A happy New Year to you. We are alive and well in PNG, thankful for God’s grace and mercies. Our Christmas morning service in the Dom was the best ever. Lots of visitors from neighboring villages attended and Dom people who rarely come during the rest of the year. So the little church house was full. We had song specials and drama from the youth, lots of testimonies and believers sharing out of the Dom New Testament verses that blessed them. What a difference it has made to have God’s Word in their mother tongue.
A fellow missionary family came up to the Dom and stayed with us for five days during which our new solar electric system was installed. (Thank you, Bill!) We are still waiting on the new deep cycle batteries to arrive and the solar panel rack so we can put our new panels, but the rest is up and running and has already made a big difference in our power situation. Thanks to all of you who have participated in this effort. It was a lot more expensive than we thought, but God knew what we needed and we thank God first and you all who gave toward this project. It is now all paid for other than the shipping costs and duty if any.
Wiring “mess” before Phase 1 of New System
As you may know we have had vehicle trouble since returning to the field. Not being mechanics and being somewhat isolated there was not much we could do about it ourselves up in the Dom. Currently we are down at our mission center to buy supplies and take care of some medical needs. On the road here and not far from the mission center the truck broke down.
We knew that this might happen but all we could do was commit it to the Lord and drive. We ended up having to be towed but God’s grace was all around us. We could have careered off the road but we managed a controlled stop. We could have been rear ended by other inattentive motorists coming around the curve but we weren’t.
The tow driver gave us a bit of a break on the cost of the tow. Some of the young locals wanted to shake us down for money for “protecting the truck” but the tow driver stood up for us and put an end to it. All in all we experienced God’s mercies thru it all. Sorry to report that it was the differential that went kaput. The tow guy says he has the parts on an exact model of truck like ours so he was going to bring it by today. It is very unusual to be able to find a part so quickly. This is going to be an expensive fix. But for now we have our coworkers’ truck to use and are leaving the details to the Lord.
We have spent many years fine tuning the orthography (the way Dom is written) to improve readability and it seems to have made a difference for those who have struggled. Please pray that the desire for literacy will spread and that God will raise up among the Dom believers those who will have a vision for the literacy program, to step up and take over for us. Up until now this has not been the case.
Please continue to pray for our outreach efforts. Currently we are teaching in three villages outside our clan area (the Dom people are composed of 14 clans) and with the possibility of two more in the near future. One of these villages is a 4 hour round trip hike. Just a few days ago we met with our four Dom church leaders to discuss strategy to make all this work smoothly. When our Lord said that the harvest is ready but the workers are few we certainly qualify. This is a good problem though and we are happy to have it!
We continue to try to provide rice for hunger relief. Though we are now getting rain, it will be another couple of months before their sweet potatoes are ready to harvest. Pray for us as the hunger relief effort often becomes complicated by various expectations of the locals. There are more people than we can provide for both logistically and financially.