In a very large swamp not far from here there is a village. In this village there is group of folks who heard, in their own language for the very first time this year, that Jesus died for their sins. A short helicopter ride from there (but a 15-hour hike) you will find another language group and another village in the same giant swamp. Hazen was able to helicopter to this village last Monday and help deliver the groceries. In this language group, missionaries are working hard to finish learning the language so that they can start translating Bible lessons and the Bible this year. This will lead to Bible teaching and then, Lord willing, years of discipling young Christians. Between these two villages, if you hike from either for about 7 or 8 hours (swamp again) you come to another village. This village is one of many in a language group that has heard the gospel in their language and there are established churches there. In fact, these churches are working with a missionary Bible translator on discipling yet another language group “next door” (a 2-hour hike through, you guessed it, the swamp). However, their work has been slow and they are a little discouraged, but a few who are bilingual are putting a lot of time into this. They have two other villages to bring the good news to in this neighboring language group. Also, they need to help teach much more literacy in this church plant. They would like more help, but so far God has allowed them to work through this time of difficult ministry on their own, but in His strength.
These are just a few places in just one BIG swamp where work is being done to bring God’s Word to language groups in PNG who have never heard. Lately we have been asked quite often, “why here?” Well, our family has a burden to help bring the gospel to a language group who otherwise will not hear the truth of God’s love, mercy and grace in their own language. We also have a burden for seeing that group discipled well and in PNG that also means teaching them to read in their own, oral language, which we may have to help write out on paper. After all, at one time someone (a lot of someone’s) did that for us back home. Is it important that they hear? Of course. Is He worth it? Absolutely! That is why we are here. He has “transplanted” us here and He is worthy… worthy enough for all unreached peoples to hear about Him.
What have we been up to?
Currently we are helping orientate the next group of missionaries that just arrived in PNG in July. For Paul, this consists of wearing many hats; from helping organize events and schedules to helping check in on the national men who are our night watchmen on campus. Ellen helps with guest housing and other odd jobs. The kids help a little bit around center too. We are both still learning pidgin (Tok Pisin) and homeschooling the kids. We will have another language evaluation soon. We are also praying for the Lord’s direction as to where to minister in the bush and for a team. We have been asking a few questions about where we could church plant and hope to have some less general, more specific things to share in the next few months.
You are all a big part of this ministry. Thank you for supporting us along this journey. HE is worthy!!
- Pray for wisdom as we continue praying for direction in our work here in PNG.
- Pray that we would be a blessing as we help coordinate this orientation class; organizing the schedule, speakers, field trips, etc.
- Pray we would finish learning the trade language as soon as possible so we have less of a work load. We will be evaluated soon to see where we are. We think Paul may be close to finished but Ellen still has a bit to go. We shall see if we are right!