Wow! A lot sure has happened since our last update went out. If you haven’t already heard – we’re expecting baby number 4 at the end of November! We also officially finished our national language study! On April 8th we had our final evaluation and were given the go ahead to pursue finding the people group that we believe the Lord is leading us to minister to for years to come. Our awesome teammates, Peter and Elaine, have their final evaluation scheduled for the 14th of June. (they are actually faster language learners than us, we just got to the field before them). We have really been enjoying getting to know our teammates more and more as we meet together regularly and pray and plan for the future.
Last month Peter and I were able to take a survey trip to another part of the island to a town called Kaimana. We went there with the goal of gathering as much information as possible about the people groups in that area. Kaimana is surrounded by 8 different tribes, some coastal and some living in the low mountains of the interior. This is the general area that we have decided to focus on, as we will eventually be picking one of the 270+ languages in our country’s half of the island to live among.
While in Kaimana we were amazed to see how the Lord was going before us and answering our prayers. We were able to meet with everyone we hoped to and even more. We met with government, church, police, and tribal leaders and in every circumstance the Lord gave us favor with those men and showed us that doors were opening for us to further pursue ministry in that area. After our trip, we feel that there are 3 tribes in that area with a great need for the Gospel to be preached and Scripture translated into their heart languages. One in particular has stood out to us. Some of our coworkers have been praying for years for a team to be able to work among these people. They have always been very closed off to outsiders coming in but through our conversations in Kaimana it seems that they may be ready to accept missionaries.
Peter and I will be making another trip in the middle of June. We will travel to another small town in the western half of this island and try to meet with a headman from one of the tribes we are most interested in. If he has gone interior we may travel upriver by boat and look for him. From what we have heard, he is the guy that we would need to get permission from before ever being able to enter the villages in that area. Please be praying for us as we follow these leads and seek to be obedient to the Lord’s direction.
In other exciting news- we will be heading stateside for the birth of our baby and to reconnect with family, friends and supporters before we make our big move into the village! Bethany and the kids will leave June 28th along with my sister Kelsey who is coming to help Bethany so she doesn’t have to travel alone with the little ones. They will get to spend a month with Bethany’s parents in Simi Valley before I join them on the 27th of July. We have to be out of the house we have been staying in on the 25th of June and since I will be traveling a lot and doing surveys interior we felt it would be better for Bethany and the kids to enjoy time with family rather than stay alone in temporary housing. After I get home we will be driving up to Eureka and staying there through January or February. When we return to Papua after this short furlough we will continue with the survey process and then hopefully begin biulding our house in the village that the Lord leads us to!
PRAYER REQUESTS Please be praying for our family as we have a lot to do in these last couple weeks before heading home and also, as I will be apart from Bethany and the kids for a month.
Please pray that we look to the Lord to lead us in His timing to the people he wants us to carry the Gospel to.
Please pray for a strong relationship with our teammates and that we would always seek to encourage and edify one-another.
*SPECIAL PROJECT NEEDS*
Over the next 7 months we hope to raise about $20,000 for our future home in the village. This would go toward everything from the gas and oil for the chainsaw to solar panels and tin roofing. While we intend to live simply, the costs can really add up- especially when everthing needs to be flown in by helicopter. If you would like to donate toward this need, please click on the “GIVE” button above.