Glory~
Bill and Kelley Housley