|Happy New Year Dear Friends and Family!|
We trust this letter finds you rejoicing in the FAITHFULNESS of our Lord in 2020, and resting in the unchanging, unfailing, perfect Hope that we have in the person of Christ!
News from Dinangat: Our coworkers, the Smith’s, are the only ones from our team currently in PNG. In November, they were able to take a trip into Dinangat to visit with the church there to encourage the believers and spend time discipling the leaders. The church is currently working through some important decisions and could use your prayer! They are considering one of the faithful leaders from the first outreach village for eldership, and another leader as a deacon. This is a huge decision and we are excited that they are seeking to discern qualifications Scripturally as well as receiving council from the team.
And more recently, Gary heard some exciting news from one of the elders. He wrote: “Today I received a call from Felix giving me an update on how things are going. Do you remember that one of the churches was doing an outreach to the youth and any adults that wanted to hear the evangelistic teaching from Creation to Christ? Well, they finished the teaching and 19 people have said they want to follow Christ and get baptized! One of the young ladies is actually from the main village for which we have been praying for years! Felix said, “Maybe God is going to use her to open the door to village M!” They will do the baptism on January 1 to ring in the New Year!
Then he told me that one of the other villages in the Dinangat language group has come and asked for the teaching to finally come to them! The leaders need to strategize as to the timing and how best to meet the needs there, so I’ll let you know about that. But believe me when I tell you this is HUGE news! This place has been a bit like village M and not been open. So, for them now to ask for God’s word to come to them is a miracle! So please begin praying for this as I’m sure there will be some resistance from others. I’m not supposed to share specific village names, but you can pray for the S village.” Praise God with us for the saving and life changing work He is doing in PNG!
Home Assignment for us: Thus far we have only been able to share and update about the ministry in person in a few churches, and we’ve learned how to conduct some missions conferences and meetings via Zoom! Apparently you can teach an old dog new tricks! If your church or small group is gathering and you’d like to have us share about what God is doing in PNG, feel free to connect with us and we can talk through what that could look like!
|Family Happenings: Jeremiah remains engaged with ministry administration and helping with tech support in one of the ministries of our sending church. He’s also been able to help his dad with some construction projects which has been a blessing. I, (April) have taken a position as a full-time substitute teacher at Central Christian Academy, where Alayna attends school as an 8th grader. This has been a huge adjustment for me, as I have never actually had classroom experience (outside of homeschooling for 8 years!) The school definitely took a chance on me! But I had prayed for a way to engage with my community and be able to invest in people. The Lord answered that prayer in a big way! And while I have often been overwhelmed and exhausted by lesson plans and learning curves, I have seen God’s grace poured out abundantly in meeting my needs and enabling me for the task! I love the supportive, godly staff I get to work with and the kids truly steal my heart every day!|
Alayna (13) has enjoyed being on the cross country team and now the basketball team at her school. She works really hard on her grades and has made us proud! She still greatly misses PNG at times, and we are thankful for the tech available so that she can keep in touch with friends all over the world!
Judah seems to be thriving at EBI in Wisconsin and has settled into life well! He loves his classes and often talks through his subjects and what he’s learning with us. To pay for school, he is working in the local district before and after school program. Though it’s been rough at times, it’s also been a great learning experience and a blessing of provision for him!
We praise the Lord for Jordan and Sarah’s BEAUTIFUL fall wedding this past October! Jordan has been blessed with an amazing partner and we look forward to what the Lord has in store for them! Right now, they are living at a Bible camp in Nebraska. When camp season kicks back up, both Jordan and Sarah will serve as camp missionaries until they leave for Missouri to pursue missions training with Ethnos360 in August.
|Our Future: The plan for now is that we will return to PNG towards the end of July. One of our supporting churches has graciously allowed us to live in their beautiful parsonage in Augusta KS, so we will remain here at least until school is out. We will likely do a lot of traveling in the summer to catch up with supporters and friends that we haven’t been able to see yet.|
Praises: Praise God for His work and leading in the lives of the Dinangat believers Praise the Lord for God’s provision of a job for April For Judah’s smooth acclimation to life at school in the States For Jordan and Sarah’s wonderful wedding Prayer Requests Please pray for the Dinangat church and the many items we mentioned above! Please pray for Alayna and her many adjustments and Judah’s possible new job search. Please pray for Jordan and Sarah as they begin their new lives together, that they would continue to point one another the Lord and grow together in Him. And please pray for our own walks with the Lord, that we would truly seek to know Him more deeply every day and that we would glorify and serve Him well in every contact we make!
God has been so good to us and we are thankful for His incredible provision for our family and the ministry! We are grateful for you, the team He has established to stand with us through prayer, encouragement and giving as we seek to make Him known among the people of Papua New Guinea!
Thank you for standing with us!
Jeremiah and April for the Markleys