“The other day I went up to my garden in the jungle. When I got there I realized that a pig had dug up a bunch of our garden and had eaten our food. Normally I would feel anxiety and anger in my stomach, but I didn’t feel that. I know the truth now that we [as believers] will face burdens and hurts in our life. I no longer thought that God was upset, but new that He accepted me. I knew that nothing, no trial, no person, no loss could separate me from the grace and love of God because of my sitting place in Christ.” (Romans 8:1,39)
My heart rejoiced to hear the real life testimony of how the study of the book of Romans had a affected the life of my Patpatar sister in Christ. I knew there was pain with it and I hurt for her, but what joy to see her walking in the truth. Likewise, my Patpatar brother in Christ who had just been saved before we left for America last year shared one of the things he had gotten from the book of Romans.
“I know there is nothing I can do to make myself right and straight in God’s eyes. It is not by my work, but the work of Jesus on my behalf. I am trusting in His work and have come up straight in God’s eyes. Even though others throw bad talk at me and make life hard and they say I am not a good person because I come to hear the teaching of God’s Word, God has accepted me and if He is for me, no one can be against me.”
Many others shared the truths they have learned from Acts, Galatians, and now as they are finishing up the book of Romans. It has been great to be back in their midst and to see what God continues to do. It hasn’t all been wonderful news, though. Some of the qualities of a maturing church are missing. Some have stopped meeting with the believers. Some have returned to their old way of thinking. There is much work to be done.
Please be in prayer with us in the coming months as we catch up on translation needs, continue to evaluate the church and assess the real needs, spend time discipling the believers how to study their Bible, begin a study of the book of Ephesians with the church, and prepare lessons from the book of 1 Corinthians with potential Bible teachers. This with day to day life, reconnecting with relationships, queuing up for homeschooling, and a few other things like literacy and consulting should keep our days from being too boring:).
The girls have adjusted well so far. Aside from a few sores and blisters from new flip-flops they are healthy and happy. Lori has done a great job resettling the house and making it a hub for our family and ministry. And just like some of the Patpatar believers shared how thankful they were that Romans 11 told how God’s plan was to include us Gentiles, the wild branches, in His plan; I too am thankful He chose to rescue me and make me a part of what He is doing in a tribe in Papua New Guinea.
In my sitting place in Christ, Aaron
Fact: Another adjustment to PNG is the foods we eat. Not just foods that we don’t have in the USA , but also the differences in the foods that we do have in the USA. Can you guess what two foods the girls are holding?