Dear Friends and Family: It is with great joy and overflowing thankfulness that we write this update to let you know that not only did we recently reach 100% of our monthly living expenses for Papua New Guinea, we’ve also bought our tickets to get us all the way “home!” We thank and praise God for His graciousness towards us in providing so generously through many of you in answer to the prayers of even more of you!
My (Carrie) Bible study recently on Matthew 20 reminded me that everything we have is only ever due to the love and grace of our Heavenly Father. We are humbled beyond words at the love I daresay thousands of people have shown in these past two stretching, joyful but sometimes agonizing years. God has brought us through times of great temptation to give way to anxiety (or even terror!), through the grief of thinking we were going to lose Seth, and through the emotionally wearing grind of the NICU and then five newborns at home. We have five happy, healthy toddlers now, and all the glory is the Lord’s! THANK YOU to those who help(ed) us to not only survive, but thrive. These kids have the world’s biggest family, it seems, and we are blessed beyond words. As Gavin has said before, only in Heaven can we know how much God has been at work through His people and through strangers in His care of us all. We pray that you also see His hand of love and provision in your lives.
Gavin is very busy still working as well as getting travel and training details worked through. Though the biggest recent job is readying items for our PNG sea freight shipment, departing Dallas the middle of March. I have the much more fun task of “buyer” and “clothes-sorter,” a continuous reminder of the blessing of the gifts of hand-me-down and newly bought clothes and shoes for the kids!
Gavin spent a day and a half booking tickets all the way to Ukarumpa, our mission center in PNG. The bookings were quite a bit more complicated than normal as we have two of the babies as lap infants, three in seats (so we don’t have to hold them all 16 hours from Dallas to Brisbane!) plus four extra adults as helpers. These four dear friends are a huge answer to prayer! Three of them would be returning to Ukarumpa anyway, but “Aunt” Deb (who has worked closely with us and the babies from the beginning) is coming because the kids know her so well, plus she wants to “finish the task” and see her babies safely settled in what was also her former home.
We will still be going to California on May 23 through June 2 for Gavin’s family and church to meet the quints. We decided to return to Dallas for a few days before heading on to PNG, because there is a direct flight from Dallas to Brisbane, Australia. It departs the night of June 8. As I said, that flight is over 16 hours long, and prayers are desperately requested, please!! I’ve half-joked that we need to set up a round-the-clock prayer vigil. [Given that people on both sides of the world are following our blog and receiving our updates, the round-the-clock part wouldn’t be that hard!] After three days of rest in Brisbane, we will fly to Port Moresby, the capital of PNG, then immediately board our mission aircraft, the Kodiak, for Ukarumpa. I think it will be a foretaste of Heaven to see our friends and “family” at the gates of Aviation, waiting to meet the kids they have “adopted” and prayed for all these months and years. I know I will be exceedingly glad (probably tearful) to see everyone again! Isaac is desperate to leave for PNG. “Although,” he says, I’ll miss my friend Peter!” He is counting down the months. Just under three months to go!
The hardest thing, of course, is leaving our family behind. Gavin’s parents are planning to come over in September, hooray! My dad still needs another hip replacement. His first surgery went great and he’s recovering speedily, but he can’t get on an airplane flight of that duration until he’s back in top form. I wish I could take everyone I love with us! It will just about break my heart to leave behind my brother and sister and their delightful spouses. We enjoy our times together so much and often laugh uproariously! Nothing can replace them, but the Lord truly has provided manifold friends to bless us as new “family members” in Ukarumpa.
Love to all and endless thanks for your part in allowing us to return to Papua New Guinea! Sincerely,
Gavin, Carrie, Isaac, Will, David, Marcie, Seth, & Grace Jones