QUESTIONS ABOUT LIVING IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA
How do you get your supplies in PNG?
There are no Walmarts in Papua New Guinea, and the terrain is very rugged, so getting our supplies out to the tribe is a challenge. A missionary supply buyer picks them up for us in a town, then packs them up and drives them to an airstrip. From there, they are flown by single-engine airplane for 30 minutes to a small grass airstrip in the village where we live.
Do you have western coworkers?
We are joining a team of Mouk tribal missionaries who are already working on planting an indigenous church in a tribe near them. After learning our tribal coworkers’ language, we plan on assisting them in their church planting and discipleship by translating the New Testament.
Is it tropical in PNG?
Yes! The weather in Papua New Guinea is VERY tropical, since PNG is 3 to 6 degrees south of the equator. The temperatures (in the region of PNG we’re hoping to work in) range from 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and the humidity is usually upwards of 95%.
What do people eat there in Papua New Guinea?
People in different regions of PNG eat different things. In some regions, people eat sago (a starchy, slimy substance that comes from the center of a sago palm). In many regions of PNG, the staple food is kaukau (somewhat of a cross between a sweet potato and a potato). In the region where Josiah grew up, the main foods were roots called “taro” and “tapioc”, kaukau, and greens. For protein, the people would eat anything that moves – rats, bats, possums, and occasionally pigs.
QUESTIONS ABOUT FINANCES
Does New Tribes Mission pay you a salary to be a missionary?
No. Unlike some missions organizations, New Tribes does not pay us to serve as missionaries. New Tribes Mission is a “faith-based” organization, meaning all missionaries with NTM raise their own financial support. God is the one who provides for us to live and serve in Papua New Guinea, and He does so through His people giving generously. Since this is a lifetime commitment for us, we can’t just raise a set amount of money to live in Papua New Guinea (like for a missions trip). Instead, we need churches and families to commit to partnering with us through giving each month. Some people are able to support us $10 a month, others support us $200 a month. Each person and church that partners with us is an integral part in helping us live and serve here in Papua New Guinea.
How much support do you need?
Based on the information they’ve gathered from missionaries that are currently serving in Papua New Guinea, the New Tribes leadership has recommended that we need $6,300 per month to live and serve in PNG. This amount covers our “benefits” – like taxes, health insurance, and retirement; “ministry expenses” like ministry supplies, ministry travel, and saving up for our furloughs; and “personal expenses” like housing, clothing, and food.
How many languages do you speak?
Josiah speaks 3 languages – English, Pidgin (the trade language of Papua New Guinea), and Kaulong (the language of the tribe where he grew up in PNG). Rachel speaks 3 languages – English, Spanish (from growing up as a missionary kid in Uruguay, South America), and Pidgin.
Where can I find more information about the Bible school Josiah talked about?
New Tribes Bible Institute is the name of the Bible school Josiah attended. He highly recommends it as a way for any believer to get grounded in God’s Word. Throughout the two year Bible training at New Tribes Bible Institute, students get to study every book of the Bible in chronological order to see the “big picture” of God’s plan from eternity past to eternity future to bring glory to Himself through bringing people to Himself from every tribe, tongue, nation and people group. You can find more information about New Tribes Bible Institute here.
How do Rachel’s parents feel about you living in Papua New Guinea?
They are very excited about us serving in Papua New Guinea as full-time missionaries. Though they miss getting to see us often, they are 100% behind us serving as missionaries overseas.