Home > News From The Field > Laura-Lee Alford recalls her trip to PNG

Laura-Lee Alford recalls her trip to PNG

Published Aug 25, 2010

Laura-Lee hiking to Yambawati
To get to know the people, you have to get among them.

Dear Friends,

It seems that soccer is a universal favorite. Almost anywhere in the world, you can find a group of people kicking a ball towards a goal with a ferocity that makes one think the fate of the world is at stake. Papua New Guinea is no exception - our people love soccer!

The first Saturday Sarah asked me if I wanted to go play, I never imagined that the soccer field would prove to be one of the most memorable places to me in PNG. I don’t even like soccer very much, and I’ve certainly never been good at it! But to the soccer field we went, walking thirty minutes and traversing a PNG bridge (which is definitely NOT my favorite activity), sitting under a house for one or two or three hours waiting for our turn, and finally running around in the tropical sun (or rain) trying to kick a ball across the field.

There are four ladies’ teams that play in the amateur league of our area. The K-Roots are from Kotidanga, so they were our team. Susan, the team captain, asked me what my position was. I didn’t know what any position was called, so I said, “Oh, I’ll play anywhere you want to put me.” Thus I was assigned left forward and remained there for the duration of the summer. I learned a lot about soccer, but more importantly, the Lord gave us relationships with our teammates, most of whom are lost.

The last Saturday I was in PNG, we invited the K-Roots to come to our house for some fun. We taught them how to play Spoons (that was exciting!) and made an enormous amount of popcorn. Before everyone left, I told them that the next day would be my last church service here, and I would love for them to come worship with us.

Most of the ladies on the team are unsaved. When they told us that they would come to church with us, I wondered. We had been much in prayer and continued in prayer, asking our God to show Himself mighty.

The next morning, the church was packed beyond maximum capacity, and the entire K-Roots team was there! The Word of God was proclaimed, and we claim God’s promise that His Word will not return void - but it WILL accomplish its purpose. Please pray that the Word and Spirit of God will not be hindered in the hearts of our K-Roots friends.

Child's face
The Kamea are more than a people group. They are people.

When I went to PNG, I expected to minister to the Kamea people and be a blessing to them. I had no idea how great of a blessing and deep of an impact they would have on me. When I was looking ahead to this summer, I had viewed the Kamea as people living in spiritual darkness and needing to hear the gospel, and I prayed for them accordingly.

I see their faces, I hear their voices, I know their stories.

Now, looking back on the summer, I also see the Kamea as individual people, many of whom became my friends, and my prayer for them changed. I see their faces, I hear their voices, I know their stories.

It’s one thing to spend time with people because you want to minister to them. It’s another thing entirely when those you started out just ministering to become your friends. Will you pray with me for Susan and her husband Bart, who have three beautiful daughters that they take care of very well? Will you pray for Oded, a teenager whose father is a government official? Will you pray for Angela and her husband Hans, two well-educated school teachers who are frustrated by the lack of progress in their country? Will you pray for Jennifer, who has the most generous spirit of any teenager I’ve every known? Will you pray for my friends, Glenda, Belinda, and Agatha?

Our God really is “able to do exceeding abundantly above all we ask or think.” I never thought to ask for friends in PNG. When we love God first and make Him the focal point of any ministry, He pours His love through us and accomplishes what we never thought was possible.

Because of Grace,
Laura-Lee Alford
II Corinthians 8:9

Tags: Kotidanga, ,