The trip to PNG was one filled with a lot of exciting work. This was a trip taken on a leap of faith and God provided with a fellow psychologist, Krista Barney, who had training and expertise in an area which I lack. My psychology practice is primarily in counseling and trauma work. When I was in Papua New Guinea in 2015 providing some counseling and member care services, I noticed a need for some psychological assessment and work with the school children. This is not an area in which I specialize, but the need was there. I felt like I should establish the trip and trust the rest to God. So we organized a date and made arrangements to do the testing. As the date great closer, I was starting to feel overwhelmed that I was going to be in trouble as I had committed to this trip but had yet to find a psychologist specializing in testing and assessment of school children. However, at a dinner regarding some business in Latvia, I was informed of a psychologist in California who had attended Biola and he happened to get me in contact with Krista, from Newfoundland, Canada. It can be a little unnerving going around the world with a stranger to face an unrelenting schedule of testing and working with kids from 8 am to 8 pm daily for two weeks, not to mention if that person is a fellow psychologist (most of them are a bit stuffy). As it turns out, not only did God provide the BEST psychologist for the testing, he also provided the best travel companion for me and my family. Krista was truly a blessing to us all. EFFORT was blessed to have been able to have her on this part of our journey.
While we were in PNG I ran across some wonderful people that I was privileged enough to have counseled before. Many asked if I could make the rounds again and do more counseling services. I would love for that to be a regular part of our ministry, to be able to visit regularly and provide member care services to the folks in this country. I love the missionaries here, the nationals (finally a language I can speak!) and the country’s culture. There are so many wonderful mission opportunities for mental health to missionaries, member care, providing direct care to those in need, and proselytizing. I pray that I can hear God’s guidance in how to respond to all the opportunities.
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