I am sharing this news with you today because there is NO WAY how we could ever do what we have done, this past year if it was not for you! Spend some time to read through this and allow us to share our appreciation!
All honor to God who continues to restore His image in this world, and on these Islands, even during this crazy year. God has been gracious, and it has been amazing to see what God is doing amongst the unreached and the churches here on our islands.
But secondly, thanks to you!
- Thanks for supporting us and our ministry financially!
- Thanks for praying for us!
- Thanks for encouraging us!
I WANT YOU TO TAKE A LOOK AT HOW YOU HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE HERE IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA THIS PAST YEAR!
1 – YOU ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE WITHIN THE MENGEN CHURCH.
Since our return after our furlough about a year and a half ago, we had the opportunity to work together with our co-workers, Simon and Annika Flanagan. Even though the dynamics have changed, and we are full time ministering amongst the churches on the Islands, with the Flanagans full time in the village, it’s been amazing to get to know our coworkers again, and it’s a privilege to work with them! Continue to pray for Simon and Annika.
Our first church is steadily growing –Simon and the leaders are continueing with literacy, leadership development, teaching, discipleship, inductively studying God’s Word, youth meetings, and ladies meetings. It’s been encouraging to hear about the young people that we know as kids now starting to take the lead.
Praise God for Edie and Franceska. Many of you got to know Edie as one of our trainees and church leaders who also help to plant the church in Soi. Many of you know about his fall into sin, and how damaging that was for God’s testimony His church, and Eddie and Franceska. It was amazing to see how he was restored to fellowship in the church after nearly two years. God is good. Thank you to many of you who prayed. Edie had a great testimony and a humble attitude, and the church responded with forgiveness and affirmation.
Another high point this past year was to see the Mengen Bible arrive in PNG and for the first time they now have a Mengen translation in their own hands and homes.
Bologo and Soi churches are growing steadily – Talex is the leader at the church in Bologo. It’s been amazing to see how he faithfully continues to lead the church out there. He very regularly hikes the long stretches to visit with other believers and leaders and get direction. The exciting news is that hopefully this coming year, we will have another church from another people group send a national missionary family from amongst them to go live full time in Bologo to partner Talex.
Soi church is growing – John is doing very well in Soi. He has continued to train a few faithful men, and they are faithfully continuing to teach and disciple the Soi believers. The church has just completed working through Romans this past year, and will now start to work through Ephesians. Remember for many it’s the first time they hear anything from these books! So, we take our time and make sure they hear, comprehend, appropriate, and apply what they learn. At the moment multiple families are hearing the gospel as well, and much more requesting help as well. The exciting news is that hopefully this coming year, we will have the Maleu church send another national missionary family from amongst them to go live full time in Soi and partner with John.
Your prayers and financial support continue making it possible for us to help carry the work. Through your support, we could also assist with providing Bibles and printed materials and resources they use in literacy and teaching. We could also help transport them to different locations for meetings and training sessions, not to mention maintaining the airstrip which makes it possible for us to enter our location.
Thanks for that!
2 – YOU HELPED US SURVEY NEW UNREACHED PEOPLE GROUPS
Reaching the South Coast Mengen dialect – It’s been many years that we have been receiving requests to come and start work amongst the south Coast Mengen people. So this past year our team completed the surveys amongst them and we are excited about new missionaryfamilies moving into this people group this coming year.
Reaching the people on Vitu Islands. – We have been receiving invitations from the people on Vitu Islands to come and live amongst them and teach them God’s Word. This year had a team visit these islands and do a people group assessment and it has shown that it qualifies as work that we can open up. We are very excited about seeing families move into the people group soon
Reaching the Aighon people group – At this moment we are busy with the people group assessment of the Aighon people group. We already completed 2 sections, which included so tough hiking, and will complete the last section later this year.
Your prayers and financial supports have made it possible for our travel to all these people groups and do these surveys. You are helping us move into new unreached areas, do the people group assessments and then enter into these areas where there is no clear Gospel testimony.
3 – YOU ARE HELPING US EQUIP THE NATIONAL CHURCH
As you know, our primary task is to see God’s Church in the World functioning as His Image. In Papua New Guinea we had the amazing opportunity to see God’s church planted amongst the Mengen and now we are working towards seeing them connecting with other parts of Christ’s body, in growing, becoming independent from us as missionaries, and reaching their own on PNG.
Your prayers and financial supports have made it possible for us to make a HUGE difference this past year. Take a look at the following:
- Lamogai North
- Lamogai south
During these visits, we did a rapid evaluation of the church’s maturity and taught and discipled the leaders on what it means to be the image of God. All together we taught at least 140 sessions, not including separate meetings with small groups, etc. We printed and distributed 900 booklets that included the lessons we have been teaching during these sessions. We have distributed 500 Bibles and just as much leadership resources were purchased and distributed
Bible study and lesson writing development. – Recently we hosted a weeklong workshop on studying God’s Word and developing teaching material. This information will now be developed more by the leadership team and then all the churches in New Britain will be equipped to study God’s Word themselves and develop teaching material rather than depend on lessons provided by missionaries. We are working now on developing the material further and will start implementing it soon.
Your prayers and financial supports have made it possible for us to travel to all these churches, and to help the national leadership team to travel with me. It has helped us print literature, purchase bibles, and resources which is now in the hands of the churches in New Britain.
4 – YOU HAVE HELPED DEVELOP OUR CURRICULUM
As you know, I have been partnering with the church leaders of all the churches planted in New Britain and New Ireland, over the years. A major shift in philosophy has been to see these leaders starting to take the lead and shepherd the church as a single body. We are praying about having some of the core leaders in New Britain come and live semi fulltime in Nakanai, with the purpose to focus on this one task of traveling between churches, to help evaluate and equip the churches.
These core leaders have been working with me to develop the following:
– A workshop on, “The Church as God’s image.”
– Teaching material on Leadership development.
– Teaching material on Marriage and Family Life.
– Teaching material to help Youth.
Furthermore, these men have traveled with me to all the above-mentioned churches this past year. They have helped to teach, disciple, and evaluate.
Your prayers and financial supports have made it possible for me to travel to the churches where these men are working and also for them to travel to me. You have helped me host these leaders on several occasions here at our center during which we had meetings and worked on developing the curriculum we are using.
5. YOU HAVE HELPED PURCHASE AND DISTRIBUTE BIBLES AND RESOURCES
Due to literacy over the years, we have most people in the churches we have planted being able to read. And we have seen a tremendous hunger for good Christian literature.
We were able to purchase or print the following:
- 500+ Bibles.
- 65 sets of course 1 to course 4 curriculum
- 20 sets of Resources, such as pictures, maps, and timelines.
- 12 literacy kit
- 550 – assorted literature, such as teaching on baptism, leadership, shepherding the church, etc.
Your prayers and financial support made it possible for us to print and purchase all the materials we are using at the moment You have helped provide bibles, teaching curriculum, literacy kits, and a variety of other needed resources to the leaders and believers in New Britain and New Ireland.
6. Development of church development property.
As you know we are working towards having the national church leaders take more of an active role in spearheading the work in New Britain and New Ireland. These last few years I have been working with representatives from all the churches, and we have identified a few leaders we are wanting to move to our center and join our team. They are being sent and supported as missionaries from their churches. And they will help me develop curriculum, teach, disciple travel, evaluate, consult, and much more.
THIS IS EXITING! AND A MAJOR SHIFT TOWARDS INDEPENDENCE!
One of the more practical steps we are implementing at the moment is reallocating the current national church guesthouse area to a new area.
This new area will become the first piece of property that we will be giving to the national church to manage. The churches are praying about a manager and his wife to be sent as “support” missionaries to come and live on the property and manage the guesthouse area. We have already approached a couple, that has proven themselves over the years as Godly leaders with the gifts needed. They will be sent and supported by the churches in New Britain and be trained and equipped by the CD leadership team into this role over the next years. We have started with the re-allocation process already and have built two sets of bathrooms and toilets as well as a cooking area, and a classroom/bunkroom area.
Watch this space as we work towards implementing this plan.
Your financial support made it possible for us to build these buildings and start implementing this plan. Keep on praying for us as we enter into the next phase of developing the property.
7. How can you partner with us this coming year?
– As we have said, we plan to have some leaders move out to support center to full-time minister with me. These men and their families are being sent by their churches as missionaries to work with me amongst the national churches in New Britain. You can pray for them and us, and if God guides you like that you can support us financially. This is a big shift towards independence for the national church in New Britain. If you would like more info on this to contact me at any time.
– We will be completing the curriculum I mentioned earlier, and we have 5 churches targeted who asked us to come and teach the leadership courses to them. We are also going to teach the youth workshop at three clusters, during which we will have many youths meet and get to know each other. We are doing a follow-up meeting on the Bible study workshop we did earlier this year, and this will then be adapted and implemented amongst the churches in New Britain. You can just imagine all the work needing to go into this, as well the expenses in traveling and printing these materials – Thanks again for your support!
– We are hoping to visit all the phased-out churches in New Britain to do a mature church evaluation of each one of them. This will help determine the needs the churches have, and we can then use this to intentionally target areas that have a need. This demands a lot of travel and time away from home, appreciate your prayers for our families as well.
– We will develop and implement a mini training course that we could use to equip the national families sending from the home churches to minister cross-culturally. This is a major development in Papua New Guinea. We are having three national leaders coming to live with me at our support center to work on developing this vision. We hope to eventually be able to train and equip the national churches better to reach the unreached here in Papua New Guinea. They are now sending, and we are helping to equip them! This has huge financial implications, please pray with us for investors.
– We plan to do a people group assessment of our urban town and to work with the churches in New Britain to develop a strategy to plant a church in urban town area. This again is a new initiative, driven by the national church in New Britain. A lot of prayers needed!
Thank you so much for your prayers and financial support! Through God’s grace, we are seeing the Church in New Britain and New Irelandstrengthened and growing as well as starting to reach out beyond the local church and seeing the broader church in Papua New Guinea, united and growing closer towards self-sufficiency.
If you would like to partner with us and invest financially into what God is doing here, then you can do it the following way.
– For our SA supporters:
- Lourens Laureti
- Standard Bank
- Savings Account number: 238403122
- Branch: Cresta
– For our overseas supporters click on the following link: Supporting the Lauretis
Lourens for the Mengen church
Check out these clips that give you an idea of what we have been doing…