“I believe in Jesus, so God has called me already righteous. It’s the work of the cross. It’s not work that I make. Work I make is worthless work.” – a PNG believer at our center
I (Karissa) had the opportunity to meet with some PNG citizens who have recently gone through the chronological Bible teaching. Every week, some missionaries here do this teaching in Tok Pisin for the PNG citizens who work here on campus. I got to sit with some of them and ask them questions about their understanding of the teaching. The quote above is from one of the ladies that I talked to (translated). It was so cool to hear folks sharing the Biblical truths that they have learned and it was such a great reminder that this is why we are here- to bring the gospel to everyone in PNG!
As support missionaries, we hope to do our part in whatever role is needed to help the team fulfill its mission of planting “a thriving church for every people” here in PNG. We have been loving doing that through teaching and member care. However, about a month ago, we were asked to consider helping the team by Matt stepping into another role– personnel director. NTM PNG works with a plurality of leadership setup in which there are 4-6 directors who work together to make decisions regarding all of the missionaries in PNG and our church planting efforts here. The current personnel director will be going on home assignment soon, and they felt that this role was a good fit with Matt’s gifting (administration and member care), and so they asked him to step in during that time. Currently Matt has been appointed as a director at large, which means he will serve on the director board while continuing his member care role and shadowing the current personnel director. Then in June, he will step out of the member care role and do the personnel director role full time. In addition to being a part of general leadership decisions, specifically Matt’s role will include interviewing new candidates, leading the member care and personnel departments, helping current missionaries with struggles and conflicts, and overseeing the ministry assignments of personnel.
We are humbled and honored that Matt has been asked to do this role, and we certainly feel the weightiness of the responsibility. However, we are also excited and believe that it is how God would have us serve right now. We feel like it is still in the vein of member care; it’s still in the personnel department, it’s just a different role. Our hope is to return to our member care role in January when we are done with this one, but we’ll have to see what the Lord has for us.
Please pray for us for wisdom, grace, peace, and balance as we step into this new task. We are so thankful for YOUR part in this team.
Till all know,
Matt, Karissa, Ty, and Wyck
Matt spoke in chapel about the power of the tongue (from James 3).
This month has been very full with connecting with families who have been out from the bush.
– Matt has recently been able to help some missionaries walk through some conflict, and it went well
– Field Leadership Team meetings happened last week and also went well
– God has been at work through the chronological teaching here
– Matt got back safely from his trip to another region of PNG
– We were able to find a speech therapist again who can start working with Wyck
– Matt is going through some more conflict resolution meetings with people this week
– Some missionaries here are needing to go back to the States for a while for some help for their child
– For many of our support departments who are extremely understaffed and need more people, including pilots, teachers, and a doctor (we only have one right now, which means when he leaves for a few months, we’ll have none!)
– For Karissa as she needs to get some dental work done
– For us as we feel overwhelmed with the many needs and struggles of missionaries here
Instead of a tribal update this month, we wanted to share about the desperate need we have for teachers (especially next school year), and share a story about how the school here helps enable church planting to continue to happen. (And yes, Karissa will keep teaching her crazy middle school students even as Matt takes on this director role).
Numonohi Christian Academy plays a vital role in keeping our missionaries on the field and operating in their ministries. In addition to running a K-12 program at NCA, the ESS (Educational Special Services) department in the school screens students across the field to discover if any need additional help with their schooling (we have 320+ kids of all ages).Wes and Penny Chappell work among the Menya people. They’re currently translating scripture and discipling the young church, raising up leaders who will be able to lead the church when the Chappell family is no longer there. After home schooling 4 of their 5 kids over the course of twelve years, the school’s screening discovered learning issues that went beyond Penny’s capability to homeschool in the bush. So, the Chappells moved out of Menya to our support center where their three younger children started attending NCA.Penny says, “without NCA we probably would have had to go back home and get some professional help for the kids. With the availability of NCA, we’re able to stay here and continue the work.” The school has even helped to prepare Penny to continue the progress the kids are making with resources for homeschooling next year.While the family is living out of the tribal location and away from the Menya people, they are close enough that Wes has been able to make frequent trips in in order to continue working on the translation. Penny says, “NCA’s goal in this process is to keep us on the field and get us back into the bush. They want to do whatever it takes to get our kids the help they need but also enable our family to continue in ministry. And the kids have loved NCA. If you’re a teacher, you have an opportunity to further God’s Kingdom in Papua New Guinea by enabling the other missionaries here to serve in their roles.”Know any teachers who want to make a difference? Encourage them to look into serving at NCA for a year or two. We are in need of elementary school teachers, an ESS Therapist and High School Foreign Language, Math and Science teachers. http://go.ethnos360.org/png-ed-jobs