Just imagine it’s December 23rd, and you baking some banana bread to give to neighbors and friends as Christmas presents. However, after starting you realize that you don’t have some of your essential ingredients. What do you do? Easy right…run to the store! OH NO…the store is closed!! What?!…
Spending Christmas here in Papua New Guinea often seems like we are on a completely different planet! And we wanted to share with you three major differences…
Yep, thats right! The only store on center shuts down for 2+ weeks over Christmas and New Years, which means we have to plan ahead and stock up! In fact, most everything closes down…our post office, the auto shop, and even our clinic has limited hours!
This is a blessing to the missionaries, and Papua New Guinean employees to have time with their families celebrating Christmas and the New Year.
Here in the South Pacific, we are in the hotter part of the year, which means short sleeves for everyone. We even got to play some frisbee golf this week! It may not feel like Christmas, but with some decorations, and music, we get into the Christmas spirit…sounds like those of you in the Southern part of the States are experiencing this too!
We have learned to be creative in gift giving here in PNG. We don’t have any super-centers, with anything we could desire, and at a great price too. Our store has limited items, and brings some extra things in for Christmas, but because of importing, the prices are often expensive. So since we are unable to purchase a lot from the store, what do we do?
We purchase things from Australia and have them flown up by our aviation department. Unfortunately, the price for flying things is high($10/kg)! So, we don’t want to get too much in Australia, any other options?
Friends and family can send us things from the States (if you want more information on sending us packages/letters please ask!) but for Christmas we have to plan ahead!
Despite these things and the effect that they have on our Christmas and New Years, we love being here in Papua New Guinea. Our missions work allows us to see first hand the difference that Bible translation is making in peoples lives, and better yet, we get to be a part of it!
And so we learn to deal with closures, and enjoy getting more time together as a family. We get used to the warmer weather (sometimes blistering weather), and get to enjoy the beautiful outdoors! And even though we are unable to purchase all the Christmas gifts we would like for our kids, we are able to focus our hearts and minds on thankfulness for the gift of Jesus Christ, and are reminded of the price that He paid to give us the gift of eternal life!
P.S. Oh yeah…the “imagine that” at the beginning…it happened to me! I had to look up substitutions and find things that we did have!