Dear Family, Friends, and Faithful Supporters,
We think of you often but have been waiting on more definite news before writing a news letter. Corinne’s hip replacement is doing fine. She is able to cope fairly well, so I have peace about pressing ahead with plans for my trip to Papua New Guinea.
My decision to just make an attempt at a definite booking came just a couple of weeks ago, and things have had to happen fast. I need to go this year, because I’m not getting any younger. First, I made a tentative airline OR flight booking. Next was accommodation. I was in touch with several missions in Lae but nothing seemed to be working out until I heard from CLTC, a branch of a Christian college, located behind our former NTM guest house in Lae, which has been sold. I do need to stay in Lae because that is where the two men helping me with translation live, so it makes it more convenient for them. Another will have to come from the village far away. CLTC has a 2-bedroom flat available for K2,000 a month. But they are willing to give me a lower price, especially if I agree to teach one of their 3-week courses. I would enjoy teaching there, but I think I will have to decline the offer because I will be very busy. As the Lord provides I should be able to pay the K2,000, as it is only the equivalent of about $650. So for 2 months that will be $1300, which in Lae is very reasonable compared to commercial accommodation. Their cost would be completely out of my reach. So, for a fully furnished flat, I couldn’t ask for any better! Thank you, Lord. And thanks to those of you who prayed for this.
My tourist visa for PNG has just arrived. So, now with the accommodation arranged and my visitor’s visa in hand, I am ready to confirm my flight reservation. I would appreciate your prayers since my itinerary shows that I will be traveling straight through from Orlando to Lae; my total traveling time, including stops and changes in Chicago, Hong Kong and Port Moresby: at least 40 hours without a bed. However, I’m an old hand at this, with emphasis on the OLD. I’ll need to lease a car for that time to enable me to get around town, unless I can borrow one or use a taxi from time to time. So we’ll see how the Lord provides.
I depart here Oct. 16, arrive in Lae on the 18th. After a few days settling in I will need to go up to headquarters near Goroka and dispose of the few remaining personal effects we have stored there and to close our NTM account. Sad to think of that, but it will be the final cut of our ties there. Please pray that I can endure for the entire two months, working hard until departure on Dec 14 for Hong Kong, just before the visa expires. I have to overnight in Hong Kong and will arrive in Orlando 5:45 on the 15th. During my stay there I hope to connect with Daughter Judy and Jim. We were thrilled to read their letter telling about the recent dedication of their New Testament in the Dom language.
Some may wonder why I want to do this at age 82. First, I believe the Hamtai believers need at least some Old Testament portions to round out their Bible knowledge. Secondly, I know there is a risk involved. But, as I stated before, the apostle Paul spoke of “men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” I’m willing to do that because my heart is thrilled that I can hopefully meet this further need of the Hamtai churches for more of God’s Word, doing whatever it takes.
Pray for Jim Jora, who will be working with me. He has faithfully worked on portions with me via Email. The church as a whole do not see his work as something they should support, so he does not get help from them. However, some individuals have given him food or money. He now has Windows 7 on his computer. I had to pay for that from our funds we have in PNG. Pray that Malcolm, the main translator, will be able to help while we are there.
Pray for Corinne, here on her own. We haven’t been apart for many years for two months like this. We have brothers and sisters who will look after her needs. We are one big family here.
Love to all,
Tom and Corinne