The volunteers have all arrived safely, and excitement is in the air! The last of the team arrived on Saturday evening in time for a quick meeting and dinner before heading off to bed after a long trip to PNG. Some have served on several Thrive retreats, but some are serving for the first time. Some know other volunteers, but many do not. Most have never been to PNG, but a few have served here on the field. For these, there is joy and sadness in returning as they anticipate seeing old friends from their time of service, yet also anticipate telling them goodbye once again. Returning brings back many memories for these ladies.
One of those returning is Cheryl (and her husband). They served in PNG for about four years and just returned home in 2016. Theirs is an exciting story of obedience to an unexpected call, coming to PNG in their 50s after the Lord began moving in their hearts about serving overseas. They came in a support role for Bible translation and went through an orientation program for global workers in PNG that the Thrive volunteers for this retreat will experience firsthand with a campus visit and a hike to a local village. After completing their service in that role, Cheryl and her husband were asked to run a guest house for global workers in Port Moresby, where they served until 2016. Cheryl loves to care for and nurture women and is excited to connect with those here on the field. She understands their needs and their challenges in a personal way.
Each woman serving has an awesome testimony of how God moved to bring them to PNG this week, and God’s hand is evident in each story shared and each relationship He is building while we are here!