He is Risen!
After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. … The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know you were looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then quickly go and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.” Matthew 28: 1 & 2, 5-7
What a privilege it is to know and serve the risen Saviour!
We are enjoying a quiet Easter weekend and the break from our usual routine. Good Friday began with a service and was followed by a variety of activities including a hike, waterslide, games, potlucks and an ice cream social. About 60 of us hiked along a ridge overlooking the Goroka valley. Sunday morning will begin with a Sunrise service followed by a brunch.
This is the first time we have returned this late in the school year, there are only about 6 weeks left in the school term. We have noticed that many on centre are weary and looking forward to the end of the school year. Many are preparing for Home Assignment. The next few months are a time of huge transition. One analogy that is often used is that transitioning is like jumping off or jumping on a moving train. We have just jumped on but many others are preparing to jump off. We are slowly getting up to speed and the train is definitely moving.
The individual who was covering Pat’s responsibilities while we were home in Canada has already left for a new assignment. In fact they only had one day of overlap. We are also updating our computer systems which means there is a lot to learn. Pat had a few hectic and stressful days but things are settling down for her now. (Did I mention we are enjoying the long weekend.)
My (Joe’s) transition has been more gradual. The co-worker who had been covering my responsibilities is here. This means that we have had lots of transition time. We are jointly covering the Centre Manager responsibilities. He is taking the lead on wrapping up some of the items that he had been dealing and I am taking the lead on the new items that are coming our way.
We serve at the NTM PNG Headquarters providing support services for the church planting and development missionaries who serve in remote locations around PNG. We have around 70 housing units on centre typically occupied by about 65 families. Looking ahead, from July to December we will only have about 55 of our houses occupied. Many departments will be short of personnel. For example, our Information Technology department will have 1 or 2 individuals instead of the 5 they usually have and need, the school is having to close an elementary classroom because we don’t have enough teachers, and the Business Office will be functioning without some key personnel. All this to say that the months ahead will be challenging with many people carrying many extra responsibilities.
God’s Word Being Proclaimed
In the midst of the challenges we are encouraged by all that is taking place. Bible teaching and discipleship is taking place in many locations. Elders are being appointed. Many are celebrating the new life they have in Christ for the first time this Easter. Church planting teams were allocated among three language groups in the last year. Several families are nearing completion of their time of orientation and equipping as church planters and will soon be allocated into new locations or joining existing teams. More individuals are arriving in July to be equipped as church planters. .
We have much to be thankful for this Easter as we celebrate: He is risen indeed!
Below left is a picture of us overlooking the Goroka valley from the ridge. Right is a picture of where we live.