This month we would like to share Jason Stuart’s update. We’re sure he would appreciate your prayers!
I would like to thank all who prayed for the points I mentioned last month regarding the upcoming outreach that the Inaru church is planning to the village of Namu. This last week Jedidiah and a friend of his and I were able to take a trip to Inaru and Namu. Here are some of the ways that the Lord has answered prayers, as well as a few more prayers requests:
- Regarding the readiness of the Inaru church: I was so pleased with how the Inaru church is taking this on. The church leaders have all been studying the Bible lessons that will be taught and we had a meeting of about 17 Christian men while I was in Inaru to discuss the outreach. The Inarus understand that this is a long term commitment that they will need to stick with until there is a mature church in Namu. They have plans to rotate 2-3 families of their church leaders in and out of Namu to do Bible teaching. Praise the Lord for how He is directing the Inaru church.
- Regarding the problems between the villages of Inaru and Mari: There has been a court case heard by a local magistrate and both sides have paid money and there is supposed to be a hand shaking ceremony at anytime, but basically this problem is over (that is an answered prayer). When we were travelling to Namu, we stopped into Mari and the village leaders said they wanted to talk to me. They said that every language group around them had our mission teaching the Bible and translating the Bible and they really wanted a missionary as well. This is not a new request and we have always suspected the Mari people of having the wrong motives for wanting missionaries, but God can use wrong motives. An open door is an open door. The problem is that our mission is not currently awash with new missionaries ready to be thrown into every place that has a need, and Mari is a bit farther down the priority list than some other places that we see as more needy. So, I told the Mari people that we didn’t have a missionary to send them now, but that there were two strong churches upriver and downriver from them in Inaru and Yembiyembi; if they are really keen on Bible teaching they need to have one of those churches provide Bible teachers to teach them in Pidgin English and maybe our mission could provide a translator in the future once a church is established. I am not sure they were pleased with that answer, but they still seem open. Please pray that God’s Word will go to the Mari language group by some means so that they can be saved and brought to maturity in Christ.
- Regarding the readiness of the Namu people: This was a bit disappointing. The Namu people had promised that they would build a house for the Inaru teachers, but they hadn’t started on it yet. Also, Namu is actually two small hamlets with an hour’s walk between them. They were supposed to decide where they would like the teaching to be held. However, the two hamlets are both being stubborn and wanting the teaching at their own place and no one wants to budge. We didn’t resolve it while I was there, so we left 3 Inaru church leaders and their families to help get things organized and start the teaching. Unfortunately, I heard yesterday that the Namu people sent the Inaru teachers back home and said they would send for them when they were ready (“don’t call us; we’ll call you”). This whole area of Papua New Guinea is currently making their money from harvesting and selling massoia bark to Asian buyers and the Namu are working feverishly to make big bucks, so listening to someone teach the Bible to them doesn’t sound so interesting right now. Please pray for a continued open door in Namu and that they would actually pursue the Inarus to come teach the Bible there.
Now that we are back in Wewak, I am working again on translation checking. Next week we will go to Goroka for 6 days for a translation check there and then return to Wewak. The kids are on mid-term school holidays and are enjoying being able to play outside all day every day with their friends.
As many of you know, I was granted permanent Australian residency last year. However, I need to live a certain amount of time each year in Australia to maintain that residency. So, we have purchased tickets to return to Australia on September 1 and will stay thru January. I will still be able to work full-time on translation checking and other PNG church related projects while I am down there. Each time we return to Australia the Lord drops every detail into place and we are expecting the same thing this time. The big need will be a house to stay in for about 5 months, so you can pray we can find a suitable place in or near Creswick to rent for that time. I am also planning on buying a car this time (we have always borrowed or rented in the past) so that it can be available each year when we return to Australia. Please pray for God’s direction in that as well.
Thanks to all of you who pray faithfully. I really felt and saw the effects of your prayers in our recent travels.
Jason and Jedidiah and Ella Jo Stuart
Jedidiah and his friend Coleton getting ready to fly to Inaru
Ella Jo heading to the beach in the back of the truck