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Summer Zimmer, Communication Manager
Papua New Guinea: February 2019
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I’m sure this is something every new missionary faces and everyone in a new stage of life or in transition or some even on a daily basis.  The routines that are normal for you are up in the air, there are new opportunities, new people, new priorities.  How do you choose?  Everything is up for grabs- time is no longer structured and planned out, and man, do I love structure.
 
Priorities for me are daily times with the Lord in prayer and the Word, Bible Study fellowship with others, an exercise routine, keeping a clean house, cooking, and spending time with people who are important to me.  But now add in meeting new people and getting to know them, classes to learn language and culture, walking to the grocery, keeping in touch back home with calls and letters, killing ants, computer issues and a whole new collection of social events, and sadly some of my priorities fall away.  I just don’t know how to fit it all in!
 
And I haven’t even officially started work yet!
 
Since I’ve been here there have been game night, pizza night, and singles night invitations, a skate night, a 5k, an ice cream social, trips to town, village walks, and multiple lovely invites to homes for dinner.  And I’ve been thrilled to have people over for dinner myself.  All of it leaves me a little flabbergasted at how to do it all, experience it all, fit it all in.  How to get to know people and build relationships and at the same time keep in touch with those I love back home.  And through it all, I am still an introvert and really am refreshed and gain energy from being alone.
 
There is only One who knows how I would best spend my life and you yours.  So, I need to be reminded daily to seek Him in how I spend my time, not just personally but then how I spend it when it comes to how I fulfill my role here.  There are so many options!  And expectations.

Please pray with me in this, I am definitely not bored.  I need God’s wisdom in what is BEST.
"In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat—for he grants sleep to those he loves." Psalm 127:2
I’d like to share with you a few of my priorities for this month (and probably next month, if I’m being realistic), as I also dedicate myself to learning language and culture:
  • Collect digital pictures of all of our missionaries here to update a personnel directory, so that as we serve together in different locations all over the country, we can put faces with names.  
  • Create a digital map pinpointing where our missionaries are working and photos of the families serving there.  This is complicated by needing it to only be accessible by those serving here.
  • Send out a monthly field update for support missionaries to share in their newsletters, tying their vital support ministry to people being reached with the Gospel.  
  • Send out a reminder to all of our missionaries that we have a Hold the Ropes email distribution list of people all over the world who would like to be praying for them and their work.
  • Let the support missionaries here at the support center know about birthdays of missionaries at more remote centers and in the field and the date when any cards need to be in the mail slot to get on the flight closest to their birthday.
  • Create a few short videos advertising our need for nurses, builders and tech services people by interviewing some people who are currently filling those roles.  This will also be good practice for me in getting to know how to use my audio and camera equipment better.  
  • Create a newsletter to send out to sending churches explaining how best to send a letter or a package to their missionary.
  • Soon after I start in the office on February 25, I’d like to offer time for anyone who is struggling with communication to come in, so we can try to walk through how to make it easier for them to communicate to their churches and supporters, "all that God has done".
Praises
Praise that I do get to go to both the Western and Eastern regions to meet the missionaries in those areas at the end of March and beginning of April.

Praise for the great people I’m meeting and the opportunity to get to know them.

Praise for a really nice language helper.

Praise that I understand much more Pidgin than I did two weeks ago!

Praise for all the opportunities I have had to go out and see the beauty of this country.

Praise for the encouragement from all of you that is so beautiful and uplifting.

Praise for how much peace I have felt in this transition. Pray that God would continue to give me His wisdom and guidance and clarity and cover me in His peace.
 
Prayer Requests
I am participating in the language and culture program for 6 weeks. Next week will be my last week, and I’ll start working on February 25.  Pray for wisdom in how much to focus on language learning after this dedicated time.

Pray for my ability to learn and retain the language and to understand the culture well.  Pray as I work closely with PNG citizens that I could remember to act in culturally sensitive ways.

Pray for my ability to soak it all in.  As I meet people and get to know them, I want to know them well.  And I have a lot of people to get to know!

Pray for my ability to figure out some of the technical stuff that I don’t know much about.

Pray for wisdom in travel.  Where I should go and who should I visit in my time here.

Pray for safety and protection and health.
 
More stories of what God is doing can be found by following Ethnos360 on social media.
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My mailing address is:
Summer Zimmer C/O New Tribes Mission
PO Box 1079 Goroka, EHP 441 Papua New Guinea

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