“They lied to us for so long! They told us we had to be good.”
This past month we had our central area conference. This is a time for all of the NTM missionaries from around the region to come together and share what God is doing in their tribes, and to be encouraged. A group from one missionary’s supporting church came and encouraged us by sharing from the Word, leading us in worship, and hosting a VBS for our kids. Our kids LOVED it. Every morning, Ty was the one nagging us to get out of the door on time! The preaching and worship were also very encouraging for us. Another cool aspect of the conference is that we got to hear all about what God is doing in various tribes around our region in PNG.
The above quote is what a new believer said when she finally understood the gospel. She was referring to the many “Christians” who had come and gone teaching a works-based salvation, the idea that if you do good things, God will accept you. I imagine that she had seen her inability to be good enough and realized she was hopeless to change herself. What a joy the gospel is! That we cannot be good enough to attain acceptance by God, but that God, in His great love, sent His Son so that through faith alone in Him we can be made right and accepted by Him.
Throughout conference, we heard story after story of lives changed by Jesus. Here are some statements from new believers. “No, I’m not afraid [of death] because I know that Jesus is my Savior.” “The big thing right now [in this persecution] is not all I’ve lost, but what God is doing in my liver (heart).” “Now that I have trusted in Jesus I want to be like a light to my family.” There are people being baptized, kids asking for Bibles even though there aren’t enough, people hiking from hours away to hear God’s Word, and people turning from their old ways. There was a believer who collapsed on the road and as he was dying, asked someone to bring him his Bible. He died clutching his Bible and saying he had complete confidence he was going to heaven. This was such a contrast from the fear and anger that had accompanied every other death people in that village had seen.
God is doing incredible things here in PNG. We can’t wait until we get to go and share His Word with a tribe. Meanwhile we are so glad that we can support other missionaries who are out in tribes while we wait.
Our trip to Madang Province to meet the new missionaries went well. We are hoping to talk to them more when they come to our area in November. Pray for God to provide a third family for us to partner with, and that we would have wisdom about choosing the right ones.
Till all know,
Matt, Karissa, Ty, and Wyck
The big excitement in our family this month is that our cat had kittens 🙂
At conference we translated the whole Bible and planted churches around the whole world… Oh wait, that was just in a game.
– That God will provide the right family to join our team
– That we will be able to love and minister to people well where we are at
– That God will give our team unity as we move forward and make decisions
– For energy for Matt in his work as he is exhausted at the end of each day
– For the future of PNG, that it will continue to be a country open to missionaries for years to come
– For a good trip to Madang Province
– For all that God is doing in PNG
– That God encouraged us all during conference
– That He continues to provide for all of our needs