I’ve been back in Australia since November, so I decided it was time for a little update!
Usually around this time of year, I send out an email with photos of a lot of new faces joining the Discipleship Training School that I staff. This year, I felt that God was leading me in a new direction and opening up some new opportunities for me.
For the past year or so I have been developing maps that help us to visualize our work in Papua New Guinea and Australia. We include data like where the airports, hospitals, and churches are as well as where we have been and the specific work we have done. In 2013, I had 5 days of training from another YWAMer from Kona, HA. She is a cartographer by education, and has been using this in missions for around 8 years. After the training – I was hooked!
While I didn’t have time to focus only on mapping, I was able to do a lot of the work in my spare time. In July I had the oppotunity to make this my full time role, and focus on mapping and developing the planning of some of our outreaches.
While it’s work that I enjoy, the past few months have been the typical “pioneering” stages. I have had days of incredible breakthrough, and equally frustration! For the past few months I have had help from Gerald (a short term volunteer) which has been awesome. He has now moved into a new role on campus, so it’s back to one. One day I hope to see the mapping team grow and increase what we are able to visualize, but for now I am creating manuals, maps, and lots of mistakes on my own.
Here’s a snap shot of my most recent map 🙂
All of our engagement in PNG since 2010… On the web version we can use this to see internal data like village assessments, where the health clinics are, water/sanitation, and even photos of the people we met along the way!
(If you would like the web version, feel free to email me personally – for now, we like to protect the personal information of those represented on this map!)
Another “door” that has opened has been the opportunity to speak more to our training schools and interns. I have spoke 12 times since being back from the long visa wait. I love developing my teaching, and having a way to still be involved with our students outside of staffing or leading a school.
Since returning to Australia I have moved homes, changed housemates, moved offices (twice, and again today!), and spent a lot of time focusing on the new things in store for 2015. A few of the words I feel like come to mind are new journeys, opportunities, and rest. I’m really looking forward to see how these play out.
Though I usually finish with a “Thank You“, I want you to know just how truly grateful I am for your invovlement, support, and friendship over the past few years. The map above may look like colored points randomly placed on Papua New Guinea – but in reality they represent thousands of people who are isolated, and without some of the most very basic needs in life. Your support has helped to “put them on the map“, make their needs known and help them become accessible by others that feel called to make a difference just like you. So again, Thank you for the incredible support you have given and for being such a critical role in my life, as well as the many people we reach!
Pictured below you can see me and a few of my coworkers in the Gateway office (they are the registration area of our ministry.) You can also see some of our dashboards, stats, and my maps on the big screens behind us.
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