Happy New Year as well. Here are some highlights of what’s been happening in the last two months.
Down for a break. We are enjoying a much needed break out of the tribe for two weeks. It’s wonderful and refreshing to visit and fellowship with our support side missionary brethren whom we only see now and then.
Jim’s pneumonia. While here on break Jim was diagnosed with pneumonia by our mission doctor. He had been getting sicker with what he called “Coldzilla” which apparently had turned into pneumonia. As of this writing he is beginning to respond to the antibiotics and rest. Judy however has still been struggling with this very formidable cold virus.
Hot water woes. For all our many, many years here on the field we heated our water with firewood. Recently our third and last wood burning water heater died of old age. So for the last few weeks we’ve been heating water outside in the open and hauling it into the house in buckets and using a bucket shower. However the Lord has provided through one of our fellow missionaries a donated, used solar water heating system. No more firewood; cutting down the tree, splitting it up, hauling it into the yard, cutting it up with a chainsaw, chopping it, stacking it etc. Thank you, Lord. One of our fellow missionaries has installed it on our house roof and plumbed it all while we are here on break.
The Dom has been getting a lot of rain and with that rain comes landslides. Bill, the guy who installed our solar hot water heater, had to return today by walking out to another road to catch a public vehicle, leaving his vehicle at our place, due to three landslides on our mountain road. We go home in a week so pray that the landslides will be cleared away so we can drive home. Also that no new ones slide.
Gerolf’s language evaluation. Our coworker Gerolf (wife Mailis) has been hard at CLA (language and culture acquisition) and was looking forward to an evaluation by two of our fellow missionaries on the field who specialize in this. Alas due to rainy weather these gentlemen could not drive into Dom so the evaluation has been rescheduled for the first of the New Year.
D’le passing away. As many of you already know an old Christian friend of ours, a Dom man named D’le passed away recently (the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving actually). We had known D’le for nearly three decades. He had his faults and shortcomings but he loved God’s Word and put his faith in Christ. He will be missed. Due to many cultural beliefs and misunderstandings about disease like cancer there has been some distrust and animosity here and there in the Christian community. Please pray that the Spirit of God will minister and convict those involved. We have counseled, encouraged and tried to educate as much as we can but it will take God Himself to bring about change in hearts.
Post dedication blues. Every mountain top has its valley as they say and this has been true here in the Dom since the New Testament dedication. The dedication service was truly a mountain top experience for our Dom Christian community but since then the momentum has waned, as it always does and we sense a cooling off spiritually among many. Please pray for our Dom Christian community and for us as we minister among them. They need spiritual refreshment.
Upcoming Bible teachers training for our Dom guys. One of our veteran missionaries here on the field has been holding workshops to help train PNG church leaders and Bible teachers from all over the country. Due to the diversity of mother tongues among the attendees the workshops are conducted in Tok Pisin (PKA Pidgin English) the lingua franca of PNG. Several of our own Dom men and hopefully some women are going to attend the first one of the year. Exciting stuff!