Survey! At the end of January, Jeremiah, Ralf, and new missionary Nathan along with a couple of Dinangat leaders made the grueling hike from Dinangat, across the Finisterre mountain range to a people group called Uruwa. They visited 4 villages over the course of 3 days, that translated to 9 hours of hiking the first day and 9 hours of hiking the second day. The third day they were picked up by a small plane on a grass airstrip. In all of our years here, Jeremiah would say that this was by far the hardest hike he’d ever done! There were leeches and landslides, mud and mountains, even some dehydration and diarrhea! You get the pretty picture! All this to track down a people group who need the Gospel! We had heard that there was interest from the group in having a missionary team move in with them to teach them the Truth, and so this survey was to talk with the village leaders and find out if there was unanimity for this. Our guys gave a clear presentation of what we do, careful to also explicate what we do not do (ie, we are not a humanitarian aid service, nor do we come to provide material goods, as some hope we will.) Having explained all that as carefully as possible, they left it for the leaders to discuss and get back to us as to whether or not they have full support for a missionary team to move in. Please be in prayer that they would see their true spiritual need and send an official invitation! We have a team ready to allocate if the Lord opens that door!
Dinangat! We have some exciting news for you! In March the Schlegel’s and us went into Dinangat. 3 Huge milestones were accomplished. Ralf had completed his work on the book of Revelation, and so he worked with a translation consultant in the US as well as 3 Dinangat leaders, and over Facetime was able to get the book completely approved! Each verse completed is worth celebration, and now there is another entire book ready to print and put into the hands of our Dinangat family! The second huge milestone: Over the last year or so, Elli Schlegel has been working on compiling translated Scripture portions and lessons into a children’s Bible story book for our Dinangat kids. She has been editing, checking, writing, working steady and this March was able to print and distribute the Old Testament portion of the Children’s Bible stories! How amazingly cool is that? Thirdly, at long last, Jeremiah has put the cap on all of his work in the book of Matthew (drafting, writing, checking, re-checking- more than 10 steps of procedure for every single one of the 1,000+ verses!) and it is now ready for the final step of consultant checking! We will be looking to get this scheduled and then the Dinangat people will also have that book in their language! (Remember that because of our teaching schedule, Revelation is not the last book we translate, and Matthew is not the first book.) Rejoice with us at what God is doing to bring His precious Word to the lives of His people!
Family! Lastly, we’d appreciate your prayer for our family. Overall, we are ok, albeit tired and in the middle of some hard things. This year has us looking at some pretty big medical and related expenses that we had not anticipated. At our current level, we cannot put money aside for when extra expenses come up. It’s not fun writing about these things, but many of you have asked us to let you know about our needs, so we want you to know how to pray. We praise the Lord that none of this is surprising to Him, and He has always faithfully provided for us, so we have no doubt that He will continue to do so! If you sense the Lord leading you to partner with Him in that, there is a link below for your convenience.
Thank you so much for standing with us as His servants in Papua New Guinea! Words cannot express how privileged we feel to be participants in His work here, and your partners every step of the way!