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The Burns Journal Podcast

When Mountains Crumble

a lifeline for the unexpected

“God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea. Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge!

...The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress.”

-Psalm 46:1-3, 11
We were so careful.
We delayed our travel. We waited for negative Covid tests. We wore masks for 3 days of air travel and airports. We finally made it to Papua New Guinea. We quarantined for two weeks.

An enormous amount of effort and care went into avoiding any chance of spreading Covid from the U.S to our new home. But when we arrived, it was already here...

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Thank you so much for praying for us as we adjust to life here in Papua New Guinea! We made it through orientation and we were able to complete our first week of language learning!

We have really enjoyed the opportunity to start wrapping our minds (and mouths) around Tok Pisin - the major trade language used by the people of PNG. 

Our first week of language consisted of morning class-times reviewing vocab and simple sentences. In the afternoons, we did a few hikes out to villages near our base to meet our neighbors, familiarize with the local area, and learn how to talk about life in the context where it all happens!

Thank you so much for praying for our hearts and minds in preparation for language learning - it's been a lot of work, but it's enjoyable work. We love growing in our ability to communicate. 

Since our arrival here, Covid cases in PNG have been rising and things have been getting more and more restricted. After our first week, classes and hiking off base had to be cancelled. For now, we'll be working off of some existing book/audio curriculum to continue progressing in language study while we wait for things to open back up. We don't know at this point how long the wait will be.

Please pray with us for the people of PNG as they deal with the spread of Covid. Many of them do not have access to advanced health care if they become seriously ill.

Please pray for our brains to be able to take in and learn this language, even under non-ideal learning circumstances.

Continue to pray for us as we adjust to our new home, a new way of doing things, and a new set of circumstances. It is pretty stressful at this stage and we definitely need to press into the Lord for his encouragement and grace with ourselves and each other.

Finally, please pray for us and for the rest of the team here to handle this situation with patient, trusting attitudes. Pray that we would remember to look for how the Lord IS working, in spite of all the ways we feel limited. And pray that He would walk us through these changes in a way that displays to the people of PNG that He is our great hope. That because of Him we do not have to be afraid or discouraged.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future,
and life is worth the living, just because He lives.

-Kristin Chenoweth


Thank you so much for keeping up with us! 


Cody, Beka & Abishai


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