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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

What Now?

       The picture above is from the feast our friends made for us before we left Nobnob. If you look really closely you can see a pig hanging in the middle of the fire. They were burning the hair off the pig before it was cooked. I will write a blog post about the feast later. For now I just wanted to share my immediate feelings.
      I put this picture with this post because I feel a little bit like the pig today. When we arrived at our house we opened the door to find that every drawer and cabinet door was open and everything we have had been riffled through. We came up about a month and a half ago and brought some boxes up and all of the stuff we shipped from the US in the sea container had arrived. The housing department here was generous enough to let us go ahead and put everything in the house and leave it here while we finished up in Madang. While we were away someone broke into our house and stole a good bit of stuff. Myself (Matt) and the boys were the hardest hit. All of our good tee shirts and shorts were taken as well as all of my shoes. No one was left unscathed. Tiffany had some tee shirts taken as well as all of her wrap skirts (laplap). They also got her warm hats that she was looking forward to wearing now that she has had to cut her hair. Everything was rifled through. All the dry goods that were in our pantry were stolen as well as some of our pots, pans and dishes. Maybe the most painful was the 2 external hard drives that had all of our old pictures on them.
      We are all still feeling a little pained and numb from this. When you combine that with the fact that we just left all we know and all our friends for a place that is very different and a bit strange to us we are hurting (especially me). To top it off our friends who came up with us were supposed to go back on POC’s truck yesterday. They left in the morning and made it about 45 minutes away before having a flat tire. They then discovered that the spare was flat too. Fortunately, the truck they were driving has dual wheels on the back so they took one off the back and put it on the front and limped back to our house. I have to admit I had mixed feelings when I got the call that they were having tire problems. I was truly worried for them but I was happy to have them here again. I have some friends in the auto shop here so we were able to get in and fix the tires even though they were closed. By the time the car was ready it was too late for them to leave so they stayed with us last night. It was nice to have them one last time. They left early this morning and I got word just a little while ago that they had made it to the halfway mark.
     I know the numbness will fade and we will settle in to being here and we will make lots of new friends here but for now it is hard to do much but sit here and be sorry. Please pray for us as we adjust.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A Video

Here is a short video that our 12 year old daughter made (all by herself!) for our friends at Hub City Church. They just sent us the most WONDERFUL package for Christmas!! Thank you friends! We love you.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

It So Hard to Say Goodbye, Especially for Me

(Election time on the Mountain)
Goodbyes are very difficult for me. I am never sure how to handle them. They always seem awkward and there is no good way to end them. I often try to avoid them all together. That is one of my many character flaws. There I said it, I hate goodbyes. For most people this wouldn’t be so bad but for me it is terrible. It seems we are always traveling or moving to a new place and we are always having to say goodbye to someone. Its not that I don’t miss them; its just that the whole business is clumsy and awkward and I‘m not sure what to do in those extended moments.
     Now, as we approach the end of our time here at POC we have so many relationships that need this closure that I am beginning to be overwhelmed by the prospect of it all. I have grown very close to a good many people here on the mountain, heck we even named one of our children after one of them, that I feel like I should start saying goodbye now but our lives are so intertwined that it almost seems absurd. How do you  say goodbye to people you will continue to see all the time for another month?
      Once, we started telling people we were leaving word spread pretty quickly and lots of people asked me if it was true.  Each time I say “yes” and then in good Papua New Guinean fashion we have to discuss the whys, hows, and whens. When all of this is done they mull it over a bit and agree that it is the best thing but they are so terribly sad to see us go. I guess in some ways this is a goodbye in itself, especially for the more casual relations we have formed. And in some ways this is easier on me than abrupt goodbye at the very end that seems to hang on an uncomfortably long time.
     For the people we have built deep relationships with it has been much more difficult on both sides. We have to discuss it more and the separation has to be dealt with much more solemnly. There are some other cultural elements that have to be dealt with as well. Papua New Guinea has several different broad cultural areas. The area we currently live in (and really feel a part of at this point) is the “lowlands”. This area is most of the costal regions (excluding the Sepik) on the north side of the island. Our folks (and us by extension) are a much more low key people. Life goes at a slower pace stuff takes time to be worked out and a discussion can go on for weeks without getting truly heated. People spend a great deal of time tending to relationships and making sure that they are in good order. Physical conflict is always a last resort. Of all of these lowlands people the people of Madang are the most steeped in this way of life.
     The area we are moving to is called the “highlands”. It can be broken into several broad cultural subcategories but for simplicity sake  I will treat it as one here. Highland people are much more aggressive. This is good in the fact that they tend to jump on a task and try to push it through to completion much more than lowland people do. They are also more entrepreneurial and seem to always have an angle they are working (good if it is channeled in the right direction). Unfortunately, they are much more quick to fight as well.  A dispute can very quickly erupt into a fight that involves entire families. The fights also tend to involve weapons and are much more deadly.
     These cultural elements add a bit of anxiety to our goodbyes as well. Our people are afraid of highlanders and so they are afraid for us. We have assured them that we will be ok, but they worry none the less. Please pray that we will deal well with goodbyes over the next 5 weeks and that people will understand that we will be back to visit.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

November Update

 {POC as seen from the point}

Dear Friends,
                Due to our recent computer failures we are down to one last computer that does not have our mailing lists or outlook programs on it. As a result we will be communicating with as many of you as possible through Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/mattcrosland2?ref=hl ) and the Blog (http://thecroslands.blogspot.com/ ) for the next month or so. Please, pass on our posts to anyone else you know who receives our newsletters.
                First I want to thank all of you for your prayers over the last couple of months. Our water problems have eased as rain has come again and the tanks are full. We are still working hard to add more holding capacity to the system for future dry seasons. A friend of mine from Ukarumpa (Brian Frey) came down last week and we got the generator running again, so our power situation should be stable for the time being. All of our students have been doing well in their village allocations and we will be going out to get them later this week.
                Tiffany has a tooth that broke shortly after we arrived in July. We are planning on taking the students to Ukarumpa on November 19th so she can see the dentist before they go on furlough. Please pray for our safe travels and that they will be able to fix Tiffany’s tooth.
                As most of you are aware by now we are expecting our last baby in March. We will be flying to Cairns, Australia in mid February for the birth. We would like to ask for your help to make this possible. The trip is broken into two sections the first is a small single engine plane that will fly us between Ukarumpa and Port Moresby, PNG. The second is a commercial flight between Port Moresby and Cairns, Australia. The total cost round trip is $4,600. The small plane will be $1800 round trip. Fortunately, this payment is not due until we fly in February. The remaining $2800 will cover the commercial flight. We need to get this money as soon as possible. The commercial ticket prices are already starting to go up and we need to buy the tickets by this Friday (November 15). We have already received $300 toward reaching this goal. If you would like to help you can visit our secure page at the Wycliffe website: http://www.wycliffe.org/Partnership.aspx?eis=215582, as always all gifts are tax deductable. Please pray that God provides what we need to purchase our tickets.
The Croslands

Friday, October 18, 2013

Best Shoes EVER!!!!


     During our first term in PNG Tiffany’s sister sent us a package. I asked for a good pair of flip flops*. It is impossible to find anything other than the cheap plastic ones here. I had gone through a series of different ones from the States and though they had lasted longer than anything I had gotten here they still pulled apart and broke before they were worn out.

      We opened the box and among the various other prizes she sent were the flip flops pictured above. They didn’t look like this when I got them. I put them on and never took them off again.They are Quicksilvers, I’m not sure of the style. What I am sure of is they are the best pair of shoes (running shoes, boat shoes, etc. included) I have ever owned.

      Flip flops are the favorite shoe in PNG, especially in the costal area where we live. I have worn these shoes every day for the last two and a half years. They are my work boots, my hiking boots, my dress shoes, my beach wear, and my sport shoes. I do literally everything in these shoes (as you can tell by the shape they are in). The only time they sat unused for any period of time was when we were home (in the US) in the dead of winter and even then I wore them around the house.

     Sadly, I am going to have to retire them soon. They have made several trips around the world, been in multiple countries, been used and abused in ways that I’m sure the manufactures never intended and they are still in one piece. It pains me to think about letting them go but the time has come. I hope my next pair (what ever they are) can preform half as well as these have.

* For you native American English speakers- much of the rest of the English speaking world call this type of shoe thongs. In Tok Pisin they are called tongs.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Transformational Truth


       Part of my job this course is to go out to different areas in our province (Madang) and find villages where our students can live for 5 weeks. It is a long process that involves multiple trips and various checks on the villages. I get the chance to meet a lot of people during the process. I have lots of great conversations in the process, many of which turn to spiritual things.

       A couple of weeks ago I was going through the villages and doing my visits with a Papua New Guinean friend when we came to Bawak village. We sat down with Smith (first name of the waspapa)and began to talk (he is the man on the right of the picture). My friend started to ask about all the cocoa dryers in the village (you can see one just behind Smith in the picture). We began to look around as Smith pointed them out and there was one for every 2 or 3 houses.

      This was quite striking because they are just now building the second one on our entire mountain. These dryers are important because dry coca beans are worth a whole lot more than wet one. So if they have a means to dry their beans they can make a good deal more.

      My friend mentioned the fact that they were just now building the second dryer on our mountain and Smith told the following story:

      Not too long ago Bawak didn’t have a church and most of the people in the community were involved in “Cargo Cult”. (Basically this is the idea that there is a secret that wealthy people with lots of belongings know and they keep for themselves. If you can find out “the secret” then all these things can be yours. It is generally believed that all westerners “white man” know the secret. It manifests itself in many different ways but “the secret” is always involved). Then 2 churches moved into the village and a couple people started going. These people started to change; they were different than anyone else in the village. Others in the village wanted to know why they had become so different so they went to the church to find out. They too started to change, and so it went. It was not a quick process but eventually there was no more cargo cult in the village and everyone in the village was different. But it didn’t just stop with the people the village started to change too. There wasn’t anymore stealing, the teenagers were better behaved, and various types of development (the cocoa dryers, etc.) started to happen. All of this change was not because they had learned “the secret” or because  God was happy with their obedience and showered all types of gifts on them (health and wealth theology- western cargo cult). It was because the truth of God had reached into their hearts and change who they were and those changes were manifested in the community.

       My friend was blown away by this story. It was so simple and so true. They had become the “city on the hill”. God’s transformative power was not limited to some internal thing that only effects the spiritual realm, never to be seen. If you allow it to permeate who you are and flow out of you it can not only transform those around you but whole communities.

       My friend kept coming back to this story all day and for days following we talked about it and what it means. Sometimes he lamented that our mountain has had the Gospel so much longer than this other village and we are still so far behind. In the end we came to the conclusion that there is nothing we can do about the past but there is plenty we can do now. What was not immediately obvious to him is that these changes are already beginning; I can see them and I am honored to be a part of the community as they happen.

      God allow every person in this community to have the overflowing bounty of you truth. I know that it is building even now. Lord help us to be your catalysts, help us to make this community your next “City on the Hill”'. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Do You Ever Feel Like You Can’t Get a Break?

sept2013 040
(Isaac at Rempi)
Yesterday we had a beautiful day down at Rempi. We loaded all of the students, the canoe, paddle board, food, water, snorkel gear etc. etc. in to the trucks and spent the day paddling around and floating in the gorgeous Bismark Sea. It was the first day since we’ve been back in PNG that I truly felt well and at ease. I even said to Matt on the way home “I just had my first really good day in months…”
Matt noticed a toothache coming on as we were driving back up the mountain and mentioned he thought he might need an antibiotic.
This morning when I woke up the first thing I noticed was that my face was burning. Evie came in and said “MOM! What is that red and white stuff all over your face!!?” I went to look in the mirror and saw an unsightly inflamed and infected rash all over my face- cheeks, chin, nose. Then I noticed it was down my neck and chest too. Further inspection revealed that it also is all over my back. Matt awoke and said his tooth was really hurting and he thought for sure he was going to need antibiotics. I went to visit our nurse, Verna, who lives here at POC with us part of the time. I showed her my skin and she said she thinks it’s not serious but maybe a reaction to something in the water yesterday, so she sent me home with Benadryl (the only thing I can take while pregnant). She said she is more concerned with the cough I’ve had for weeks. Our doctor down in Madang is out of the country until next month so really all I can do is wait it out and pray.
I came home to find that Matt discovered our water tank is completely dry. This is our only water to shower in, wash dishes, flush toilets, and drink. Later we also found out that our kitchen manager’s tank is also dry.
In the meantime Matt went to see Verna with his toothache. He was sent home with a powerful antibiotic to hopefully kill whatever infection is in his mouth. (Did I mention that I also chipped the back off of my front bottom tooth last month?) Of course the nearest dentist is in Ukarumpa (a 7 hour truck ride away). We won’t be able to make it up there until or students go to the village in October.
Please understand: We don’t make it a habit to go whining around with all of our afflictions and problems but it is becoming hard to bear. And for those of you who want to know how to pray- now you know.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE pray for rain!!!!!! And our health!!! Pray that the baby won’t be harmed in any way!! We are not without hope.
Thank you,

Friday, August 16, 2013

the pig is ready

     Here is a picture of the pig and the food that I wrote about in the previous post.
        I went down to Miani’s village about 1 pm. Judy and some of the other ladies from the village had already gone to their garden and gathered the bananas and vegetables.As with any event in PNG We all sat around and talked and told stories for several hours as people came. Then there was a lot of discussion on how we were going to tie up the pig. It is a very large pig for PNG and it’s tusks were starting to come out so they were very concerned about restraining it well while the legs were being tied up. Everyone finally agreed on the method and all the men went to get it. It ended up taking 6 guys to hold it down and 4 more to tie the feet. I was surprised by how strong it was. After we finished tying it up and carrying it back up to the villages Judy prepared a small meal for all the people who helped get everything ready. We ate and then the discussion began about getting it to Judy’s family.
      We originally thought Judy’s family was going to come and get everything and carry it all up to their village. We quickly realized the pig was too heavy for them to carry all the way to their village. Papa Ganig then launched into a “back in may day” speech about when he was young they carried pigs like this for 15 miles up the side of a mountain. I guess that sort of nostalgia is universal. He finally relented to the consensus and I went and got the largest POC vehicle, a 4 ton flat bed truck outfitted with a shed and benches. We loaded the pig and all the food on the truck and then pretty much the whole village got on the truck and carried it up to the other village. When we arrived the pig and all the vegetables were unloaded and carried down the Judy’s uncle’s house in a grand procession. The food and pig were brought into the village in a single file procession and then pilled up in a way that made it look even more impressive. It was very dark by this point and that seemed to add to the drama of the whole thing. As each new item entered into the light of the lamps and were added to the heap they almost seemed to be appearing out of nothing. Once all the food had arrived there were a series of speeches made by both families about how sorry everyone was for the loss and how the bonds between the two families were strengthened. Judy’s family then presented Miani’s family with a small pile of food, in thanks for the pig. Finally, everyone talked for a while and then we all got back on the truck and went back to Miani’s village.
      Judy’s family will cook all night to prepare all the food we brought in addition to what they have gathered. The Huas Krai meal will happen Saturday afternoon and then they will take it down. Miani and Judy will make a separate meal in their village Sunday afternoon with the food they were given for everyone who helped there.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Piggy Predicament

      Well as most of you know we have a pig here and we were going to eat it when we got back. Miani and Judy are our closest friends here and they have been looking after the pig. Just after we returned Judy’s mother died. Just like everywhere else deaths are a big thing in PNG. Not like everywhere else, they require several feasts to mark different events during the mourning period. The first is during the burial time. The family actually makes several big meals during this time to feed the gathering family and the mourners. The family and friends are responsible for providing this food. The closer you are to the immediate family the greater the burden to provide food. There is also a greater sense of responsibility for people who have jobs or access to money.

     We have basically been adopted as brother and sister to Miani and Judy. Judy’s dad is also a language teacher at POC. I (matt) was a facilitator for his group during one of the courses and we developed a friendship then too. During this burial time we gave a 10kg (a little over 20 pounds) bag of rice to help with the food preparations.

     During this first phase the immediate family builds a temporary shelter where they gather and receive friends, called a Haus Krai. The family continues to receive visitors in the structure for several weeks after the burial. Then the family decides on a day that they will take down the structure. The removal of this structure marks the end of the morning period. On that day a very large meal is prepared for everyone who has been involved in the Huas Krai. It is customary for a pig to be killed for the closing feast. This is where our pig comes into play. Miani’s adopted father Papa Ganig wanted all of us to give the pig to Judy’s family. So he bought a new baby pig to replace ours.

     So, Friday Miani and I will get the pig and some garden vegetables ready. Judy’s brothers will come down and we will present the pig and the vegetables to them. This gift will reinforce and strengthen the bond between the families.This is also a prime example of how things that we as westerners think of as individually owned are actually communal property in PNG.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Around the world with a half dozen

       We have been in PNG for a week now. I guess it is time to reflect on our trip over. Leaving home always brings mixed emotions for me (Matt). On one hand We are leaving all of our family and friends we have had for so long. On the other we are returning to a place that we truly love and to people whom we love and who love us. It is also very stressful to go. But I think the stress lies in the business of it all. This is compounded by each additional person you throw in the mix. In the weeks before we left we got passports and visas, we packed bags to ship and to take with us, we all went to the dentist and to the doctor, we got malaria medicine, and what seems like a million other things all for 8 people.

      I asked the doctor to write the prescriptions for our malaria medications for 3 months because it is so much cheaper in the US. Tiffany took the prescriptions to the pharmacy and they said it would be a couple of days before they could fill them because it was so many pills. That was understandable because there are so many of us and it was like 90 pills apiece. So I waited an extra day and went back just to be sure they had time to fill it. The pharmacy only had 2 of the prescriptions filled. They tried to get the meds from 2 different distributors and were unable to get them. They then tried to get the medication in its generic form. they were able to fill 4 more prescriptions that way but that still left us 2 prescriptions short and we were leaving in 2 days. they then called the pharmacy across the street who had enough to fill one of the two. The manager of the pharmacy then went to one of their stores in a neighboring town and got enough to fill the final prescription. this is just one example of what our final weeks were like.

     Our trip was rather uneventful, no baggage lost, no missed connections, no sickness or horror stories. All of the children travel well and they were all well behaved.  We had to take 2 extended layovers this time that we had not taken before and I think they helped us to adjust. The first was in LA. We were there for 2 nights. We have some friends there , the Shermans, with whom we had the chance to spend the afternoon. Our flight did not leave until 10pm the next day so we stored our bags and took a sightseeing tour around the city. We saw, Marina Del Ray, Venice Beach, Hollywood, The Sunset Strip, Mann’s Chinese Theater, the walk of Stars, the Hollywood sign, and lots more. It was a nice way to close out our time there.

     Form there we went through Auckland, New Zealand on our way  to Cairns, Australia. Miani was born in Cairns so it was nice to get back and see the sights. Though it is winter in Australia right now Cairns was very nice. The kids played at a splash pad and swam in the pool at the place we were staying. We also did a little bit of shopping for last minute things that we realized we would like to have.  The one sad thing about our time in Australia was that while we were getting our stuff ready to put in the taxi to go to the airport we realized that we had lost our camera somewhere in Australia (hence the reason there are no pictures with this post). We moved between hotels while we were there and I think it actually got lost somewhere in that move but we were not able to track it down so we are without one.

  Though the last two flights were the shortest of all they might have been the most taxing. I think Miani had had all he wanted of traveling by that point and he didn’t want to sit calmly in his seat (our laps). the people around us  were very kind though and didn’t seem to mind him too much.

All in all it was a good trip and we are finally here.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

11 days and counting

haus man 002 - Copy       It is hard to believe we are just 11 days away from going back to PNG. The prospect seemed so bleak for so long, but God is in control and He acts in His own time. We are in the process of sorting through everything and deciding what stays, what goes and what to give away. It really doesn't seem like it would take very long but when you multiply it by 8 even the smallest task turns into a chore.
     We are grateful for all the things you have given us to take back. Each one of these items makes our lives a little easier. We still need quite a few things as you can see by the “Wish list” on the right side of the blog.
      They will be packing the shipping container at the JAARS facility in Waxhaw, NC on July 10th so we have to have everything packed, labeled, and listed before then. My Dad and I are planning on taking everything up on Tuesday the 9th (next week).  I am looking forward to doing that together. We are also going to visit my grandmother’s farm in York, SC while we are up that way. I have not been there in many years.
     I know some of you have expressed interest in helping with the remaining items. It would be great if you could get whatever you have to us by Saturday July 6th so that we have time to pack and label everything properly.
     On a totally separate note the 4th of July is just a couple of days away. It is one of my (Matt) favorite holidays. We arrived just in time for it last year. the kids had a great time. It was probably the first time that they were old enough to shoot fireworks themselves. When they started seeing the fireworks stands around town this year they asked if we could buy some fireworks to shoot this year. Being my favorite holiday and so close to our departure date how could I refuse. We are planning on buying them on the 4th and having our own little show an Nana and Papa’s house. We don’t have fireworks in PNG so this will be our last chance for 3 years.
     Thanks again to all of you who have made our return trip possible. Keep praying.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Plane ticket update

THANK YOU!!!!!!!

                We purchased our tickets to return to PNG today! We could not have done it without your prayers and support. We could not ask for a better team than you.

                We will be leaving from Greenville/ Spartanburg Airport July 13. First we will fly to Los Angeles and stop for two days. We will then fly to Auckland, New Zealand and on to Cairns, Australia. We will be in Cairns for four days. This will be the first time we have been back to Cairns since Miani was born. Everyone is excited to get back and see it. From Cairns we will fly to Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea and then on to our final destination, Madang, Papua New Guinea.

                As I’m sure you have noticed we have two long layovers. If we had not taken these layovers the tickets would have been more than $3000 over our budget.

                We are now beginning the process of gathering what we need to live in PNG for the next three years. We are each allowed one 50 lb. trunk on the planes, the rest we will pack and send over in a shipping container. We will be posting a list of the things we need and don’t have on our blog (http://thecroslands.blogspot.com/). If you think you might be able to help with something on the list let us know.

                If you are interested in helping with the extra cost of these unexpected layovers you can visit our page (http://www.wycliffe.org/Partnership.aspx?mid=Z2OH1L) or send a check to Wycliffe with a note attached stating “for the ministry of Matt and Tiffany Crosland (215582)” to the address listed below.

Wycliffe Bible Translators
PO Box 628200
Orlando, FL 32862-8200 

                As always we are grateful for your prayers. We firmly believe they are a huge reason we have made it to this point. Please, continue to pray for our visas. We are still waiting on them and have not gotten an update recently. You can also pray for discernment as we pack. It is difficult to know what might be needed several years from now. We would also like to pray for you specifically. If you have something you would like for us to pray about just let us know and we will lift you up to our amazing God.

Monday, June 3, 2013

June week 1 update

            As you are aware, we have reached our monthly quota and are still working to get the rest of the money we need for our plane tickets. You may also be aware that we needed to get all of these funds together by June 1 in order to be back in Papua New Guinea (PNG) by the beginning of July. This date has passed and every day we don’t reach our goal is a day we are delayed returning. The good news is that we have had several more gifts toward our tickets this week. We only need $3000 more to purchase our tickets. We have also been officially cleared by Wycliffe to return to PNG.

I received an email from our new supervisors in PNG today asking about our return date. There is quite a bit of work to be done before the next course. The staff is busy learning their new positions and they have not had time to look after many of the things we do. Needless to say they are anxious to have us back a soon as possible.

Your prayers have been so amazing. We can clearly see their effects on our ministry. We need you to pray that the rest of these funds will come in very quickly. We have not heard anything else about our visas either. Would you please pray that they are processed soon.

If you would like to help you can visit our page on the Wycliffe web site: http://www.wycliffe.org/Partnership.aspx?mid=Z2OH1L, click on our picture and follow the instructions or send a check to the address listed below. If you are interested in mailing in your donation you can use the address below.  Make the check payable to Wycliffe Bible Translators and attach a note stating “for the ministry of Matt and Tiffany Crosland (215582)”. Would you also please let me know if you plan on giving? (matt_crosland@wycliffe.org or 864-494-7937) I need to keep an up-to-date record of where we stand and give an accurate report to our supervisor. As always if you have any other thoughts or ideas please feel free to call or email me any time.

Wycliffe Bible Translators
PO Box 628200
Orlando, FL 32862-8200 


Thank you,                 

Matt and Tiffany Crosland

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Week 5

Another week has passed and God continues to do amazing things. Several more donations have come in for our plane tickets. We now only need $3700! We are so close to being able to buy our tickets. We are also very close to our deadline too. If we are to get back on time we need your help. I want to thank each one of you for being such wonderful advocates. Your prayers and support have come at just the right time and in just the right way. Truly yours is a heart for the Kingdom.

If you would like to help you can visit our page on the Wycliffe web site: http://www.wycliffe.org/Partnership.aspx?mid=Z2OH1L, click on our picture and follow the instructions or send a check to the address listed below. Make the check payable to Wycliffe Bible Translators and attach a note “for the ministry of Matt and Tiffany Crosland (215582). Would you also please let me know if you plan on giving? (matt_crosland@wycliffe.org or 864-494-7937) I need to keep an up-to-date record of where we stand and give an accurate report to our supervisor.

Wycliffe Bible Translators
PO Box 628200
Orlando, FL 32862-8200 

                We have not heard anything else about our visas. Please continue to pray they will be processed quickly. We have to have them in hand before we can board the plane. Also pray that the remaining funds for our plane tickets will come quickly.

Thank you,

Matt and Tiffany Crosland

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Financial Update

Dear Friends,

God did it!!! We have reached our monthly support goal. Thanks to every one of you who has made this possible. But this is not all the good news.

                I also received word that my work permit has been approved and our visa paperwork has been given to the visa office in Port Moresby (the capitol of Papua New Guinea). I also got the okay to go ahead and send our passports and duplicate visa paperwork in to the PNG embassy in Washington, DC. Once the visas are approved in PNG they will put the actual visas in our passports in Washington and return them to us. But that is not all either.

                We also received another donation toward our plane tickets. We now only need $4500 before we can purchase our tickets. Would you like to help get us back to our work in PNG?

Just visit our page on the Wycliffe web site: http://www.wycliffe.org/Partnership.aspx?mid=Z2OH1L, click on our picture and follow the instructions or send a check to the address listed below. Make the check payable to Wycliffe Bible Translators and attach a note “for the ministry of Matt and Tiffany Crosland (215582). All gifts made to us through Wycliffe are tax deductible. Would you also please let me know if you plan on giving? (matt_crosland@wycliffe.org or 864-494-7937) I need to keep an up-to-date record of where we stand and give an accurate report to our supervisor.  You can keep up with us regularly by liking our page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Croslands-In-PNG/153390898097461?ref=hl

Wycliffe Bible Translators          
PO Box 628200
Orlando, FL 32862-8200

                Please continue to pray that our visas are processed quickly and that the last bit of money for our plane tickets comes in soon. We have also begun the process of sorting through and collecting things to be shipped back to PNG for the next three years. Please pray for wisdom and strength as we go through this process.


             Thank you again and keep praying!!!

Matt and Tiffany Crosland

Monday, May 20, 2013

Week 4 Update

It has been another truly remarkable week. God never ceases to amaze us. We now only need $27 in monthly support to be at 100%. We are so close now; will you be the one to push us over the top?

                We also had a generous commitment to our plane tickets as well. We now only need $5000 to purchase our return trip tickets. How wonderful it is to see God’s hand at work through his children.

                We are still in great need for prayer in these areas. But I want to ask you to say a special prayer this week for my work permit. We cannot submit our visa paperwork until my work permit is approved. Please pray that it gets done this week and that our visa stuff can be processed very quickly. We know that God can do this. We have seen Him do it before.

If you would like to help you can visit our page on the Wycliffe web site: http://www.wycliffe.org/Partnership.aspx?mid=Z2OH1L, click on our picture and follow the instructions or send a check to the address listed below. Make the check payable to Wycliffe Bible Translators and attach a note “for the ministry of Matt and Tiffany Crosland (215582). All gifts made to us through Wycliffe are tax deductible. Would you also please let me know if you plan on giving? (matt_crosland@wycliffe.org or 864-494-7937) I need to keep an up-to-date record of where we stand and give an accurate report to our supervisor.  You can keep up with us regularly by liking our page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Croslands-In-PNG/153390898097461?ref=hl

             Thank you again and keep praying!!!

Matt and Tiffany Crosland

Wycliffe Bible Translators
PO Box 628200
Orlando, FL 32862-8200

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Financial update- week 3

We continue to be amazed as God works to bring us back to Papua New Guinea. As of today we only need $402 in monthly support to return to PNG.

We have some more good news. We were able to work with the passport office and get the three passports we were waiting on expedited. They arrived yesterday. I sent off our visa applications last night but they cannot be filed until I receive my work permit. Please pray that it comes quickly.

Our last point of prayer is our plane tickets. We talked to our travel agent last week. She gave us an estimate of what the tickets back to PNG would cost. They were considerably cheaper than we thought they might be. We have been saving since we returned to the US but we don’t have all the money yet. We still need about $6000 for the tickets.

We ask that you do two things. First be in prayer for all the above items. God is working and we need your prayers to help finish the task. Second is prayerfully consider becoming a part of our support team. We need your help to return to our work in PNG.

If you would like to help you can visit our page on the Wycliffe web site: http://www.wycliffe.org/Partnership.aspx?mid=Z2OH1L, click on our picture and follow the instructions or send a check to the address listed below. Make the check payable to Wycliffe Bible Translators and attach a note “for the ministry of Matt and Tiffany Crosland (215582). Would you also please let me know if you plan on giving? (matt_crosland@wycliffe.org or 864-494-7937) I need to keep an up-to-date record of where we stand and give an accurate report to our supervisor.

Wycliffe Bible Translators
PO Box 628200
Orlando, FL 32862-8200


Thank you again and keep praying!!!

Matt and Tiffany Crosland

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

financial update- week 2

Dear Friends,

I received an email from the Nobnob (our language group) translators this week, telling about how anxious all of our Papua New Guinean friends are for us to return. I also talked with the new directors of POC (the training course where we serve). They have been getting by bringing temporary staff in for a few months at a time to fill in while we are gone. They are between fill-ins right now and the next one is only going to be able to stay for a month. Continuity is what POC and the broader Nobnob community needs. The directors have asked that we come back as soon as we can.

As I told you last week our goal is to be back by early July. This means having all of our monthly support, paperwork, and plane tickets by June 1. We had a setback this week with our passports. We got back one of the four we were waiting on. The other three were delayed because they needed more documentation. Please pray that they will be hurried through the process.

We have great news about our financial status. We only need $467 more in monthly support. God has been doing amazing things this week. We still need you to help us finish. Please prayerfully consider becoming a part of our team.

                If you would like to give online you can go to our page on the Wycliffe website: http://www.wycliffe.org/Partnership.aspx?mid=Z2OH1L, click on our picture, and follow the instructions. If you are interested in mailing a check you can send it to:

Wycliffe Bible Translators

PO Box 628200

Orlando, FL 32862-8200


Please attach a note stating “for the ministry of Matt and Tiffany Crosland (215582).” Because time is short we ask you to let us know about your commitment via email. It is very important we keep our supervisor up-to-date with where we stand financially.


Thank you,

Matt and Tiffany Crosland

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Financial Update

Dear Friends,

                We just finished mailing the last of our prayer cards this morning. If you would still like one and have not given us your address it’s not too late. Just message us with your mailing address. I also wanted to let you know we only need $677 more in monthly support. We have one month left to get the support we need to return to our work in PNG by July. We need your help to reach our support goal. I recently spoke to someone who said that what they could give would not make a difference. But that is not true, every contribution makes a difference. I would like to remind you of the story of the Widow’s Mite. This story is a prime example of what the smallest gifts can mean to the kingdom of God. I’ve also heard people say, “I’m waiting to be the one to put you over the top.” Now is the time, the final push is on, and the goal date is drawing near. Please, help us to reach the top today.

                I would also like to ask a favor of you. If you are considering becoming a financial partner or if you have already mailed in your card would you please let me know what your commitment level is. It is my responsibility to compile our commitments and let Wycliffe know where we are. Because time is short I need to stay as current as possible.

                We are still looking for places to speak in the next couple of months. We would love to come and share about what we are doing with your congregation, Sunday school class, or missions group. Just send me an email or give me a call and we can set it up.

                If you are interested in partnering with our ministry through prayer or financial support,  you can go to: http://www.wycliffe.org/Partnership.aspx?mid=Z2OH1L and sign up. Or you can mail your commitment to:

                Wycliffe Bible Translators
    PO Box 628200
    Orlando, FL 32862-8200
Please attach a note stating “for the ministry of Matt and Tiffany Crosland 215582”.

                Thank you for all of your help. Please pray God provides all we need to return to our work.

                Matt and Tiffany Crosland


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

New Prayer Cards!

{photo by Frankie Creel}
It's been four years since our last prayer cards were sent out. Our new ones are here, thanks to Frankie Creel! If you are not on our mailing list and would like a new card email us at: matt_crosland@wycliffe.org and we'll get one out to you ASAP.
Also, in financial news...We are getting closer to our goal of a July return to PNG! We still need $782 per month to reach 100% of our budget. If you would like to join our support team, go to our support page and follow the prompts there. All gifts made to our ministry are 100% tax deductible! A BIG Thank You to all of our new supporters as well as those of you who have been in it with us for the long haul. We are thankful for each and
every one of you!!

Monday, April 8, 2013

The Tide Is Turning

When I updated you last, we were pretty sure that financially it wasn't possible to make it back to PNG. We were discouraged and confused. This past week everything has changed. We have a renewed energy and excitement to get back to our work there. And most importantly we have seen a big increase in our support level! We now need $870 more per month to get back to PNG! Our next course is scheduled to start August 14. So, that means we need to be 100% funded by June in order to get our plane tickets, and get back in time to settle in a bit. If you have been considering becoming a monthly supporter, now is a perfect time to get on board! To sign up to give online, go to:: http://www.wycliffe.org/Partnership.aspx?mid=Z2OH1L
and just follow the prompts. As always all gifts made to our ministry are tax deductible.
A GREAT BIG THANK YOU to those of you who have been praying, giving and inviting us to speak! We'll keep you posted....

Monday, February 18, 2013

What's Goin' On

This might have to end up being several blog posts...
I have to apologize to our regulars for not keeping you up to date at all. I think I greatly underestimated the craziness of reverse culture shock, and didn't really realize how burnt out I'd become. So, we've been back in The States for nearly 8 months now. And truely we don't feel much less confused than when we first learned that my sweet mother in law was very close to death.
When we left the US in 2010 we "knew" we'd be gone at least 3 years and likely 4. We had only been in PNG for about 2 weeks when Matt's Mom called to tell him she had cancer. We didn't really know much more than that.
We were often out of contact and away from cell coverage and internet access during our first 4 months or so in country. We found out in January last year that Grandma was going to discontinue her cancer treatment. We weren't exactly sure what that meant but felt that it wasn't good. It wasn't until May that we knew she was going down hill quickly and we started to make plans to get back to be with her for her last weeks. I want to thank all of those who gave in order for us to get plane tickets on short notice.
 Unfortunately, as some of you know, we didn't get back in time to say goodbye in person and she passed away just four days before we made it back to S.C. We feel truly blessed that we did make it back to be with Grandpa for her funeral service. But we were also confused. Why did God allow it to happen this way? Why would we make such big strides in PNG, finally feeling culturally in tune and accepted only to have to come back a year prematurely? Why, now that we are here, are we financially unable to get back to our work there? What will happen to The Haus Karim Project ? We just don't know. We don't have much of a continency plan, but we do trust God. We have fasted, prayed, and sought council and the answer is always the same; "Watch. Wait. Trust." We are confident that God is in control and we trust Him completely. I ask that you will pray with us. Pray that if the Father wants us back in PNG for the next course of POC that He will provide the $1400 per month that we need to return. And pray if that is not His will, that He'll show us what to do next. Thank you friends for taking this wild ride with us. Either way the adventure is not over!
 I will try to be better at updating here. You can also follow along on Facebook, leave us a note and let us know what's new with you!
XO Tiffany