my PNG man

“I think bananas are good for my emotional well-being.”

I smiled to myself, watching Josiah’s face light up with pleasure as he scarfed down yet another banana. Was that number four? I’ve lost count. 🙂

We’d only been in PNG two days at that point, but already I could see another side of Josiah emerging. A side of him that I’d only barely glimpsed when he brought me over to PNG the summer of 2013 so I could meet his family and see where he grew up. Now, having moved here to live in Papua New Guinea on a long-term basis, this side of him that I’d glimpsed before began to fully emerge. He is still the same gentle, loving man that I met and fell in love with. He is still a man after God’s own heart. His mind still thinks way more abstractly than mine, he still loves cooking, he’s still generous and fun-loving.

But the “PNG side” of him was what I hadn’t really seen before. The side of him that eats bananas by the handful, carries a bush knife everywhere he can, jumps at the chance to scavenge for firewood and build a fire in the jungle, and loves having the chance to refuel a helicopter again. The foods that he would dream of while we were in the US are now available to him – foods like greens, tapioc, kaukau (like a cross between a sweet potato and a potato), guava, Maggi noodles (like Ramen, but better), sugar fruit, sugar cane, green coconut juice, and breadfruit.

Josiah and I at the lighthouse in PNG where we got engaged

Josiah and I at the lighthouse in PNG where we got engaged

Though in many ways being back in Papua New Guinea as an adult is very different for him (especially since he now has a wife with him), in other ways, it’s still very familiar to him, and he just thrives here. As I watch him get “recharged” by hiking on jungle trails, as I see him light up when he gets to “story” with the nationals in Pidgin, I can’t help thanking God for this amazing man he’s given me to do life with. Today is a milestone, marking his completion of 25 years of life. For almost two years, I’ve gotten to do life with him as his sidekick and helpmeet. I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with him, watching God use Josiah and his unique abilities to bring glory to Himself. Happy Birthday, Josiah!!

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