Meet our dear friends the Ernandes family (James, Stephanie, Gabriele, and Ethan). We love them! God had a very special friendship in mind when he brought us together. When we met they had just finished getting 100% of their partnership team in place and were training at JAARS till it was time for them to leave for Papua New Guinea in Jan of 2014. We had just started the application process for Wycliffe with great anticipation of God providing financial and prayer partners so we could leave for PNG in Jan 2015. They had just walked through everything this next year was to hold for us. What a gift God just dropped in our lap!
We had them over for lunch after church the first time we met. We were excited to hear their story. The wisdom and information shared would have been a gift all on its own, but that day God wanted to give us more. He gave us family. That day they came for lunch, and ended up staying for dinner too! When they finally started for home, we were all wishing that we could visit longer! After that we pretty much spent every Sunday together up until that last day when they boarded the plane taking them across the world to PNG.
Now they are in the middle of the Pacific Orientation Course (POC) — a three month rigorous language, culture, and survival training on the coast of Papua New Guinea. Everyone must go through this course before heading to their various assignments on the island. We have been captivated as we have watched them (via the Internet) immerse themselves in this new world — a world we are headed for in a mere 10 months!!!!!!!
Yesterday, they left the POC training center, and for the next 4 weeks will live on their own in one of the tribal villages. These 4 weeks they will be completely cut off from the outside world, helping them to understand the people we have been called to love, serve, and bring God's Word to. Please pray for them. Pray that God will show up in big ways for them. Pray for protection, peace, and endurance. But mostly pray that they walk out of this knowing and giving God's love even more fully.