|“Samuel then took a large stone and placed it between the towns of Mizpah and Jeshanah. He named it Ebenezer (which means ‘the stone of help’), for he said, ‘Up to this point the LORD has helped us!'” – 1 Sam.7:12|
Why did God have the Israelites set up standing stones? Surely they would remember the great thing He had done and never doubt Him again! And yet, it’s funny- I forget time and time again what God has done for me and worry about the next thing, as if He is not able to come through for me.
God provided a headache medicine that worked for me, and I praised Him. But then I worried, “Is the doctor going to prescribe a year’s worth for me to take to PNG? Is the pharmacy going to fill it?” He did, and they did, and I thanked God, but then I worried, “How am I going to afford this?” And then God led someone to donate the money that I needed for it. I thanked God, but then I worried, “Am I going to get stopped at customs and not be able to bring all this medicine with me?” But God gave us travel mercies and no one even asked me about it.
God has come through for us time and time again, and I wish that I would stop doubting Him. However, I know that I trust Him more than I did yesterday, and Lord willing, I’ll trust Him more tomorrow.
Thank you for all of your prayers for us as we travelled back to PNG. He abundantly answered them. The first TSA agent who checked in our bags was a believer, and was gracious to us as we had a couple of slightly overweight bags (whoops!). Then, all of our flights arrived on time, and all of our luggage arrived with us too (which has NOT been happening consistently for people here). Someone even said, when I mentioned it to them, “Wow! Who was praying for YOU?!” The travels basically went as well as they could have, and the boys handled everything swimmingly.
I apologize for not writing an update sooner. Once we got back, we hit the ground running and really haven’t slowed down. We spent the first week trying to unpack our suitcases, unpack the necessary things from storage, and shoving everything else into a shed until we could deal with it. Then, we dove in to preparing for school, which started August 8. This is the least amount of time I (Karissa) have had to prepare for teaching, so I have felt like I’m just treading water trying to stay one step ahead of my students. Matt also dove headfirst into his member care role, planning for orientation for new missionaries, planning Bible studies, and meeting with people in our (still undecorated!) home. Thankfully Ty and Wyck are loving school and doing well!
Please continue to pray for us as we try to adjust, teach well, and care for other missionaries well. We are so thankful we get to serve in these ways, and we are confident that “Up to this point the LORD has helped us!”
Till all know,
Matt, Karissa, Ty, and Wyck
– Our adjustment back to PNG is going well!
– Wyck has made lots of new friends!
– Although he was nervous to start, Wyck has been enjoying school!
– We feel like reconnecting with people has been going really well
– that Karissa will be able to start feeling more on top of things for her teaching
– for Matt as he has started a new online class, and it has been difficult
– that our family can find rest and balance in our new schedules
– for the Mibu church, who continue to face trials
What are we supporting? This month’s tribal update: Pray for the Maliyali people. They will start hearing “Phase 1” teaching TOMORROW! Phase 1 teaching means starting to go through the Bible teaching, from creation to Christ, for the first time! Pray that people will come, that they will have open hearts, and that they will understand God’s Word well. Pray for the missionaries, for wisdom, endurance, courage, and grace as they begin the teaching. There is a Maliyali man who has been helping with translation, so he has heard bits and pieces of God’s Word. Emily Rimestad shared his reaction to knowing he will soon hear the rest of the story. “We have been living with our hands bound, and our eyes blindfolded. For so long we have been sitting in the corner of the house not being able to see anything that is true. But I can see a little, my eyes are beginning to open and for the first time I am telling myself, I can see, I see there is truth and I am hearing it for the very first time.”