Friday, February 24, 2006


(The following blog was written by wife. I give her a lot of credit, for all that she has gone through here. Not many women would have left the states to come and live in area that can be very difficult on a daily basis. Some time she will have to write a blog about our first months here in PNG. It was quite the experience! She loves the Lord and desires to please Him.)

When my husband asked me to share a story on his blog, the first one that came to mind was our first Sunday in Kudukudu. We have started a church in the village of Kudukudu, about an hour’s drive from where we live. It is in pretty deep bush, and though the villagers have seen “white-skins”, (as they refer to us), they have hardly ever seen “white skin” children.

Terry was the one going back and forth to Kudukudu, setting up the church services and temporary meeting place. Everyone at the services was very anxious to meet the children and I. They were very reserved until services were over and fellowship time began. Then, the ladies and girls were asking tons of questions about our hair and skin. They touched and rubbed and even licked our skin, and when we let down our long hair for them, they went crazy! They even pulled some out to keep! The funniest part was when one little girl was looking through my daughter Heather’s hair and exclaimed, “Em I nogat louse!” She doesn’t have lice! Now, the people in the church in Kudukudu take great pride in knowing us personally, and being able to tell others about our hair and skin, how we take care from the sun, and how our skin does get darker, but not as dark as theirs! We, in turn, marvel at how they are able to work so hard and live off the land, and at the many ingenious ways they are able to get things done.

This story also brings to mind our new baby, Levi’s, first Sunday in Kudukudu. We went to Australia for his birth and first month. We were gone for two months, and as soon as we returned, I heard from friends how anxious the church in Kudukudu was to see the baby. I must admit, I was worried about him getting sick there in the deep bush. I knew everyone would want to hold him. I asked the Lord to give me peace. I know He called us to PNG, and gave us a new baby, and He is in control. Anyway, when we pulled in to the church ground on our first Sunday back with the baby, everyone ran full-speed up to out truck from the beach. I got out of the car with my one-month-old, and they grabbed him and took off running with him! I knew they were just so happy to finally see him, after watching me throughout my pregnancy, (there are some funny stories to tell about that, too), and praying I would have another boy. So, here I was, trying not to run after them too fast, and trying not to hyperventilate as they grabbed him and ran off! They ran a short way, and then came back in a group, with Levi in the middle. They actually did not touch him for several minutes. Everyone just stared at him, and he stared at them. I told them they could touch him, just not his face, please! (I didn’t let anyone touch my babies’ faces in the US, either.) No one’s hands went near his face. Some began to suck on his legs! People still do this, and I still do not know why. I am just going to ask them one of these days.

The other day, Terry, Levi and I were at the little store in town. I was feeding Levi while Terry talked with someone outside the truck. Two school children walked by and in tok pisin they were talking about the baby and I. They said, “There is the white woman with her baby. He wants some milk, so she’s giving him some. I have seen him. His skin is very, very white!”

Mariann McGovern


Bob in NC said...

Great story Mariann, thanks. I am very curious about the whole leg licking thing, if you find out why they do that please pass that information along. You guys are in essence also Anthropologist! And I can just picture your face when they ran away from you with Levi, yikes!

SoloZealot said...

Most excellent post. I am looking forward to reading more of the missionary's adventures in a foreign land. Once again, it is good to know that the Lord blesses others in answering prayers. Even when we are having a 'low' in our Spiritual walk, and we pray, no matter how we 'feel' about things, God still hears our prayers, and often answers them nevertheless.