Picture #1 – Family picture in the UK before scattering to 3 different continents.
Picture #2 – Briella finally able to enjoy some sugar cane again.
You put us back here!
We left the States in July to get back to Papua New Guinea just a few days before our 21st year of ministry in the country. The cost of travel was more than it has ever been, but we were amazed by our voucher that arrived at the end of July which covered all of our costs for the month. We are so grateful to all who have partnered with us.
This is our first time to come back and not go to the Patpatar tribe but rather to the mission headquarters for the country. Stepping into the role of Managing Director, I get to see and be a small part of not only Patpatar but also the other 80+ people groups with their own language in PNG (out of 850+) where we have missionaries working or churches established.
In the month of August, we had 34 missionaries return or arrive on the field in addition to guests, visitors, and work teams. Our mission run school has started (we desperately need teachers for next year). Three new village homes were being built for a new Church Planting team to allocate in a new people group. A missionary team in the islands of PNG has continued their initial teaching of God’s Word, pointing people to Jesus, and a team in the mountains of the mainland has just begun village teaching for the first time. Roads are being paved (literally and figuratively), water projects are being completed, and helicopter capacity is growing with the arrival of our first R-66 helicopter. Orientation has begun for the new church planters who arrived and the orientation for our new support personnel is gearing up to start. Lori and I have the privilege to work alongside incredible men and women who make these things possible.
We feel so close and yet so far away from our dear Patpatar friends. While back in PNG, we are still over a day’s travel to get to the islands and the village where we spent so many years. Thankfully, technology has allowed us to talk on the phone with some of our brothers in Christ from both church locations there. In October we will be able to travel as a family back into the tribe and spend some time with them.
One of the exciting things that is happening is that with the repeated requests from another village to the north of the two villages where churches have been planted (forming a triangle), the believers have teamed up to begin travelling to the village to spend two days a week with them and to teach them through the Bible. This has proved to be a challenge with both logistics and commitment and the churches are praying for someone that would be willing to locate in the third village as a more permanent “shepherd.”
We are adjusting to being a family of only four. Avalon has settled into her studies at Ethnos360 Training Center (ETR). Sierra began to get settled into the UK for her studies in nursing in Bristol England but has ended up having to make an unexpected return to the States to work through visa issues. We’d appreciate your prayers for everything to get straightened before her course begins on September 12th.
Kylee has adjusted well back to PNG life and is doing well as a 10th grader who plays rugby, enjoys algebra, and tolerates Spanish 2. Briella is our 4th grade academic struggler, but her smile always puts a smile on everyone’s face even when it’s tough for her to keep up.
Two specific needs:
One is a people group where we have missionaries and a church that is undergoing severe physical threat. There is a growing rebel group in the Rai Coast area of PNG that are attacking villages, burning down homes, and committing heinous crimes. Over a thousand people have had to flee with only the clothes on their back. A few hundred have climbed the hills to the village where the church is located for refuge. With the recent elections, promises have been made for relief and help. Pray for the church, the missionaries, the mission, and the government as we navigate this difficult and complex situation.
The second thing is this, we need people who have skills in business, maintenance, hospitality, management, and logistics who also have the gift of service. We have missionaries serving throughout Papua New Guinea, from the island of New Hanover in the northeast to locations close to the Indonesian border in the west. In order to serve all of our missionaries, we divide our tribal locations into three service areas: Western, Central and Eastern. Each of those areas house at least one support center that exists to support the missionaries in that area with services like supply buying, guest housing, and business operations. Our support centers for these three areas are vital for keeping our missionaries functioning in their tribal locations, however, they are not adequately staffed.
In addition, we normally run a guesthouse facility in the capital city to assist our missionaries as they travel, receive medical and dental care and to provide an opportunity for a break, that we’ve had to close temporarily because we don’t have enough staff to be able to run it. This is a vital ministry that also assists in bringing and keeping missionaries on the field through government representative work. We also run a medical clinic for our 300+ members and local community due to the lack of developed medical care in the country but we currently do not have a doctor in the country (this will show you what we had http://go.ethnos360.org/png-med-jobs). Please consider how you might be able to use your experience and gifting to keep tribal church planters serving well in their remote locations.
Sent by by the church through Ethnos360 to minister in Papua New Guinea with New Tribes Mission PNG.