Isaiah 28:16 says, “Whoever believes will not make haste”. We had hoped to report to you that we were on our way to Papua New Guinea by now. But we received news that our visas were going to be delayed at least another month. This puts our departure date around the beginning of April. Even though we are anxious to leave for the field, we know God is Sovereign over the situation and will get us to the field in His timing. As we have stated in the past, God’s plan is the best plan. This delay allows us to spend a little bit more time with friends and family. It allows us to help and encourage some close friends who are just starting chemo; it allows us to be here while Phil’s mom moves back to Indiana from Texas; and it allows us to finish up our last Moody Bible Institute Class, a study in Romans. Waiting time is not wasted time. Look around and see what God has for you to do right now.
We want to thank each and everyone that was able to make it to our commissioning service on Feb 21st. We were blessed to see so many come out to help us celebrate God on mission. Leaving friends and family is difficult. In Acts 20, Paul summoned the elders from the church at Ephesus for his final message to them before leaving for Jerusalem. As Jan and I were speaking to many loved ones that night at our commissioning service, it felt like it was our final message before leaving for PNG. Leaving was not easy for Paul or for the elders to whom he was speaking. Acts 21:1 says, “After we had torn ourselves away from them, we put out to sea”. The word “torn” creates such a vivid picture of pulling apart something by force. Of course our hearts yearn to stay here with family and friends. And of course our hearts yearn to take the good news of the gospel to those who have not heard. But we cannot do both. Paul, in response to finding himself in this situation says in Acts 20:24, “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” God has given us the task, which can only be accomplished by His grace, of taking the good news of Jesus Christ to the people of Papua New Guinea. Our only aim is to complete this task. Will you pray with us as we ask God to give us strength in accomplishing this task?
We have so many things for which we give thanks to God. One request that many have been praying for is in regard to our son Andrew’s health. Nearly three years ago he had a surgery to remove a tumor in his sinus cavity. The tumor has high propensity to return. Andrew and his wife Heather received great news this week that the tumor has not returned. He has seven more years of follow up exams.
“Here am I; send me—where You will—to the wildest region, or even to the jaws of death. I am Your soldier, put me in the front of the battle if You will, or bid me lie in the trenches. Give me gallantly to charge at the head of my regiment, or give me silently to sap and mine the foundations of the enemy’s fortresses. Use me as You will. Send me and I will go. I leave all else to You. Only here I am, Your willing servant, wholly consecrated to You.” ~ Charles Spurgeon