“For the word of God is living and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, even penetrating as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
We have been privileged these past couple months to see the reality of this verse at work here in Amdu. As you read these short accounts, please rejoice with us about what the Lord is doing and pray for more of our Amdu friends to trust in Christ alone for salvation.
God’s Word Convicting of Sin
In Amdu, community is huge, and everyone pretty much knows what everyone else is doing. Disagreements are often played out in public, and recently one of our believers was right in the middle of this. He ended up acting in a way that was totally normal in Amdu culture but not a good picture of a child of God. Immediately afterwards he came to talk to Bart about how ashamed he was of the way he had acted, and they had a good conversation that was helpful for this young believer.
Later that week as we met together as believers, this man apologized to the group for how he had acted and how he had not been a good testimony. His confession prompted another man to share something wrong that he had done. It was a blessing to see this evidence of the Holy Spirit working in their hearts.
God’s Word Challenging Traditional Beliefs
As we meet together at various times each week with the believers, there are usually some who join us who are not yet in God’s family. A few older men in particular are faithfully coming and listening attentively to God’s Word. One week, one of the men shared how he was seeing that what he had always believed (what had been passed down to him from his ancestors) couldn’t be correct if God’s Word was true. He is thinking hard about all he is hearing. “I’m thinking a lot about my sin and I’m worried that I will be guilty in God’s eyes when I die.” Will you pray for him and others like him – that they would understand their hopeless position and trust in Christ alone for salvation?
Burdened to Share God’s Word with Others
One couple in particular is very burdened to share this amazing message of God’s grace with their family. The wife is from another neighboring language group and this couple has been trying for several months to go visit her family. The river was too high and dangerous to cross last time they attempted to go, but they are making the trip now. Please pray for safety for their long journey, for clear communication of what God’s Word says, and for receptive hearts.
Our Friends Encouraging us with God’s Word
We have shared before how our little group of believers is getting harassed and persecuted by the rest of the community. We know that behind our backs, people are saying things about us, too, but it isn’t often to our faces. Recently though a man took the opportunity to openly and angrily malign us and what we are here doing. Two of the believers afterwards shared this with Bart, “Don’t listen to him or worry about what he is saying. Remember, people hated Jesus too and so that is what we can expect in this world as His followers.” What a blessing to have brothers and sisters like this! Living out God’s mission in this world together, walking through life’s difficulties holding on to God’s promises…could anything be better?
We really are here to work ourselves out of a job. We will not live in Amdu forever. Our goal is to train and equip the believers to be able to feed themselves, share God’s Word with those who haven’t heard, and continue to grow on into the future when the time comes that we no longer live here with them. It is always encouraging to see evidence of what they have been taught taking root in their lives.
Thank you for praying not only for the church planting work among the Amdu people but also specifically for our family. Here is some news about our boys:
Luke – We miss our oldest son, but we are thankful for technology that enables us to still be in contact even as we are in our remote village. Please continue to pray for him (in his sophomore year of college) as he balances a full schedule of classes, homework, his on-campus job, and the social aspects of college life. He has a good group of godly friends (many of whom are also missionary kids) who encourage him and many friends of ours in the surrounding area who care about him.
Titus recently had the opportunity to join a group of seniors from the MK school in town to climb Mt. Wilhelm, the tallest peak in PNG! At almost 15,000 ft., he even got to see snow! He was also able to participate in some industrial arts classes and thoroughly enjoyed that opportunity to learn from a skilled woodworker (fellow missionary at the MK school). Pray for him as he continues through his senior year and is praying about what the Lord has for him once he returns to the US.
Caleb and Micah are doing well in 6th and 4th grades. Recently they’ve really been enjoying playing soccer with kids on the airstrip. A few weeks ago they got to help with a little service project for one of our believers. They joined Bart and several other believers in cutting and carrying sago palm leaves to another village to help repair a friends’ roof that was falling apart and leaking.
We have dealt with some health issues lately which have caused us to be more thankful for the good health that we normally enjoy. Sometimes when things are going well, we can forget to be thankful for things that seem normal. It’s always good (though not always easy) to have reminders not to take things for granted. We are not guaranteed a certain amount of time remaining here on earth. How are we using the days and minutes God gives us?
And as we thank the Lord, we are always grateful for the group of supporters and prayer partners the Lord has put together for us. We are very grateful for you and your willing sacrifice to be a part of what is happening in Amdu.