Bringing Indigenous Churches To Maturity September, 2016
What A Summer
This sure has been a profitable summer. I was able to go to Baltimore and be involved in the Perspectives National Conference. I saw many old friends and met quite a few new ones. Perspectives has been a real avenue in which missionaries are challenged and encouraged to give their lives to reach the lost. I am so thankful for them and what they do for the sake of the gospel.
Trip to PNG
The next stage of the summer was my trip to PNG to visit the Wantakia work and others whom we have had a small part in their progress towards heading overseas.
I left Kansas on July, 25 to start the journey to PNG. I was delayed 3 1/2 hours in LA and I thought that I might miss my connecting flight in Brisbane. As it happened, things went well and I made it all the way to Goroka to spend the next four days relaxing and visiting with friends whom I hadn’t seen in years.
On August 1, I flew in the Kodiak to Ayura, SIL’s airport in PNG and transferred from the plane to a helicopter to fly into Wantakia. It was a beautiful flight on a beautiful day and when I came over the last mountain ridge and could see the village where I was going to be, it took my breath away. It was the kind of place that National Geographic would want to do a shoot. I stepped out of the chopper, said hello to the team (Sanders, Hambrices and Crabtrees) and said hello to the Wantakian people thanking them for helping the team in learning language and culture.
I spent a few days watching the team as they worked together and interacted with the folks in the village and I was greatly encouraged by them. I wanted to be an encouragement to them but believe me, it was a privilege watching them work together as a team should. All I can say is that they are starting off very, very well.
After three days in Wantakia, the team decided to take a break in Goroka, that is, the ladies went out. We men flew to Aziana, another tribal location, for a mission conference between three different language groups. Sean Richards also flew in for the conference and he did a lot of video work for the team.
The conference had asked the team from Wantakia to share, and they did a tremendous job. It was very encouraging to hear them speak. The conference was spoken mostly in Pidgin English, the trade language of PNG and not in the tribal language and the reason for this was that there were three different language groups present but it must be remembered that these folks were all believers. They already knew the stories, they had translations and they had no problem knowing what each person who spoke during the conference had to say. It was great. I was also privileged in that I was
able to share my testimony with the folks there.
One of the highlights of the conference was when a woman shared about her salvation experience and the trials she went through and how the Lord had worked out everything for good. We all were in tears. I will have that on Facebook one of these days so you can hear it for yourselves.
What made this trip so unique was that I was able to visit one language group that is in the beginning stages of bringing a church to maturity, and they are starting out very well, and then went from there to a language group where a mature church is functioning. The
missionaries who taught in this second group haven’t been living there for years but to watch the tribal believers function the way all churches should was a
blessing to me. So I saw the beginning stages of a work and the end result of a work. This doesn’t happen often in a person’s life.
Caring for others
After the conference, we men flew out to Goroka where the men met their wives and I flew back to the States a couple of days later to meet my wife. While I was still in Goroka, I heard about one of our missionary families who was in Brisbane, AU because their son had Lyme disease. (By the way, I checked on the CDC website and it is pronounced and spelled Lyme Disease, not Lymes or Lyme’s. Just for your info) This young man is in really bad shape. Please pray for the Holmquist’s son, Cade. Any noise or light is excruciating to him. He got this in the States but is too sick to move right now. They may be there for a year trying to see if the medical treatment will work. There was a wonderful Australian couple there kind enough to put them up in their home while Cade is trying to recover. The Chans were nice enough to put me up for a night also and they took me all over Brisbane seeing the sights. Please pray for them also as they have had some heartbreak recently in their family. Thanks for praying.
It was good to get back to Cheryl and get a rest. The jet lag was awful on me this time but I am now back to “normal”. Please pray that I will keep finding folks who are really interested in reaching those who have never heard or never will hear unless someone physically goes and tells them. Thank you for all the people you have invested in over the years with you prayers and support. They have not gone to waste. We love you all.
We all are doing well. The family is fine and we are grateful to be in God’s care. He is so patient and I trust that we will never take for granted what He does for us. Let’s keep laboring for Him.
p.s. Just an update on the Holmquist’s son, Cade. As I was getting ready to send this out, Brian, Cade’s father, sent out a note letting us know that Cade has improved immensely. He has the headphones off, lights on, talking and eating. His strength will be very low as he has been in bed for a long time and will probably need some rehabilitation in that area. Thank you all for praying.
Until the Lord Returns,
Doug & Cheryl Schaible
National Representatives and Recruiters for New Tribes Mission