Welcome! Don't be shy...Leave comments! We love to hear from you!

Friday, January 28, 2011


All night long! in torrents! thank you all who prayed! all of the tanks are full except for 1 now :)

{Mae antap of a buai in Margut, a villiage close to POC}

Pray for Rain


{matthew, isaac, & silas playing with friends in the rain}


     Ok, so I know this sounds kinda strange when you live in the tropics and it is supposed to be rainy season. So, here is the deal. We are working at POC (Pacific Training Course) right now. I am the center manager and Tiff is doing all sorts of jobs here on top of homeschooling. All the new students have arrived this week (from 4 different mission agencies) and classes started Wednesday. Our center has 2 ways to get water. The main one is rain. We catch rain off of all the roofs of all the buildings (this is drinking water and sometimes water for washing clothes, bathing, and flushing toilets). The other is pumping water up from a creek for everything but drinking. Yesterday (Thursday) 3 different water pumps died. We lost two pumps that move water from the two largest rain water holding tanks to the header tanks that give us water pressure. This would not be so bad except we also lost the pump that brings up creek water. We were able to get one of them up and running today but we still cannot draw water from the creek or the largest holding tank. I went to town today to try and get some new pumps and there are none to be had in Madang (the 4th or 5th largest city in the country). I had to order them from Lae (the 2nd largest city) and they will be here Monday. But until then it’s going to either take me hooking and unhooking one pump that we have working, and moving it around all weekend (which I’m not looking forward to) or some good heavy tropical rain storms to fill the tanks. So, I am asking you to pray hard for the latter. thanks.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Rest Of the Story

{full moon over Madang}

So, Matt stayed awake all night pulling apart the DVD player and rewelding wires, but to no avail. The next morning the villiage network went into effect. People were asking friends and family who they knew with DVD players and word went out to other villiages as well. The few people who had DVD players said "oh yeah i have one, but it doesn't work"...- there is no electricity there anyway. Finally after a couple of days the school in Younglum (a nearby villiage) sent their DVD player to the rescue.
We set everything up again, slathered the children in bug repellent, and told everyone that tonight was the night. This time we had an even larger crowd, we guess ~300. This time everything went off without a hitch, thanks to GOD.
The reaction was not what we had expected. Instead of question and answer time, everybody just sat in silent reflection, like they needed time to take it in. Matt got up and said to the crowd, "if this movie has brought any questions to mind, please come see me anytime, or Tiffany, or your pastor". Nobody said a word. They just sat there. Slowly one by one people got up and wandered off.
 The next day we had an interesting conversation with a young man. He told us that he was "wanbel" with us. That he agreed with the way we live our lives and raise our children.
We had to leave Songum just two days later so we don't really know what effect the Jisas Film had on them.  People need a Bible in their HEART language.
While the film in Tok Pisin is a good introduction to the life of Jesus, The Bible in a language that speaks to the heart is what will bring change to hearts and lives.
 Please join us in praying that the translation of the New Testement in the Sam language will go quickly and smoothly and that our friends in Songum will hunger and thirst for GOD's word.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Jisas Film

{the people of Songum}

One of our assignments in the villiage was to show The Jesus Film in Tok Pisin. It was such a highlight for us. We set up a screen made out of a white sheet tied to the "hausboi", we got the generator all set up, and we notified the right people to get a good turnout. When the night came the atmosphere was electric. We could feel the excitement. This little villiage in the bush was now an outdoor theater!
There is not an easy way to describe the experience of watching a film with Papua New Guineans. They are so empathetic that they feel as though the miracles they are seeing happen in the film are happening for real. There was so much tounge clicking (a sign of amazement) during the scene where James and John pull in more fish than the nets can hold that we could hardly hear the film.
We were so excited when the crowd grew as the film went on. We eventually had ~250 people watching.

 And then the sound went out on the DVD player. Right as Jesus is put before Pontius Pilot. Everyone was dismayed. We tried everything we knew to fix it but to no avail. We prayed for God to show us what to do, and we decided to call it a night. There were so many people and they didn't want to leave without the rest of the story. Some even wanted to watch without the sound. We assured them that we would somehow get it fixed and that we would play the whole movie again as soon as possible.

(part II next time..) 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

On the road again

well, we are off to POC. As many of you know traveling in PNG is very difficult at best. I will be driving a van with our family, another family and two women to Madang. It is the beginning of rainy season so the roads are very muddy and can be washed out. there are no hazard signs to warn you of these problems, so you just have to be on guard. there is also the every present danger of raskals( general term for bad guys). In this case highway robbers. I am excited to make the drive and to work at POC. It should be quite an adventure. If you think about it please pray for us for the next 6 or 7 hours. thanks.


Monday, January 10, 2011


(tiff and a cousin)
Yep, that's right it's that special day that only happens once a year and today it has happened to Tiffany. Happy Birthday, Tiffany. I have never seen anyone grow another year older more gracefully or more beautifully than you. I pray that God will bless you in a special way this year. I pray that the projects that we have talked about come to fruition and that we can all help to make them a reality. And most of all I thank God for making you, you!!!!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

New Sidebar

i was hesitant at first but,
Since several of you asked, we have added a wish list to the sidebar...
I'll try to keep it up to date with new ideas as they come up.
 We are so thankful to those of you who have sent care packages!! It is SUCH an encouragement to get mail. It's like Christmas every time!

{Crosland kids opening Christmas packages}

Also wanted to let you know that we may be more silent than usual the next few days as we pack up again and move back down to the Madang area. Please pray for safe travels and health as we move back down into malaria territory again...i want to tell you my malaria story soon...Hopefully we will find a way to update when we get there.


Friday, January 7, 2011

The Mirror

{Ike and Beti in her hauskuk, scraping coconuts}

There are moments in our lives that we can look back on and see that they were defining. And there are precious few times that we know in the moment that a pardigm has shifted.
 My trip to the garden in Songum was a shift in paradigm for me.
i don't want to tell you about pulling weeds or planting bananas with a bushknife. It was while resting in the shade on a limbum mat that i decided to give everything i have to the people of Papua New Guinea.

My friend Beti and i and a few other women had just finished eating. All of the children were playing in the bush a little ways up the trail. Evie had just finished nursing and was digging around in Beti's bilum. i was talking and laughing with Beti while she nursed her little one. Slowly, one at a time, Evie removed  Beti's treasures from the bilum and examined them. She first pulled out a medium sized kitchen knife which was quickly and carefully removed from her grip. Then she pulled out a single playing card with a picture of an asian woman on the back. then a piece of string and a broken crayon. Beti would talk to Evie and tell her all about whatever it was she had found. i stopped watching them and was just looking around finding it hard to believe i was really sitting here, part of villiage life in PNG. i was lost in my own thoughts when i realized Evie had a small piece of glass in her hand. i started to reach to grab it and throw it into the bush and tell her, "no! yucky!" when i realized what was going on. Evie was nestled in Beti's lap with her bilum. Beti was showing Evie how to hold this tiny piece of what i now realized was mirror, up to her face to see her reflection. Beti said with pride "See! it's a mirror...that's your face! you're a pretty girl...i see my hair, my eye....do you like my mirror?.."
i sat in amazement that this tiny piece of broken mirror, no bigger than a quarter was my friend's greatest treasure. it was the only way she knew what she looked like. and i thought of how it's like us and God. how we are not able to see how magnificent and beautifully beyond description He is. and how our greatest treasures are really just rubbish...

i knew in that  moment that everything i had with me would stay in Songum, with these wonderful content people. if and when i go back to america it will be with nothing but a smile on my face and big LOVE in my heart...


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Attention all bloggers

my sweet friend courtney over at StoringUpTreasures is willing to help us small-timers out by giving us some face time on her blog (she has close to 700 readers now!)
if you are looking to promote your blog you need to check out her "blogs of note" post:

just click on the button to see the post...

thank you courtney! love you sister  ~xo

Going to the Garden- Part 2

     I know it has been a few days since I did part one but hopefully you will remember going to the "antap gaden". So after we finished our work (making all the holes) we came dome the mountain. Tiffany and the kids had stopped to work at the "klostu gaden" (see" bananas in the morning..." post) and I thought we were heading back there to get them and maybe eat some stuff cooked on the fire before heading back to the village. But that is not what happened. I was in the middle of another cultural experience and didn't know it. Almost everything is done in community in the village. From planting a garden to building a house to taking care of community areas there is always someone (a "wantok") helping you. However becuase these relationships are bulit on give and take, paying people back is essential.

     So, we got to the bottom of the mountain where waspapas garden was which happened to be the garden of one of his relatives and we sat down. I saw several teenage girls cooking very large pots over some fires. It still didn't dawn on me the scope of what was going on here (I can be a little slow to catch on). While we had been working in the garden these girls along with the women who were now planting the taro had haulled all this food (and I mean mountains of it) all the way up to this garden and had cooked it. So now waspapa's youngest son, Simon began to dish it out into plates and banna leaves. It is very important how much is in each plate because this is in a sense pay and if you pay one person more than another and they have both worked equally then you have offended the other. Finaly, when all the plates were mounded up equally with food to Simon's satifaction they were given out. the order that they are given is also import as it indicates a persons status. We all ate our fill (which for working Papua New Guineans is a huge amount), the rest was saved for the women who would come down later, and we layed in the shade to rest.

     I thought that was the end of it but then from behind a tree Simon began to bring out several huge hands of baui. Papa said that no matter how much you feed people and how good the food was if you didn't give them buai too they would not be happy with you. Simon gave all that out and everyone seemed happy (with red teeth). But it still wasn't over. Finaly, Simon brought out a rope of bannanas ( 5 or 6 hands of 10 or so) for everyone.
     We all left happy and loaded down. Simon, waspapa, and I returned to the "klostu" garden". I could hardly wait to tell what I had seen and done and to hear what they had done as well. I hope that Tiff will give you a part 3 on the garden tommrow about what they did.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Loving You

...is easy cause you're beautiful. and everything that i do is full of loving you...

{the most beautiful girl in the world- 10 years old}

when you were born i whispered in  your ear "mama loves you." over and over and over...so it would become a part of who you are.
 i wanted it written in your cells so there would never be any doubt.
now, ten years later i can see that love has grown in you and overflowed into everything around you.

you are lovely.

happy birthday maemae- mama b'long yu likim yu tumas...

Monday, January 3, 2011

2011- on my face

{view near songum}

this year i will start everyday on my face before God.
 literally. i get down on my face EVERY morning. flat out on the floor. 
because i am desperate. desperately in need of Him.

here is the verse i am claiming right now...

"i raise my eyes toward the mountains.
Where will my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to slip;
your Protector will not slumber.
Indeed, the Protector of Israel
does not slumber or sleep.
The LORD protects you;
the LORD is a shelter right by your side.
The sun will not strike you by day,
or the moon by night.
The LORD will protect you from all harm;
He will protect your life.
The LORD will protect your coming and going
both now and forever."
Psalm 121:1-8

i challenge you friends, get down on your face. it's a small act of humility before GOD with huge implications in your life. are you in??

peace, love, and hope~ tiffany

Sunday, January 2, 2011

quick prayer request

I am going to have a root canal this morning. A national guy who works as the dentist here on center is going to do it. I hear he is really good. thanks for your prayers.


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Going to the Garden- Part 1

     Well, tiff caught me. Apparently she talked about going to the "klostu gaden" in the "bananas in the morning..." post and said that I was going to talk about going to the "antap gaden" later. Now is later so here we go. I spent a good deal of time going to gardens. They go to the garden almost every day. The day that tiff and the kids went to the klostu gaden the men went to the antap gaden. The picture below is the view of the womens, kids, pots, and clothes bathing spot. If you look off in to the distance the mountain that is fading off into the clouds in the far right is where the garden tiff went to is. The garden that we wnet to was almost that far again. They told tiff that she couldn't go up there because she had so many little kids. It should be said that there is a perception amoung all people from PNG that whiteskins are soft and just can't hang with hard work. So they tend to baby you and try to protect you. We spent a lot of time early on trying to dispell this sterotype and let people know that we were not afraid of work. We were pretty successful and they allowed us to do more than most.

{"klostu gaden" near the far right mountain}

     The day that waspapa decided to break me in on the garden was one of the big days for new gardens. We went to his "taro kong kong" (a root vegtable originating in asia) garden. It was the day that all the holes for planting had to be made. As I said before almost every job has a gender and making the holes is masculine. Planting the kong kong is a female job.
     Making the holes is called "brukim graun". All the men get a small log about 4 or 5 inches in diameter and about 6 feet long and sharpen one end. They all go out onto the field that is on the side of a steep mountain and choose a section. Then they begin to take this log and drive it into the ground repeatedly  until they have made a hole that is about 10-12 inches deep and 6-8in.  wide.Then you move on to the next hole until the whole mountainside is covered with these holes about 2 feet apart. Upon finishing waspapa made his distinct call (not words but kind of a woop) to let the women know that we were finished and were comming down and that it was their time to come up and plant. We all sat down in the shade for a little while and then went down to the base of the mountain. What happened next was another great cultural experience that I will tell you about tommrow.