A year ago, I cannot even point to you on the map where Papua New Guinea is located. Yet here I am today, so in love with this nation and its people, so much so that I have packed up my life in Canada and have officially moved to PNG!
After doing my YWAM studies in Hawaii and outreach trip in PNG, I flew back to Vancouver pumped for what lies ahead but also quite melancholy. I found myself in solitary mostly processing this dream God had downloaded in my heart for PNG. I replanted my days back to the familiar - friends, church, gym, mountains, and kale. Yet I did not have peace at the thought of going back to the workforce as a fire has ignited in me to keep pursuing PNG. I am grateful for my parents who housed and fed me during this transition period.
I articulated this vision for PNG on paper and invited feedback from others...
I volunteered at BWAM (Business With A Mission) in Washington
then pitched in my venture to a panel of investors at their Eagle's Nest (aka Shark Tank) event and got funded!
then an organization based in South Korea flew me out to Kona, Hawaii for a potential work collaboration
then attended the Transformational Business course in YWAM Townsville, Australia
then traveled back to Alotau, PNG with my sister
then visited businesses in Manila, Philippines
then spoke to share about PNG at the University of the Nations in Kona, YWAM Vancouver, and YWAM Townsville
and most recently attended the BWAM Summit in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Lesson learned? Relationships. Building a network of people who can raise you up and speak life into your calling.
BUSINESS AS MISSION
The vision is to help transform the human and economic development of Papua New Guinea by empowering its people and natural resources. The areas of development are represented in the staggering national statistics...
only 10% of business ownership by locals 1
"Our biggest national crisis is the lack of income-generating opportunities for our people (most of whom live in rural areas) and the very high and unsustainable formal sector unemployment rate, which stands at over 66% every year." - Peter O'Neill, Prime Minister of PNG 1
37% of the population live below the poverty line 2
and 36% of adults are unable to read or write. 3
My goal is to establish an innovative and self-sustainable business as mission that provides education, employment, and entrepreneurial opportunities. But how does one eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Therefore, my first bite is on carpentry. For more info, please email me and I'd love to share more details with you!
TYING THE KNOT
In the midst of all these, I dated, got engaged, and now preparing to get married to a ridiculously amazing man! We are currently working on a project to best share with you where it all began, who liked who first, how our missions intertwine, and who is the neat freak! In the meantime, you may check out our posts on how he proposed and our engagement photoshoot. To honour our diverse backgrounds, we are celebrating our marriage in four countries; our legal ceremony is in May in Germany. We are so very excited and are certainly seizing this season of marriage prep!
Photograph by Janice Fritsch | Keleton Island, Papua New Guinea
References: 1 The Ministry of Trade, Commerce And Industry of Papua New Guinea, Small and Medium Enterprise Policty 2016; 2 Index Mundi indexmundi.com/g/r.aspx?t=0&v=69;
3 Index Mundi indexmundi.com/g/r.aspx?v=39