April 2017, #94
Greetings in the name of our resurrected Lord. “April showers bring May flowers”. We’ve had lots of rain showers here for many months. According to our records we are having far more rain than usual for this time of the year. It has been raining so much that the National Highway and all the smaller roads like ours are in a state of shocking disrepair. 300 or so potholes were counted in this 8 km section of the Highland’s Highway near our Field Mission Center. In our 35 years here, we do not remember the highway being this bad.
Lots of landslides like the one in the photo but the Lord continues to undertake for us and we keep finding a way to get out and get supplies. All this rain which typically starts in the afternoon and into the night has affected our weekly Bible studies. The attendance has dropped to the point that we felt it was better to wait until dry season to start up again. Please pray.
Teachers workshop– During March 29th to April 3rd a workshop for National Bible teachers who minister in the different churches planted by our fellow missionaries, including here in the Dom, was held at our field mission center which is nearly four hours drive away from the Dom (four hours to go about 65 miles). Ten men from the Dom plus Jim who drove, attended the five day workshop to improve their skills in teaching and evangelizing through the Chronological Teaching method. Our men came back very excited about what they learned.
Simbu get together – April 17th to 21st will be an inter-tribal Bible conference hosted by some of our missionaries and the local Christians from another area. Christian brothers and sisters from several different languages will be worshiping together and sharing in the Word. Thankfully there is a lingua franca in PNG, Tok Pisin which just about everybody speaks.
Bapka update – Many of you know that our land owner, friend and
brother in Christ, Bapka lost his home and everything he owned when his house burned down. It was a devastating blow for him after nearly a decade of slowly improving his circumstances. Praise the Lord that through the generosity of His people both here on the field and overseas Bapka and his family have been able to replace most of what they lost. He is currently rebuilding his house and home. Bapka and family send their heartfelt gratitude to all you who prayed and gave to their need. They have grown even stronger in the Lord as He took them through this trial.
Mud on Faces to show their grief
Rebuilding of the church – the church building was damaged back in 2010 during the landslide that also knocked down our house. The church building managed to stay up and we have been meeting in it ever since. However it has slowly listed to one side, now to the point where we all felt it was unsafe. Our believers got together and dismantled it. Some of the lumber is still okay but some of it has to be replaced. For now we are meeting in a house built as sleeping quarters for the occasional women’s conferences. It is suitable for now but a new church building needs constructed as soon as possible. The considerations are where, when and how. Please pray with us for the Lord’s leading and unity.
Jim is back to good health in general after many weeks of back to back illnesses. We are both getting older. Judy turned 60 in January and Jim 59 in March. Older but still going strong (we think J).
Gerolf, our partner, continues to make progress in language and culture study. It is not an easy process. Pray for daily strength and purpose in learning each day. Pray for Mailis as she is busy with her two precious little boys – Richard and Christian.
Ilai (Eli) or James as he wants to be called now, continues to grow in the Lord and is making progress in rebuilding his life. Those of you who follow him on Face Book can testify to what a difference the Lord is making in Ilai’s life now. As parents our joy could not be greater.
Brian lives in Boise, ID and enjoys his job at a bicycle shop and weekends with his two boys.
Darren and Katie –Darren hopes to be done with seminary in December. Pray for them as they seek the Lord as to what mission board to go out with.
Heather is debating about moving back to San Diego, CA some time soon. She faces a lot of challenges such as finding an affordable place to rent, employment etc. Eventually Heather wants to serve the Lord overseas in some capacity. Pray for her in all the decisions that are facing her these days, for leading and provision.
The world is going crazy it seems. Wars and rumors of war. Who knows how much longer we have to serve the Lord on this earth. Pray for us and our partners the Wuests that our time will be well spent here serving the cause of Christ among the Dom of PNG. May many more Dom and Papua New Guineans come to know the Resurrected Christ. He is the only answer to the crazy world we live in.