Home For A Season, Missionary Family Gives Thanks - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

11/21/07-Tyler

Home For A Season, Missionary Family Gives Thanks

It's a very special Thanksgiving for an East Texas family that has spent the last five years a world away.

The Bandy Family are missionaries, part of a Bible translating team sent to the jungle of Papua New Guinea.  That country borders Indonesia in the southwest Pacific.  Now they are back home, but just for a short while.

"We have more to catch up with, and just being home in familiar surroundings [is special]," says June Bandy.

It was New Year's Eve in 2002 when Mick, June, and sons Carter, Drew, and Palmer Bandy left for the jungle of Papua New Guinea.

"It was really the first time [the people of Papua New Guinea] have heard the gospel in their own language," Mick Bandy said.

"I'm thankful that we have our family together, and this will be a really special time for us to be able to spend time with our sons."

For the three sons, they spent most of their teenage years in that far off place.  Drew didn't want to go at first, but because of his journey, he has friends for life.

"There must have been something about the international setting -- you really bond with them really well and have real friendships," he said.

"It's just a different level. It's a lot deeper a lot faster," says brother Palmer Bandy.

After all, it wasn't always safe, but the family was led to serve God and others.

"I guess we had sold most of what we own -- our house and our car and everything [to make the trip]," said Carter.

"There were plenty of 'ifs' and everything, but God took care of us."

Now, Mick, June, and Palmer will go back to Papua New Guinea in January for several years.   Carter will start a job in Tyler, and Drew plans for his own mission trip to Asia.  

As a family, and as individuals, they make more sacrifice to help others -- something too few others truly know about.

"I think not necessarily America does that, but everyone -- people who have more than what they need [aren't always thankful.]" Palmer said.

The Bandys have been able to serve because they're supported by church members, friends, and even anonymous donors. 

You can find out more about the family's return to Papua New Guinea, and Drew Bandy's mission to Asia at the links at the top side of this story. 

 

Morgan Palmer, morganpalmer@kltv.com

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