Building a home in the jungle is an early step in a long project.
Benjamin and Alwina Hansen waited patiently for the last of the timber intended to be used in building their home in the bush. The construction was happening simultaneously on their co-workers’ home—one that they were reassembling from another location. Although Hansens’ home was taking a little longer to build from scratch, Benjamin and Wina are excited to see both houses taking shape.
There have been some significant delays, Wina explains. “First the captain whose ship we had planned to use for transporting things to the island had a stroke. Then we couldn’t reach the men who were cutting our wood because of bad phone connections.”
And that was just the beginning of lots of delays and disappointments.
At other times, rain prevented workers from milling the timber or made roads too slippery to transport it. Then there were times when the timber was cut and ready and the weather was good, but a working truck could not be located to transport it. Besides the fact, Wina adds, that contacting people on mobile phones is always a huge challenge.
“We know now why Papua New Guinea is called ‘The Land of the Unexpected,’” she adds with amusement.
But these missionary houses being built in the jungle, even with the many delays, are being built with a great sense of God’s purpose and direction. Early on, the Hansens travelled with a group from NTM to visit three villages which had been recommended as places where the tribal people might be open to missionaries coming to live there and learn their language.
There was much encouragement at their new location, Wina says, “at how eager the people were that we should come and do this work.”
The Hansens are excited. They know this ministry project toward sharing the Good News of Jesus will take time. They will invest years of their lives in friendship and building relationships. They will absorb the culture of these people and grow to understand their ways of thinking and responding. They will learn their language. And in time, the Hansens’ earnest desire is that God will open doors into a people and culture who now have no clear idea of His love and plan for them.
And people from another tribe will have the opportunity to hear the gospel in their own heart language. And brothers and sisters in Christ will be added to the vast company of God’s children in Heaven.
Eternal gain makes earthly delays and disappointments and hardships so worth it. Just ask Benjamin and Wina Hansen.