“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” -Eph. 3:20-21
|My favorite part about Christmas has always been the unexpected. I love driving around to look at lights, not knowing what magical twinkling works of art I might come across. I love silly little advent calendars with surprise chocolate shapes inside. But of course what I love most of all is not knowing what is in those wrapped presents under the tree. As a child, I never tried to peek; as a teenager, I never tried to guess; and as an adult, I really hate being asked what I want. What I want is for you to know me so well that you will pick out something that I will love, but wouldn’t have thought of asking for. I want to be delighted with surprise and joy as I unwrap something wonderfully unexpected. I know, I know, that’s a tall order. But you know what, I know Someone who’s really good at that.|
Being an emotional person. Getting married. Having children. Having only boys. Going to Papua New Guinea. Being a support missionary. Homeschooling. All of these are things that at some point in my life I didn’t know I wanted. In fact, they are things that I said that I didn’t want. But all of those things are beautiful gifts that the Lord gave me that have been unexpectedly wonderful.
God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us. We have been talking about that verse a lot at our church lately, and how sometimes that “immeasurably more” doesn’t always look like we expect it to. But, there is beauty in the unexpected.
After all, no one expected the Messiah to come as a baby in a manger.
Till all know,
Matt, Karissa, Ty, and Wyck
Left: The boys were super excited to get out and make a snowman after the first snow of the year. Right: The boys enjoying the magical twinkling works of art at Glow.
– Karissa is trying a second medication for her headaches. Please pray that this one will help and not have side effects.
– For God to be at work in the life of someone we love
– That we could love others well
– For an urgent situation in PNG (see below)
– He is powerful
– He is loving
– Ty and Wyck took a standardized test which showed they are doing fine in school
– It seems that He has provided a good path forward in our church’s building situation
12/9/21: The church among the Mibu people group of Papua New Guinea is calling on brothers and sisters around the world to PRAY. Established in 2006, the church in Mibu has grown and matured through many trials and the very passage of life. In the last couple weeks, they have started asking for prayer for wisdom in dealing with a hostile criminal gang that has been roaming the area, leaving a wake of mayhem and destruction as they travel from village to village. As the rumor of these attacks grew in frequency, scale of destruction, and in closer vicinity, the realization of confrontation the Mibu village seemed inevitable. Today, that confrontation happened. We received a message today that the band of criminals has arrived in the Mibu village. This is a very dangerous situation.
12/12/21: We are overwhelmed with the response to the call to pray for our Mibu brothers and sisters! God is working, because of those prayers. The initial confrontation with the criminal gang in Mibu this weekend did not end in violence! We believe this is a direct answer to prayer. However, threats were made that if demands go unmet there will be reprisals. This has left the Mibu church under tremendous social pressure to give in to the demands of this group, and this has many of our brothers and sisters conflicted. And while Mibu was spared violence this weekend, other areas were not so fortunate. Fighting between this criminal group and another village in the area resulted in some injuries and more destruction of property (i.e. multiple house burnings). The threat of harm is still very real, and the whole situation remains very fluid.
12/15/21: Today we received very sad news, a church leader in Langgane village (about 6-7 hours hike from Mibu) was able to sneak away and call out, and has informed us that at 2AM this morning, Dec 15 the Headwater Gang surprised everyone simultaneously in Mibu, Beng and Tibu. One of the main church leaders gathered himself and his family and locked themselves into their own house in hiding. They are surrounded. One father in the village was cut in the neck with a machete by the gang that was seeking to kidnap his daughter. The father is 50/50 on survival – the girl has been taken hostage. Houses in Mibu & Beng have been burned. Mibu LLG government leaders have been taken hostage and are being held by the gang. There is only ONE in the area for communication with the outside world. Guards were placed around this building to prevent anyone from making contact to report or call for help. The keys to the missionary’s houses and church office have been seized by the gang. Many threats were repeated that tomorrow, Dec 16 the missionary’s houses and church office will be burned. No further details of how many houses or who else has been injured in this attack. Yesterday the group attacked two other villages, Dagave & Yongem 4 houses were burned in Yongem and in in Dagave but no further details. Also, no word yet of injuries/casualties in either of these locations. Mission leaders are seeking help for the Raicoast district from the police and military of PNG. There are NO ROADS available into this area and communicating options are almost nil. Please pray for miraculous protection.Please pray this Headwater Gang will come to an end.Pray for church leaders to have wisdom as they minister to a community that is being terrorized and tortured by this evil gang of criminals.