Last Friday the new NTM Kodiak airplane once again landed on the grass airstrip a few hundred yards from our house here in Amdu. Our boys knew that the plane was bringing two of our NTM language consultants who would evaluate us in our understanding of the Amdu language and culture. What they didn’t know was that the men brought their boys along with them!! It was a special treat for our boys to have 3 other MK (missionary kid) friends here for several days.
We asked you to pray for us as we were evaluated over the weekend on our progress in learning this tribal language. Just as a little background, after being on furlough for the majority of 2014, we returned to Amdu and resumed language and culture study early last year. At our last language evaluation back in June, we were both at level 4 out of the 9 levels that we need to pass. We are excited to share with you that both of us are now at level 7!!
We still have much to learn; it will take lots more hard work and countless hours of study to actually pass that final level. However, we are so thankful to be this far and know that the Lord will continue to give us the strength and ability to press on. Our consultants gave us very helpful advice on what to focus on now and how to proceed as we get into more complex areas of analyzing and understanding this unwritten language so that we can communicate clearly and accurately.
With February right around the corner, we are almost into our last month of ministering alone here in Amdu. Lord willing, our coworkers Benjamin and Missy Hatton will be returning to PNG in early March! They will join us back here in the tribe at the end of the month after our annual regional conference. The Lord has graciously and abundantly sustained us during this season of being the only missionary family in Amdu.
We are better off for having gone through the challenges of the past 9 months. That being said, we are excitedly looking forward to the Hatton’s return and being able to minister together once again. This job is a huge one and we are thankful for teammates with which to share the load. Will you pray for them as they say their goodbyes to family and friends and prepare to return to PNG?
Just today another older lady, the mother of one of our friends in the village, died without having heard the Truth. The sobering reality is that many more may die in the coming months. We are getting closer to the day when we as a team can share the message of salvation with our friends, but we are not there yet. Please pray for us to be diligent as we continue to learn this language and culture.
Thank you for praying for us as we had our evaluations! We are very thankful for the team the Lord has given us around the world who “hold the ropes” in prayer for us. It certainly is a team effort and we praise the Lord for your part.