Hey to all our co-runners in this race
We all have our favorite books in the Bible. I never saw Hebrews as one of mine…One that I don’t necessarily spend lots of time in… and never thought that God would let me camp in this book for the last 4 months.
Hebrews 12:1… Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith…
As missionaries, who lives so closely together in a community of witnesses… you sometimes love it and sometimes NOT.
This past February we found ourselves being encouraged by our little community of witnesses. Over this last year, we recognized that we were more and more sliding in a habitual relationship with Jesus, and therefore yielding more and more to the flesh, living like the old self. Yes, that one that Jesus already paid for! And we also recognized that we were tired and struggling to stay afloat.
So, we left our support centre on the small island and came to our main support centre on the bigger Islands. It’s here where Marlou’s school is too. The purpose of this, was to step out of ministry, rest, and evaluate where we are at with God, others, and our different roles and ministries in Papua New Guinea…
Let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up…
So here we found ourselves away from our home, friends, and ministries. And God starts shedding his light on our lives.
God in his GRACE started showing us sin in our lives that has been tripping us up. And it started with not being consistent with personal time in the WORD, which leads to hearts that is more and more deceived. Then, we are surprised when our interpersonal relationships, patience, and love is not what it should be… pride!
And while our hearts and its sinful tendencies are the main culprit, I love how this verse gets practical… Apart from sin, this verse says that there is weight (things that is not necessarily sin), that can also slow us down. And we had to ask God to show us these things too. In our case we saw how WE are trying to do SO MUCH FOR HIM, that it becomes a weight too heavy to carry.
Furthermore, we experience hurt, disappointment, frustration, loss, and trauma on the mission field, and we tried to carry it ourselves, instead of bringing the yoke to him in exchange for his light one.
We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith…
So, this is what we have been doing these past few months, we worked on re-focusing on Jesus! Do you guys know how hard it is to keep your eyes on Jesus? Are you experiencing it too sometimes? My eyes are attracted to the faults of others, the wrong done to me, the recognition I do not get, the jobs I have to do for him… but my eyes are not on Jesus HIMSELF! The one who started my faith and the ONLY one who will perfect it. Unfortunately, only on the day that Jesus comes back it will be perfected.
So, during our team here on the “mainland” we are thankful for other witnesses to the faith here, that know the struggle since they are still in the race too. They are taking our hands and encouraging us with some encouragement they recently received while running. They take time to stop and spend time with us. They hurt with us when another part of the body is not functioning well. Man- this is sweet, and it makes me tear up today. MERCY
and GRACE. The 2 most beautiful things ever. It draws me to Jesus, the ONE it originates from, and his children who possess these qualities are beautiful too.
Hebrews 12 continues…”Because of the JOY awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.”
Because missionaries are often seen as ones that have reached a stage close to perfection… You have no idea how humbling it is for us to have to take such radical action such as pause out of ministry.
Jesus says in this verse that his cross was a shameful thing… ours is too for us…Awkward… BUT- Jesus knows… he went through shame, hurt, disappointment and unjust treatment for my sin.
At the end, the shame, hurt and disappointment will be forgotten, and we will be with Jesus, blameless like him. NO price is too big to pay- as long as I can be more like Jesus…
We hope to make our way over to our home on our center mid-July to continue life and work there… We are so terribly homesick by now. Missing our ministry with the national church and also our coworker friends. Pray with us that this season will come to an end soon and that God will find us humbler and more pliable and usable. Not perfect… thankful that it’s not a prerequisite to be used by him.
The above testimony of the past 4 months is hard stuff, but there are allot of good stuff as well!
Naomi has been visiting us since Mid-May. It’s the best thing ever, to get an older child back in your house after a long time oversees on her own and to see that God has been faithful in her life. She is a blessing to us in these days.
Liam finished his term here in school too. He went to real school for the
first time ever and fitted in perfectly, socially and academically. So thankful for his teacher, Tessa who did such a great job of teaching him the past 3 years, and her hard work in Liam’s life made him transition into real school life so smoothly.
My Marlou continues to be a light here too. God has given her such great opportunities here to live out her gifts. And it was such a blessing to see what life is like here for my daughter on this Island where she attends boarding school. I’m thankful for all the Godly people that God uses in her life here. Her life would have been less rich if it was not for the input she is getting from them… dorm parents, teachers who goes off math topics to disciple, sport coaches, friends and their parents that comes alongside Marlou and make this place home for her. After this “summer break” we are in now, Marlou will be Grade 12. Nine months of school left for her. Pray for her too, that she will know God’s will for her life. At the moment she is thinking of going to Ethnos 360 (New Tribes Mission) Bible School, then followed by missionary training to go serve God somewhere as a missionary herself.
Madeleen still loves her home at Camphill in South Africa. Grandma and Oupa faithfully looks after my special needs big girl, making sure she experiences family and is loved.
I’m sure you guys understand through this mail how to pray for us better.
Sorry this is not a letter of how your missionaries have done great things for God on the Island these pasts months… on the contrary – we were the ones needing the help… but FIRST God in us before God through us.
Also pray that God will provide finances for Naomi’s nursing degree. It will be for her second year towards a degree she is doing in the US. We are checking accounts daily waiting for scholarships from her college. Our eyes are on Jesus for this too.
We are also looking for more new people who will partner with us financially. We have to make expensive flights back to our Island and just living here is getting more expensive like everywhere else.
And pray Hebrews 12 for us, when you think of it
Marie for the Laureti family!
FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO HELP US FINANCIALLY
Thank you for your part in this huge process of seeing God’s Church planted and developing in Papua New Guinea. Your prayers and financial support are making a tangible difference in lives and communities.
Would you consider supporting this partnership financially?
– If you would like to contribute directly into our mission account, you could do so by clicking on the following link: “Supporting the Laureti ministry in PNG “
– or if you’re from South Africa you can make donations into the following account:
Standard Bank Savings
Account number: 238403122
Thanks again for your partnership!