10 Years on the Mission Field

Ten years ago, January 27, 2011, twenty-six year old Amanda Wulff landed in Madang, Papua New Guinea (PNG) ready to begin her Pacific Orientation Training.

I remember that day very clearly. I had been sitting next to an Australian man who worked for a Helicopter company. We talked about what I was going to do in PNG and he told me about what his company does here.

Upon arrival I realized that no one was there to pick me up. Not having a cell phone, I thought through my options. The helicopter pilot offered for me to wait in their small hanger, next door to the small airport I had just landed in. I figured at least I could find the number to the training facility and give them a call saying I had arrived. So I picked up my bags and began following my new friend. Halfway to his hanger I saw our mission truck pull up to the airport. Relieved, I thanked my friend, and calmly (although I wasn’t feeling that way at the time) walked toward the truck. To my surprise, Mark and Brittany, friends of mine from a previous training, were driving it. They had just finished their POC training and were now working on staff. I hugged them and climbed in. I’m sure I had tears of relief and fear in my eyes.

Joining the mission field as a single was brave. I never thought of myself as a very brave person but when I look back on the past 10 years I am surprised by all that I have accomplished with God’s help and provision.

At the age of seven I knew I wanted to be a missionary teacher when I grew up. Later on I “fine-tuned” my desires to lower elementary and with a focus on struggling students. Of course, singleness was not my initial plan. With my siblings all marrying off before the age of 24 I figured that was what my future would hold as well.

I had spent the last two years of high school living in Ukarumpa with my parents. That was back in 2001-2003. After looking at a number of missionary schools, my parents encouraged me to come visit and see what it was like to be here as an adult. So in 2009 I came back. To be honest, I didn’t want to return to Ukarumpa as a missionary. I wanted a change, an adventure! But after visiting I realized it was a really good fit for me. I enjoyed living on a center opposed to in a city. The school was large with many resources and there were many, many singles here (mostly women…but possible friends).

Returning to North Carolina I began the application process and attended trainings in Texas and Florida. I remember still not being sure of returning to PNG. One day I was playing tennis with a friend of mine and I asked her how I would know where I should go overseas. She basically said I was making it too complicated. Maybe God just wants me to choose and he will use me wherever. This was a relief to me and after praying and seeking guidance I decided that PNG had what I was looking for in a long term missionary commitment. Six months later I was on the plane flying half way around the world. My future was unknown. The challenges and joys and friendships were all a mystery.

In the past ten years I have had many victories as a teacher, many failures, made many mistakes, had some terrific friendships, had quite a few hardships, but I have grown in so many ways. God has blessed me in more ways than I could ever have imagined. Here are a few that come to mind:

– met, dated, married Alan (even when I was told to give up all hope of finding a husband on the mission field!)

– had two beautiful sons: Finn and Colby

– bought a house with money generously given to us by supporters

– taught Kindergarten, second grade, third grade, and now Search and Teach

– taught Kindergarten Sunday School and helped a family with Awana Sections each week

– led a Bible study for two classes of lovely teenage girls

– attended a Bible Dedication

– helped edit the type-setting of a few newly finished New Testaments

– sponsored multiple spiritual retreats for both high school and middle school

– sponsored a senior retreat and student council trip

– ministered on the Kitchen Angels team providing meals for sick families

– ministered on the Elim Café team baking goods for the community

– hosted Smorgasbord with Alan for a number of years

– co-led a ladies Bible Study for ladies who recently came to Ukarumpa

– and… in September…. I will be a mommy three times over!

After one of our hardest terms on the field to date, we’ll be returning the United States near the end of March. I say “near” because flights are very complicated at the moment. Our desire is to finish teaching this term of school, then make all efforts to return. After reconnecting with family and friends, catching up on medical needs, getting some counseling, and adding another member to the family, we plan to come back to PNG in January of 2022.

Would you be willing to do something for us?

– Pray for our travel plans, for trust that God will get us home in his perfect timing and his perfect way.

– Please pray for rest and a good time of sharing and debrief while at home.

– Let us know if you would like to meet up with us. We are happy to meet wherever is best for you – at a park, restaurant, over zoom, whatever you prefer.

Thank you for the many years of love, support, and encouragement. God is good – and we love this life that He’s given us. Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Amanda (for Alan and the boys)

3 thoughts on “10 Years on the Mission Field

  1. Really enjoyed reading your “10 years on the mission field” letter. Thanks to making the time to put all that history together. It was very interesting to read of your background and how God led you and how elements of faith and friends were involved in getting you where you are today. We here at Cross Creek in Birmingham are looking forward to your upcoming trip back to the states and are praying for all the details to come together. Hope this finds you and the boys (both young and older!) all well,

    Jim Freud Cross Creek missions committee

  2. Love you friend! So neat to see all your pictures and to read your reflections.

    Hugs, Kari

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