2014 was quite the year. We had our moments abroad traveling by car on the dusty roads of Africa, hiking up mountains to remote villages in Papua New Guinea, crossing open seas in a small banana boat, and gazing down on passing islands from a helicopter. But most of our time was spent in our little corner of the world working with the Patpatar people. Our past updates have let you in on some of the events from 2014, but we wanted to tell you more about the last 3 months…the fourth quarter finale.
The final quarter started out with several guests. Michael and Morgan, 2 associates with NTM came for a week long side trip to check out the Patpatar. Mike and Beth Sutton, our long time missionary friends came to do some much needed maintenance and projects to our houses. Karen Balster, a young lady from South Dakota joining our family and team for 3 months to help with the tumultuous task of home schooling 3 “MKs.” She had such a servants heart and was willing to take on any task handed to her including teacher, helper, photographer, craft coordinator, community children’s day coordinator and more. Thanks, Karen! Our family appreciates the time you gave to be a part of our lives here in PNG.
While homeschooling was going on in our house, 5 minutes away in the village another Evangelistic Bible Class concluded in October with more Patpatar men and women placing their faith in Christ as their Savior. You heard about Tooldi from a previous update, but another cool story is about Ngasa, a woman who gave birth to her 12th child under our house nearly 10 years ago has now been born again into the family of God.
Several of those new believers along with many of the other Patpatar Christians crammed themselves into the back of a flatbed truck for a 5 hour drive up the island to a neighboring tribe to join other churches for the annual get together. Churches from 3 different language groups joined voices in praising God in the trade language and listened to teaching about their position in Christ from the book of Romans.
The 12th hour or rather the 12th month of the year brought all kinds things. The Crabtree family joined our team for one month to finish up the “Orientation” time as new missionaries before heading into another language group on the mainland of PNG to begin the many year process of seeing a church planted there. The Patpatar church finished their study on the End Times and have been awakened again to live with an eternal perspective. Our coworker Madonna finished the translation on Exodus 1-20. Eight folks including Kylee gave a testimony and were baptized in the ocean just before Christmas to publically express their faith in Christ. Christmas Eve was started with the 300 kids coming to participate in games, the Christmas story, and the treasure of a lollipop and a balloon. The day was concluded with the Patpatar Church sharing a meal, being challenged by the actions of the Shepherds on that first Christmas, and playing some games on a comfortable 95 degree day.
We don’t know what 2015 holds, but we look forward to the return of Christ and live as if it will happen this year. Thanks for standing with us through prayer, encouragement, financial support. We thank you and the Patpatar thank you and pray that you have a wonderful New Year.
Aaron, Lori, Avalon, Sierra, Kylee, and Briella