Kevin: On Managing the Kokopo Center
I remained in Papua New Guinea while Gertrude visited with her mom. I finished some projects in Lossu village, and left for Kokopo, East New Britain Province. As you might expect, interaction with guesthouse staff and staff of local businesses in Kokopo was still cross-cultural. I enjoyed managing the Kokopo Center Guesthouse: bookkeeping, buyer for missionaries, public relations, building and equipment maintenance, and supervision of guesthouse staff but I realized that I would much rather be involved in Bible translation. The whole experience refreshed my memory of how badly our teams in the New Guinea Islands need a full-time missionary manager in Kokopo. Gertrude was a sight for sore eyes when she arrived back from the USA. Her welcomed presence gave me a break from household jobs and help with shopping for other missionaries. When she wasn’t helping me, she was able to do some editing on Notsi, Nalik, and Notsi-Madak literacy books.
I was grateful that I was able to assist Lisbeth & Robyn as they their team come in to work on Old Testament translation. They were able to finish a number of chapters from the book of Ester. As they returned to Duke of York Island Gertrude and I did shopping for them. It was so dry in the village as they were there we were sending produce once a week since it was limited where they were.
One highlight of our stay was opportunity to fellowship with Jerry Penie and family, a Papua New Guinean missionaries who were home on leave from full-time ministry to aboriginals in Western Australia. Another highlight came when I was invited to preach on Christmas Day at the Kokopo United Church. By the grace of God, I preached from Matthew and Luke about Different Responses to the Good News of Jesus Birth. Also, Gertrude and I enjoyed fellowship with a couple of families from Kokopo Urban United Church with whom we sang Christmas Carrols for the Christmas service. On our last Sunday in Kokopo, the church sponsored a farewell lunch where we enjoyed fellowship and fine Tolai cuisine. Grateful to be of service as managers but glad to return to the Notsi.