Leah and I are raising money to buy plane tickets to fly three Papua New Guinean friends to Minneapolis, MN for our wedding this July 6th.
Given the impact of these relationships it would be really meaningful and a mutual honor for these guys to stand up at my wedding.
There's a lot of logistics involved in getting these three individuals to the U.S. It's been a long process and there has been a lot involved. It started with getting birth certificates. Currently we are working on passports. After passports, there are visa interviews at the U.S. embassy in the capital of Papua New Guinea. And paperwork along the way. Elisa has made the two day hike from Yemli village to Lae at least five times.
Elisa spent twenty plus years helping my parents translate the Bible in Yemli village. I grew up with Elisa, spent nights at his house. He watched our family dog when we were in the United States. He donated pigs for my going away party when I left our village. He taught me about growing gardens, building houses in the jungle, hunting pigs, humility, and wisdom.
Andrew Moano is a younger brother to me. He taught me about high school in Papua New Guinea. I helped him start a business to raise money to pay for school. I gave him my bicycle to cut down on his two to three hour walk from his house to school. My relationship with Andrew helped me learn how to rise to life's challenges, and knowing him fueled my passion for helping others.
Bosaka is an older brother to me. We have worked together on several business ideas. We've learned a lot together. My relationship with Bosaka has challenged me to be creative, value knowledge in the midst of unforgiving circumstances, and always to extend grace. Because of Bosaka's friendship, I find in myself the tenacity to believe we can change the world.
We will wait until after the embassy interviews to purchase the tickets. If Elisa, Bosaka, or Andrew aren't approved for visas, we may have money left over after purchasing tickets. In this case, we will use any remaining money to cover expenses associated with the trip. (e.g. passport fees, costs of travel within Papua New Guinea, the embassy interview fee). If there is any money left after expenses, we will save the money and use it for travel to or from Papua New Guinea.
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