Whew—not sure if any of you are still excited about what’s been happening here recently, but we sure are! We wanted to update you on what the next steps are for us as we look to move out to the Cliffs—a process that will have us hopefully there fulltime by the end of this year (due to school considerations, availability of aircraft and builders, etc.) These last few weeks have been a blur in many ways as we wrap our brains around the change of speed settings…from more than a year of wa-a-a-a-a-i-ting to whoaitsallcomingtogethernowsofast! We’re already looking at plans for the new house, taking stock of what we might need, and scheduling flights months in advance to ensure that we can take advantage of any free time our pilots might have in the midst of their busy schedules. More on that later!
Here’s what’s coming up in the near future: I will be busy next week assisting a friend of mine who is a translation consultant in checking some scriptures. A missionary couple from Korea has translated some Gospels and Acts portions in the Mihi language that they will use in teaching and presenting the Gospel in the future. We’ve been checking the content of these verses which were translated back into English for our benefit (neither of us speaks Mihi ☺). Once necessary revisions have been made on their part, then they will come out to town here, and we will sit down with them and some Mihi speakers to check out these Bible portions. Using questions in a third language (Pidgin), we will make sure that they are clearly understood in a natural way in the Mihi language. This process is another step forward in my training as a translation consultant.
Next up? Another trip to the Cliffs to meet with the village community, leaders and everyone who will be there. It is our hope that this time will be a show of great respect and gratitude to the community and its leaders for their invitation, a joyous occasion of shaking hands, and an opportunity to show that we are part of a larger team.
That’s right, some representatives from our leadership team will come in with us by chopper for a two-day visit and reiterate what we will be coming to do. This team of 4 guys will be made up of 2 expats (American and German) and 2 Papua New Guineans. The two Westerners are fellow missionaries from the nearest NTM work to us, which is actually 20 minutes’ flight and probably weeks of hiking away from Toboland. They will be accompanied by 2 of the Bible teachers from the village where they work. These men will come in to officially show their support for Ambox and myself as our two families will move in as a missionary team and to reiterate what our work there will be. Six guys—three foreigners and three PNG citizens— all on the same team—what a beautiful picture that will be of the body of Christ partnering together to reach these dear people with the freeing truth of the gospel of grace!
And it gets better, too! The helicopter pilot for this trip will be a friend who works with SIL and his family are fellow supported missionaries from our same home church in Texas!!! Of all the hundreds of missionaries working in PNG…We couldn’t have “written a better script” for that!
Thanks for praying for and with us through all of this. These are thrilling days ahead, and we know also that much hard work and many logistics will be involved in getting our families moved and settled into the Cliffs for this exciting next chapter of our ministry.
It’s so good to have you along for the ride! Chad, Janeene, Elijah, Zeke & Levi
Some specific praise and prayer points:
Praise God with us for the invitation to the Cliffs! I spoke with Namas just last night, and they are still looking forward to us coming! He will be getting the word out to everyone about our upcoming visit.
Praise God for this semester of school that the boys are already enjoying. Their teachers are top-notch! Levi’s preschool teacher is too! ☺
Praise God for the provision of this house and good times of fellowship with the missionaries out here on the center during these months of transition.
Praise God that he used some of you to provide some of the funds needed for helicopter trips. What a great start! Pray for still more funds to come in to help cover the costs of shuttles to transport the materials from one of the missionary houses left in the first village (Stone) that we’ll use to build our new home in the Cliffs as well as the costs of transporting and hosting the missionaries who will assist us and the Cliffs villagers in building.
Pray for all the details to come together for the tear-down, shuttling and rebuilding process (we’re hoping that this will take place in November and December). There are many moving parts involved in such a process!
Pray for both our family and Ambox’s family as we get prepared for this big move and the ministry God has for us in the Cliffs. We need God’s grace every day and are thankful that this is HIS work.
Pray for God to continue His work in the hearts and minds of people in the Cliffs as the day will come when they will hear the Greatest News Ever in their own language!