Friends, as always, I need to start by saying a BIG THANK YOU for PARTNERING with us as we are working here in Papua New Guinea! Eighteen years ago, we started this journey, as we went to training in the UK, and now it’s been 16 years that we have been serving here in Papua New Guinea. Many of you have been serving along side us since the beginning, and many have joined us along the road. You have been an amazing encouragement to us. I thank God often for you, as Paul would say:
“Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now.” (Phil 1:3-5)
WHAT HAS BEEN HAPPENING
Since the last time I shared some news, things have been rolling on steadily here on our side.
Sepik national leadership meeting – In April we had the opportunity to attend a leadership conference in the Sepik region, with about 200 leaders attending. They have never brought all the Sepik Church Leaders together in one place since they started planting churches 50 years ago. Kaiko, Kewaka and I spoke at the conference, as well as two missionaries from Sepik.
Evaluation of the work we are doing in New Britain – Last year we requested NTM to come along side us and evaluate what we have been doing over the years and give input. We had our managing director, and church development director and a missionary from New Britain come and do the evaluation together with a team of national church leaders from the churches in New Britain. This was a very encouraging time for the team, as it showed us some areas that need work, but also confirmed some of the growth that we have seen over the years.
Continual resource development – Working with the church has always involved studying God’s Word, applying it to our lives, and developing accurate teaching into some form of curriculum that they could continually use. We are therefore continuing to develop resources that the churches could use to help equip the leaders into studying God Word better and applying it to them selves and to the church. Kaiko is currently working on developing an outline for 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus and Ephesians. And Kewaka is working on revising some teaching we developed for families, marriage, and young people.
Continual equipping in support – It has been a privilege to have Ineke as a coworker and someone who carries a huge load and does an amazing job of training our national coworkers in a lot of the technical aspects of support. She is faithfully working with the Toumusi and Ki and other ladies into equipping them into many aspects of the support roles that we traditionally do for the churches.
Furlough – As some of you might know, we are back in South Africa for seven months, and hope to return in January 2024. this is an amazing opportunity for the leaders and churches to continue working together on their own without me being present.
Continual trips to churches in New Britain – The team will continue to visit each language group church in New Britain over the next 6 months. We have about 16 churches that they would like to visit, and this would involve allot of travel and allot of time away from families.
Assisting the youth – One of the key needs the churches have expressed is in the area of youth ministry. We are aware that more than 50% of the believers in many churches are young people. They are the next generation of the church in PNG, and are experiencing allot of difficult changes and challenges as the culture in PNG is changing. A few years ago the leaders started to host youth events, where they bring the young people together from different churches for a time of encouragement and fellowship. And this year the leaders in New Britain are wanting to start working more intentionally with the youth in these churches. They will be having some meetings with representatives from each language group church and will start developing and implementing a strategy.
Continual resource development – As I said earlier, the team will continue to work on resources that the churches could use to help equip the leaders into studying God Word better and applying it to themselves and to the church. A major focus would be to develop a strategy and resources to assist leaders and believers into using Gods Word well in ministry and personally.
PLEASE PRAY WITH US
1 – Pray for the various church visits that will be coming up over these next 7 months. Pray for the team being away from their families, for endurance and wisdom.
2 – Pray for the team working on developing resources. Pray for wisdom and that God will help them develop clear and accurate resources that will assist the church.
3 – Pray for Ineke and her team as she works on equipping them into many technical and practical aspects of support ministry.
4 – Pray for the church in New Britain to keep on depending on Christ alone, to keep on yielding to Him who can produce in and through them His character and to function well as a body.
5 – Pray for the leaders of these churches to learn to lead as servants and to shepherd the church well.
6 – Pray for the partnership between NTM and the Church in New Britain, for wisdom on how this should look and for direction on what the next steps should.
PLEASE CONSIDER HELPING US!
Your prayers and financial support are making a tangible difference in lives and communities. These key leaders are carrying the burden of the work financially, but we are trying to support them in some ways from time to time, as we work with them and disciple them and they likewise disciple us. There are various ways you can support this ministry, so please contact us for more details, or follow this link and specify it as for “the national leadership development in PNG”.
For our SA supporters: Lourens Laureti
Standard Bank Savings Account number: 238403122 Branch: Cresta