10 years ago, our eyes were open to what God was doing in the Bible and it had to do with missions. 5 years ago, we put it all on the line and started training with New Tribes to be church planters. 1 year ago, we started selling all of our “stuff” and saying goodbye to friends and family. 6 months ago, we made the move with all 3 of our kids…long plane ride, foreign land, and foreign language. All this time, we have been praying for the people that we will one day get to teach them God’s Talk in THEIR language!
We’re talking about a BIG DREAM, that takes BIG faith. Where is the Lord going to take us? Will our kids miss out on anything by not growing up in America? What will our house be like? What people group are we going to go to??
About 3 months ago, we got to hear about all of the people groups that were open to having missionaries come in and teach them God’s Talk. We started praying about this tribe called Safeyoka. We talk to leadership and they were excited about it, but wanted us to “consider” praying about a different one named Wantakia.
Wantakia is an existing work but has never heard the gospel in their language. In the 1960’s, a missionary team of 3 moved out there and started learning the language. They didn’t learn that language and for many reasons left the tribe. Another team of 3 in the 1990’s moved back into this people group and again, didn’t learn the language and for many reasons left. Here this tribe is 18 years later and still has never heard God’s Talk. Our hearts started breaking for these people.
To add to the story, when the missionaries from the 90’s moved back to town, they brought a husband and wife with them (Pangwa and Kamaru) to work on the center. A few years ago, they heard the teaching and both became believers. They have had such a burden for their people. The Highlands region holds a conference every year and they give tribal reports of what the Lord is doing in their tribes. One team showed a video of their tribe becoming believers and Kamaru saw the video. She went home and cried all night asking, “Lord, why cant this be my people in Wantakia?”
(A couple months ago)
So here we are praying about this Wantakia tribe, and we decide the next thing we need to do is talk to this Pangwa guy about his people (he’s still working on the center.) Lo and behold, the VERY NEXT DAY, guess who comes into M adang? Pangwa! We invited him over and talked to him all night about Wantakia. He told us how his wife has not stopped praying! We had to let him know that we were just getting information, as we didn’t want to get his hopes up.
(Couple weeks ago)
We’re still praying about Wantakia, but we are faced with other tribes that need the Gospel. Really, everybody needs the Gospel, but the truth is that there are only so many people coming to PNG and we are only one team that can go to one place! We still feel a strong pull to survey Wantakia. But we don’t want to do it without our coworkers who just got here to learn the national language (Crabtrees). To make a long story short, Jack told us that he really felt like we should go ahead and get the ball rolling with the first survey into Wantakia. This is a huge sacrifice for him, but it’s what he feels like the lord is leading. We are so thankful for awesome teammates.
This morning, BJ and Jeremy and Pangwa left to fly into Wantakia! This is the moment we’ve all been waiting for. It feels good! We aren’t saying we are moving there yet, but hopefully after the next 2 surveys, we will have good direction.
-For safety. They are going to be walking up and down very steep mountains and trails. They will be eating with the people and staying in their homes.
-For health. They have water filters, but we are praying that they don’t get sick.
-For direction. We would love to know soon if the Lord has our 3 families moving to Wantakia.
For us wives. Our husbands are VERY helpful at home, and we will be without them for 9 days.
For our kids. It’s hard to not have daddy around and we pray that they are little angels for these 9 days!
Thanks for praying for us and being involved in this. We wouldn’t want to do this with any other team (Crabtrees, prayer supporters, financial supporters, encouragers, our churches, and all the rest of you!)