I sit on the hard, wooden bench on the women’s side. The pink, blue, and yellow stained glass softens sunlight, filling the small village church. It’s our last Sunday morning in Guntebaug; we head back to town on Friday.
I try to wrangle two toddler girls. We wait for church to start (and wait and wait…)
I’m tired. I’m trying to digest the last five weeks we’ve been living among the Nobonob people. It has been wonderful and horrible and challenging and joy-bringing.
Sometimes I forget why I’m here. I get lost in the hard moments and when it feels the failures keep piling up, I lose sight. My blindness keeps me from seeing things as they really are- how often I have been in this place before.
Some days when my eyes can’t see my ears must work harder.
A young boy grabs a guitar and begins to play and suddenly noise fills up this little congregation. The church blurs and water seeps over lids. Yes, this: every language worshipping Jesus.
We are loud this morning, voices raised, hands clapping- sound reaching Heaven’s ears. And I hear clearly and the sound makes my eyes open again. And I see it again, the vision: Until all Hear.
You see, sometimes we need reminding why we’re here. Not just me in Papua New Guinea, but all of us. Because there are days when our hearts long for Him and Heaven so much that it hurts. But we labor on the Earth not in vain. Our brows sweat and our bodies bleed and our hearts ache and it’s not all for naught.
So when you need reminding: sing. And let the worship remind you of this: you have purpose here on the Earth and it isn’t to be an accountant or a doctor or even a missionary. No, it’s to know Jesus fully- the God-Man.
I remember the words the veteran missionary spoke after I’d been here only a few weeks: “If you think you came to Papua New Guinea to be a Bible translator or a missionary, you’re wrong. You came here to know Jesus better.”
I sing and remember. And my eyes refocus on Jesus, the Savior, who loves Papua New Guinea and me and who is here now calling me deeper into the knowledge of Him.
And together we sing:
Until all hear; until all sing.