This week has been a bit of a blur. We drove up the mountain for the first time last week where our teammates have two church plants. They make this drive each week. It is a true off-road excursion that folks in the States would pay good money to experience! We get home to find out we may have blown a head gasket during the trip. Thank God that we didn’t get stranded at the top of the mountain and we were back home when Phil realized the problem. So the truck is in the shop. Phil remembered his sermon he preached at Praise Baptist Church (all in Pidgin!) on praising God in all difficulties. We know God will work out the details, so we trust in Him and we praise and rejoice in Him despite the difficulties.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 – Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
This Christmas season has really been making us miss our family- our first Christmas without them. We almost did not put up our Christmas tree that we brought from home in the States because it was too painful without family here to help. And then God provided friends to come over and help us put up the tree! Christmas Eve came and just the thought of not being with our family was gut wrenching. Then one of our teammates texted at 5:30 am with two big needs. God filled up our Christmas Eve day in such a wonderful way by allowing us to serve our dear friends. God used us to encourage them and He used them to encourage us. God is good all the time isn’t He?
God made the need very evident for a new church plant 20 minutes from where we live. This area is called Kenemaro. The people in this area are known to be the fiercest of fighters. We prayed about this and knew God wanted us helping with this new Church plant. (We will still be involved at Praise Baptist too with our dear sweet friends there). God worked so miraculously to open up this area and provide ground to be purchased. It has been closed to the Gospel for the past 30 years. In October, our team held a medical outreach there. Since then, this structure was built and this week we were able to help with the first evangelistic services that were held there.
The first night at Kenemaro, the movie the End of the Spear was shown. This is about the life of 5 missionaries in Ecuador who lost their lives at the hand of the Waodani people who were also fierce fighters. We had the opportunity to talk to a group of children and teens afterward about the movie.
Nothing was so sweet than to ask them questions and one little boy asked,”Why did the fighting stop?” We had a wonderful discussion about why the people fought. And then we told the children and teens about Christ! Maybe for some this was the first they had heard of Christ and the Good News!
Sunday morning we worshiped at Praise Baptist. Pastor Rex preached and powerful message and two children were interested in accepting Christ. We got to help with the counseling. Nothing sweeter! Jan talked to one of the children, Dulce. Dulce is the daughter of Joyce who started coming to Bible Study and now comes to church with her two girls. Joyce, Julie and Vero were there too. Dulce wasn’t ready to make a decision to accept Christ but nothing was sweeter than to hear her mama say they would talk this week and then we would all talk next week and to watch dear Vero encouraging Dulce with this big grin on her face was priceless. It hadn’t been that long since Vero and her mama accepted Christ. Vero later asked Jan to teach her and two of her friends to read the English Bible. Jan’s heart did flips! What a truly joyous time!
We were able to hand out homemade candy. Praise Baptist is still in the midst of their building program. We would also like to be able to purchase chairs for them so they don’t have to sit on the ground. If you would like to help with this, please contact us.
Thinking back to the End of the Spear. The story of these missionary families in Ecuador was a big part of our testimony and call to serve God in missions. And to watch that movie on the first night of church meetings for a new church plant was confirmation from God for us being here. Truly we all have a war raging within us too. Do we accept Christ? Do we ignore Christ and live only for ourselves? This war rages on and nothing satisfies us until we accept God’s free gift of Salvation. It is so easy but sometimes we can make it so hard. Like those in End of the Spear and prayerfully many at Kenemaro, accept Christ today if you do not know Him. He truly is the only way. We have the privileged of seeing it here on a daily basis in lives that are being changed by Christ.
As we plan and prepare to serve in two churches, Matthew 9:37 really comes to mind, “The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few”. Please pray for us as we serve our Lord and Savior here in PNG.
We will both be teaching 2 classes each starting in January at the Bible college. Phil – Computers 1,2. Jan – ESL.
Phil will become Field Treasurer starting January 1.
Girls dorm to be completed before the new term starts January 30.
Youth Camp January 9-14
Spiritual Enrichment January 17-20
Our family back home
Lord willing we will finish language school on January 20th