A new era for the Amdu Hattons.
Thank you to all of you who sent gifts and kind words to Judah in response to our last ministry update that was focused on his perspective on growing up in Amdu and what his future plans are. If you didn’t get a chance to see that video you can follow this link and watch it. In July our whole family went up to our main support center here in PNG and helped Judah get settled in to where he is going to live and work for the next ten months or so. He really loves the work he gets to do and we’re so thankful that he’s doing well. We returned to Amdu very aware that a new era has begun. A new reality, with new roles and new challenges. Thank you for praying for us as we adjust and grow together.
Preparing spiritual children to thrive.
Our role in the lives of the Amdu believers is still very much like that of parents of toddlers. The goal is the same, though, with our spiritual children as it is with our physical kids. We want to do our best to prepare the Amdu believers to be able to thrive on their own. Our study through the book of Acts has provided an excellent foundation for this.
In the past few weeks we have been slowly making application of the truths we have discovered in this great story. The truth that only those people united with Jesus by faith are the true church of God has created a lot of excitement with the Amdu believers. “We have had it all wrong!” they said. This truth has helped them to look back on years of empty religious practice and see that it was meaningless. “We built a building and even appointed leaders but none of us were united with Jesus. We were like broken off branches achieving nothing!” Pray that this truth settles in and becomes an immovable conviction so that your Amdu brothers and sisters in Christ can thrive when it’s time for them to be on their own.
Another truth that has caused lots of excitement has been the discussion about why it is important for believers to gather together. We gather because we ALREADY are the Body of Christ by the work of the Holy Spirit. We gather together in order to grow from babies in Jesus to mature Christ-like adults who can do the work God has purposed for us to do. To say that this has delighted the believers is an understatement. It’s like a weight has been lifted. “I used to be a prominent woman in the religious group I was part of before. But I was far from God then! But now I am God’s infant, and I’m not going to stop eating His good food you are teaching us!” Pray that this perspective becomes widespread and that each member of the Body of Christ in Amdu recognizes this as their new reality!
The next truth we’re going to spend time applying is the idea that God’s church, gathering and growing together, are on this earth for the purpose of reaching out with the message of reconciliation to those who are far from God. The Amdu believers have no issue with this idea! “We need to be going to each of our family members who haven’t heard this yet and teach them,” was what one man said just last week in one of our meetings. Pray for us as we help to equip these enthusiastic believers without dampening their spirit. They need more time and experience in order to be clear speaking effective evangelists.
Pray for us as we unpack these vital truths and lay the foundation for our future teaching through the Epistles. We need wisdom so that we teach at the right pace. Some of the believers are ready for teaching from the book of Romans. That is what we have planned for the not too distant future. But others need more time to digest the truths we’re unpacking from Acts a bit more. And still others need more time in the Creation to Christ story. Pray that we’ll know how to meet these different needs and prepare God’s kids here to be the thriving church of God in Amdu.
We continue to teach three literacy classes and in each one the students are making progress. Pray that they will continue to find the motivation to practice what they are learning. The believers who are enrolled have been the most motivated of the students. In our study through Acts they heard the story of the Bereans who took God’s word and scrutinized Paul’s message and discovered he was teaching the truth. This story has given them focus and drive. Keep praying for them.
Life separated by oceans
Recently we have begun thinking about and planning our home assignment that is scheduled to begin May/June 2022. We can’t wait to share with you in person and in your churches all that God has been doing here. However, this home assignment is going to be unique. We will be focusing much of our time and energy on getting Judah and Gianna prepared for their new lives as Ethnos360 Bible Institute students.
One logistical thing we’d like you to pray with us about is a place to live. We’re trusting God for the perfect place for us to be able to be a family and to process together all that God has brought us through and to prepare for the challenges of living life separated by oceans. If you know of such a place in or around Jackson, MI, we’d love to hear from you.
As we track with the news headlines from around the world and try to relate to the difficulty many of you are living in we are amazed and humbled at your unwavering support of our family and the Amdu church. Your generosity has not diminished despite the pressures you’re living with and your faithfulness in prayer for us is evident as God continues to meet our needs, furnishing us with wisdom and vision. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Benjamin and Missy