In the 1980s I was truly privileged to live 8 years among the noble people of the Koroba-Kopiago district in Hela Province, Papua New Guinea. These noble people took in a foreign white-boy who knew so little, who made so many mistakes, who had so much to learn, and they were kind, generous, and treated me far better than I deserved. How deeply grateful I am.
These 8 years among the Huli, Yuna, Bogaya and Sinali people I was never threatened or in danger by any human being. I never had anything stolen. I was never even asked for money. Instead, I could go anywhere I wanted. If I was hungry or thirsty people rushed to offer me food and drink. If I was caught somewhere with nowhere to stay, any number of people offered me all I needed. I learned Christian hospitality and godly generosity through them. I am a slow learner and am still learning. How deeply grateful I am.
I am on my way back to visit them. For three weeks I will be shaking hands saying a thousand thank-yous. I will be doing a lot of walking and am trusting that my troubled foot holds together. But regardless, let the pain and limping and shortness of breath be a visible testimony of how deeply I love and appreciate these blessed men, women, young people and children. You are the best!
N.B. This trip was back in November 2017. We had an absolutely wonderful time together. My foot caused a whole lot of pain, but the joys of everything else drowned it out. I so much want to go back this year.