I made it.
You know, sometimes people say they don’t know what to write about in their newsletters and that’s just not a problem I ever have! It seems like so much has happened since I last saw or wrote most of you, but then again, the lessons I continue to learn and see reinforced about God’s goodness, His faithfulness and His provision remain the same.
There is so much to be thankful for. PNG has remained fairly isolated from COVID. Maybe the other crazy sicknesses you can get here scared it away! So, I’m grateful for normal. After my two-week quarantine I can shake hands, hug, and be close to people. There are a few places in town, mainly the Australian-run store, where we have to wear masks but on center and in the surrounding community, I can almost forget this mask-wearing season. I hope you all can soon too.
I’m grateful that 68 of my old and new co-workers are planning on heading back in a week and a half. Included in that group are several new church planting families headed this way to begin training. I’m grateful that God’s work here to give the tribal people of PNG the opportunity to hear of His love, grace and mercy for them, in a language and way they can understand, continues.
And I’m grateful I get to be a part of that happening, and that I become more and more clear about what my role is as I serve here. Last week marked 2 years from my first arrival in PNG! It’s not always easy, and I get overwhelmed and weary in my work just as all of you do. But the longer I walk this journey, the more I recognize that nothing will come from my efforts of trying to make things happen. In some situations I can only wait for the Lord. I must be faithful in what I feel He’s asking of me, but that doesn’t mean the doors will be wide open. Sometimes I have to wait. We seek Him, we act, we wait, and we trust that He will do what only He can do in making a way.
Learning this lesson (not that I have) will, I’m sure, help me as I relate to my tribal church planting co-workers who spend their lives teaching and investing in people, but knowing only God can change hearts. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t act or that we’re meant to sit still and do nothing, but we can’t force our way if the end goal is love and reconciliation with God.
I’ve started a Bible Study here written by one of my co-workers based on his family’s experiences planting a church. I’ve only just started it, but it reminds us that in 2 Corinthians 5 we’re meant to be ambassadors reconciling the people of the world to God by sharing with them the message of Christ- that they may be made right with God. How does your life look like the life of an ambassador? You know, I don’t know much about politics, but I’m pretty sure an ambassador acts not out of his or her own power, but the power granted to them by the kingdom they represent.
May we all find the ways in which we can be fruitful and faithful ambassadors wherever we are.