To be honest, I do not know where this year has gone? I think I am becoming more like PNG people that are just not time orientated. In a way it’s been crazy as I have been running around in PNG and also coming back home for a short stint after my dad passed away.
Progress in translation
I am getting more and more excited about how things are progressing with our translation. Our co-worker, Rebecca Preheim has put in allot of hard work to see the translation progressing, so much so that we might have it completed towards the end of this year. On my return I will work closely with Eddie to see Revelation prepped and ready to go to Rebecca for some checks and then back to me to get it ready for its final check.
Outreaches going well
Praise the Lord, he is enabling the north coast church plant team in Bologo to continue in spite of burn out and many setbacks. I recently visited them and they are thinking of sending the two original missionaries back to their home village. The reason they feel like this is because Bobo is ready to carry the work on his own and they have trained two men from Bologo to start carrying more responsibility. Their names are Talex and Jack, so please start praying for these new guys! On my return I am planning to visit them together with the other leaders in Mengen to evaluate this plan.
New outreach in Soi
As you know earlier this year a new church was born in Soi. Eddie completed the first round of evangelistic teaching on December 25 and he is currently busy teaching through Acts.
Here is Koppas’ story: “I grew up in a small village far away from here. I never knew my mom and my dad and as soon as I had an opportunity I moved away from my small village into one of the bigger towns. Then I soon got involved with the wrong crowd and started to use drugs and alcohol or rather home brew often got into trouble with the police and so I had to flee from town to town in order to stay out of jail. Eventually I ended up here in the main town of our island. But soon got into trouble again and ended up in jail. I escaped out of jail but nearly got shot when the authorities shot at me. So I fled far away to hide from the Police here in where I’m living now.
As i was hiding away I heard about you guys coming here to our village to start a school. The school would teach us to read and also teach us about the creator and His talk. I thought it would be good for me to learn to read because I am an adult and I cannot read. But I told Eddie there’s no way I can learn because I’m just a rascal without any knowledge. But he said that he himself was a rascal and he himself is also not very clever and so if he could learn to read then I myself can as well. And so it happened that I started to learn and eventually I learned to read very well.
Then they started to teach us Gods talk and at first it was really hard for me to listen because I realized who God was. I realized that he was perfect and all powerful and all-knowing and everywhere. He knew knew me inside and out, and I cannot hide from like I’m hiding from the police. But then I learned that he is also loving and God is so much different than all the other spirits that we honor and worship. Then I learned about the stupid decision that Adam and Eve made by turning away from this wonderful God. And they actually brought all of us into trouble as well because we are all children from Adam and Eve and we now got the same stomachs (hearts/natures). At this stage I got very troubled and my stomach was very heavy (concern) as I realized that this perfect God who knows me and sees me, is also the final judge who will judge me and I will definitely go to the fire that has no ending. Luckily I heard about the one who would take us back (redeemer) who would be send one day as a helper. And so I got to know that Jesus was God himself who died in my place for my sins. It was just like that perfect innocent Lamb in the Old Testament that was killed and burned in the place of the sinner.
That specific day when I heard about Jesus being the Lamb of God killed in my place to pay for my sins I just could not listen to that anymore. I ran out of the building and found a place where I could hide…”
Eddie says: “As I was teaching I was emphasizing the fact that it was our sin that put Christ on that cross and that due to this wonderful grace and mercy He died innocently in our place in order to help us. As I was teaching this many
people were crying and I saw Koppa jump up and run out of the building. Afterwards we went to find him and we found him in a ditch crying. When I asked him what was wrong he said that he just could not listen to the story anymore. He was just feeling so ashamed and so embarrassed. It was so hard for him to hear that God actually loves him and showed mercy and grace to him and made a plan to help a guy like him. It was hard for him to believe that God so loves us that he died for us. He felt that he just does not deserve that. And so me and some of my other friends explained to him that that’s exactly why the gospel is such great news, it is because we do not deserve any of it, and God has done this for us because he loves us. And so we pulled Koppa out of the ditch and Koppa decided to place his weight on Christ to carry (trust) and so today Koppa is growing and becoming a literacy teacher and he will also be trained into becoming a teacher in our church.”
There are many more stories like this! Thanks so much for your continued prayer and support!