He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.
1 Thessalonians 5:24
It has been about 6 weeks now since we’ve been back in the country and we are praising the Lord for the things that He has put in our hands to do! We had a two week quarantine, which we used to unpack all the boxes from storage, wash the mold off of every piece of linen and clothes, and set up in our new house. And then, we got busy! 😊 After a weird year of Home Assignment, not being able to see as many people as we normally would (and I know it was a weird year for everyone!) it feels really good to be back doing what we know! Right after quarantine we flew into Dinangat for the first time in over a year.
It took a few days on the ground for us to get our feet under us- battles with technology and hydro system issues, battles with cobwebs, spiders, dust and gecko droppings. A lot of people worked really hard for us to be able to get up and running. Think about it- a functioning internet connection, 24 hour power and clean running water on an extremely remote mountainside in the middle of the rain forest? We hoped for the impossible, and God provided!
Jeremiah has already made good progress in translation, both in and out of Dinangat. While we were in, we were able to check many different portions of Scripture and to check on the church. Overall they are doing very well. We were so encouraged to see the women’s ministry thriving and to see how well the Sunday school teachers are engaging with the children! They have divided into three different age groups and they’re learning Scripture verses every week. Most of our Bible teachers seem to be thriving faithfully, but we do have some concerns about our two elders as they are both very distracted these days with outside work (that benefits themselves and the community, but not necessarily the church.) We’d really appreciate prayer for knowing how to encourage them!
A week after returning from Dinangat, Jeremiah, with another consultant and his wife flew into a different language group where there are new missionaries currently working on language and culture study. They did evaluations for all 4 missionaries and were very encouraged with all of their progress! There are many perks to this job, and being that aviation has always been a passion of Jeremiah’s, getting to travel helicopter style is definitely one of his favorite perks! 😊 The day after they flew out of this village, the missionaries there dealt with some major sickness in the tribe, and one woman actually passed away. This was heartbreaking because while they are progressing well in language and culture, they are not to the place yet where they are able to converse on a spiritual level in the language that they understand well. They lost a friend before they’d had a chance to hear the Good News. Please continue to pray for strength and encouragement for the missionaries there, the enemy would love to distract and discourage us all to keep us from doing what we came to do. We are frail humans, often physically week and emotionally vulnerable. Pray that the love of Christ and the joy of the Lord continue to be our strength in the day by day!
We miss our kids terribly, but we are encouraged with how well they’re doing. Jordan and Sarah have started missionary training in MO and seem to be doing really well. However, they just purchased a used car so they’d have something a little bigger for moving and all the traveling they’ll be doing, and one week later the transmission blew! Pray for provision for the thousands of dollars that repairs will cost, and that God increases their faith through those hard things! Judah has just started his second year of Bible school in Waukesha, Wisconsin. He’ll have leadership responsibilities as an RA, and recently just passed his CDL tests so he can drive school bus to help pay for school. He plans to go to Liberty University after Bible school to major in missions aviation.
Alayna is “at home”, finally! It was a very rough year for her in the States, away from her siblings and her friends here, and it was tough getting to know anyone as a ‘new kid’ with all the mask-wearing and cancelled social events. I know the Lord grew her in special ways over that year, and for that I am grateful! But you can just see her relax and be herself again now that she is back in PNG. In October we will fly down to the capitol of PNG, Port Moresby, to begin orthodontic treatment for Alayna’s teeth. We were told in the States by our dentist that her teeth would require at least 2 years in braces to correct the issues, and so he didn’t recommend getting it done since we were only there for a year. We have since gotten great referrals to an orthodontist in Port Moresby, but will need to fly there regularly for treatment.
Thanks for hanging in there with me through this long-winded update! If you’ve skimmed and are looking for praise/ prayer points, here ya go!
- Praise the Lord for a great trip in Dinangat in July and for the progress that is being made in the translation
- Praise God for the translated portions that are complete and that many in Dinangat are reading His Word and allowing Him to lead in their lives
- We are thanking God for the missionaries who are persevering through difficulties to be able to present His Word to the people
- Please pray that as a family we would seek the Lord and His glory, and desire to walk closer to Him through in love and obedience
- Please pray for wisdom and grace in the work of translation as well as the many other hats we wear over here
- Please pray for God’s provision as Jordan and Sarah need to have major repair work done on their vehicle
- Please pray for endurance, wisdom and safety for Judah as he begins his 2nd year of Bible school, this time as an RA, and drives school bus in the early mornings and afternoons.