Summer Zimmer, Communication Manager
Papua New Guinea: July 2019
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So, I’ve wanted to write an update for some time. 
Things have been rather hectic, and then I got stranded in a location with questionable internet because of a volcanic eruption (who says that?).  So, while you all were celebrating with fireworks, I was hoping there wouldn’t be anymore!  Now it’s been several weeks, and there are so many things I could write about.  I feel like God is teaching me things, and I grasp them for a moment, and then there’s another concept that I’m just barely understanding, but I know that I’m meant to learn.  Sometimes I forget to stop and take the time to reflect and let the truth settle in.  I wonder if it grieves God when He has to teach us the hard things multiple times, because it’s hard for Him to see us struggle?
I could talk to you about how hard it is to live in two worlds and really want to know how people are doing and the details of their lives in both.  I could talk about how hard it is to have the people I have friendships with here leave and how it feels like I’m starting over.  I could tell you about how being an organized planner is not beneficial here.  I could tell you about my disappointments and discouragements or the beauty of the people I see who rise above their disappointments and discouragements--major ones-- and how they really put things into perspective for me.
But I think what I’d like to tell you about is dependence, and while I definitely haven’t learned it yet, I see the need to.
Dependence is . . .
  • choosing to trust God when things don’t go my way and according to my plan.  Deciding that His plan is better.
  • remembering that God is the one who measures time (I’ve forgotten this lesson already) and when technology doesn’t work, or I’m trying to figure out how to do something new with making video and it takes up 3 hours of my time, I can trust that it’s not wasted as long as it’s a step in what is obedience to Him.
  • choosing to be grateful for the time we had to know each other, when people leave that I really value as being part of my life here.
  • recognizing that when I feel like people here don’t know me super well, which takes time, God knows my past, future and what I’m burdened with in the present.
  • trusting that when I don’t know what my future holds, He does.  And He wants to guide me in it, if I’ll listen.
  • remembering that in every step so far He has provided abundantly, and I can trust Him to do that again.
  • trusting that when my niece cries into the phone that she wants me to come back, He will be her comfort and mine in missing one another and that someday we’ll get to spend eternity together.
  • being at peace with knowing that things will not be the same when I come home -- people I care about will be called to new things, just as I have been; my niece will be a Kindergartner! and the tree in my front yard might die.  I am not necessarily alright with these things quite yet.
  • when my church planting coworkers choose to go back into places where they can’t speak the language, nothing goes the way it should and the people around them accuse them of being there for harm rather than good. 
I am grateful for their example.
Please pray with me, that I could grow in dependence on the Lord.  And know that when you reach out to me and let me know that you’re praying or remind me of truth, you are part of what God is teaching me, and I’m so grateful for that.
I met an elder from Todd and Karen Gerst's church (my pastor who planted a church in the islands of PNG in 2000) |  I was able to go on a hike with friends | These two little girls and their parents are church planters in the islands.  I had a friend from Warsaw send me these toys and what a blessing it was to them! | I was able to visit a nearby village with the Scholls  when they went to visit where they used to live.
What's been happening . . .

This has been a busy couple of months.  I’ve been shooting footage and working with volunteer videographers to create several videos.  Video-editing is new to me which means I’m super slow.  With their help, I have 7 videos in progress right now.  If you’ve ever worked with me, you know that it’s hard for me to have things “in progress” instead of “done”.  Pray for my patience and ability to communicate what is needed in these videos.
In June I visited Madang, our center that is used for teaching and equipping future church planters.  I went there for the Interface program.  It was a delight to meet the young adults in the program who are interested in church planting missions.  I sat in on some of the classes, captured the 5 days I was there with photo and video and spent time with my friends, the Scholls, as they returned to PNG for the first time in 6 years to be part of the program.
I went to our Eastern Center, Hoskins, right after a volcano erupted near there and had to stay longer than intended because the volcanic dust on the runway shut down the airport.  I was there to work on a video that hopefully I’ll be able to share soon.  There were several church planting families out of the bush and on the center for a break, so it was a great opportunity to get to know them better.  While a lot of things were totally out of my control there and didn’t go quite the way I had planned, God’s hand was truly evident in getting us there in the timing that He did, and I think we were able to capture just what was needed for the video.
And now I’m back at Lapilo and working with another videographer and getting excited for the arrival of friends coming at the end of July.  It’s a strange time of year as people return for school, and I see a lot of new faces, but I’m not sure if I’m the newbie or if they are. I'm still trying to have new people over once a week, so that I can get to know people and that's been a blessing.
I had several beautiful birthday celebrations |  My first dawn departure flight to Hoskins | The Van Der Deckers and the Dicks and a game of Dutch Blitz! | My co-workers in ICT. Please pray for my preparations as I have them all over for dinner on Friday.
A Few Firsts . . .
  • I had 4 birthday cakes
  • I caught a rat
  • I scored my first goal in hockey
  • I tried motion-sick glasses
  • I landed on a dirt airstrip
  • I harvested avocados from a tree (really, I knocked them down.)
  • I flew on my first dawn departure flight
  • I ate a full PNG meal served by a Dutch woman
  • I watched a dance recital and a graduation and celebrated a friend's birthday over video calls
  • I celebrated my first Fourth of July with Germans and Australians!
I really enjoyed being at Interface and seeing the young people excited about church planting missions.  

I got to spend time with the Scholls and visit where they used to live.

I made it in and out of Hoskins at a different time and different way than I had thought, but I think it ended up being just perfect for the video footage I needed to get.

It’s been a blessing to have two videographers here taking care of the technical stuff.  One is even going to do his own video editing.

Prayer Requests
These weeks have been rough.  I am a task-oriented person and I like finishing things.  And I’ve been working on the same video for over 2 weeks, along with computer issues every few days.  Pray for those things to be resolved now and for me to finish up the Hoskins video this week so I can move on!

Pray for all of these video projects (I think I’ve started 7 now).  I can see the story and what needs to be communicated.  And I really like that part.  But technically, it’s hard for me to get there. 

I’m here to share what I’ve learned through being on the mission committee at WCC and being part of support groups that come alongside missionaries.  I know that the journey of missions is meant to be shared.  Pray that I can be confident in the goodness of that and not be afraid of disinterest but seek out those who are interested.  Refocus.

Pray for clarity in my next steps.  It's getting close to the time that I have to decide what comes next.
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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