Some days it’s a challenge to do even simple mental endeavors. Like today. I counted a stack of office money and came up with K300 total. That was sort of right. If you add another 0 it’s prefect! K3000 – not K300. How do I make such ridiculous mistakes???? Somehow God always intervenes to keep making everything in the finance office balance even when I succumb to such careless errors. Though 2021 is my target date for retirement, on days like today I question whether I will mentally last that long!

BUT – Yes! Thankfully there is a BUT! As we have been talking about in our inter-mission church fellowship times and in our weekly Wednesday Bible study with the ladies who work here on our center –

  • I can bemoan being tired and weary – or I can center my thoughts on God with His almighty strength being always available and ever enough for me. His yoke is easy and His burden light! (Mt 11:30)
  • I can concentrate on my “felt needs” – or I can direct my heart toward clinging to God and relying solely on Him and His faithfulness to ALWAYS provide – He’s promised to supply ALL our needs and He never fails! (Phil 4:19)
  • I can focus on my limited skill, my imperfect savvy, the frequent evidences of my total bumbling insufficiency – or I can focus instead on God and His total sufficiency – when I am weak HE is strong! (2 Cor 12:10)

As they say in Melanesian Pidgin: “Laik bilong mi.” = “It’s my choice” which I decide to let dominate and manipulate my mind! Sometimes I think the ladies in our Wednesday Bible Study group do better at that than I do!

With those ladies in mind – a glimpse of their beautiful, peaceful, tropical haven here in the South Pacific …

… and a peek into their not so beautifully peaceful lives ….

For several weeks now the Bible Study ladies and I have been discussing the phrase from 1 Peter 1:5 – “kept by the power or God…” That, we’ve found, is a totally inexhaustible subject! Questions seem to help them learn ways they can make such truth more real in their lives so I asked them,

“What do you think about when you can’t sleep at night?”

Before you read further – how would YOU answer that?

For some of their answers:

  • From a new mother living with and dependent on her husband’s family while she recovers from a complicated pregnancy and delivery: “Whether I will be given any food to eat tomorrow.”
  • From a single mom: “How I will find food to feed my children tomorrow.”
  • From a widow: “My adult son who tried to strangle me last week.”

2 of the faithful ladies were absent that day but knowing them, their nocturnal worries might be stated as:

  • What I should do about my adult kids who live with me and continually fight with their spouses
  • Whether my husband’s nephew and the pastor he was with are still alive after 6 weeks lost at sea

I don’t know about you, but when I hear their concerns, I recognize that my trust in God has NEVER been stretched as their faith is being tested DAILY. Please do continue to pray for these ladies: Rosie, Lisa, Meta, Paula and Susan. They are precious sisters in Christ whom you will meet in heaven one day!

On the May River Iwam front:

Recently a very influential Iwam Assemblies of God pastor died from complications of diabetes. David Wakari had worked with Pacific Island Mission for the past 40 years doing Bible teaching in Melanesian Pidgin – the trade language of PNG. He held courses all along a vast stretch of the Sepik River and its tributaries. Though his mother tongue was May River Iwam he always taught using only Melanesian Pidgin. It was at least partly thru this influence that Bible teaching in the May River churches transitioned away from using their own vernacular Iwam New Testament and foundational Bible lessons to teaching instead in Pidgin. Please be praying with the local Christians at May River as they process the loss of so influential a man. May God use this to help them turn back to studying the Word in their own language. Oh that they would actually USE the Iwam New Testament! That would be pure evidence of God being able to bring good even out of such sorrowful events. You have been so faithful to stand together with us to provide the New Testament for the Iwam. Please be praying now that they will have a desire to read and study from it that they might grow beyond a surface understanding of salvation and into a deeper love for our Lord.

On the home front:

By now you have likely already heard that New Tribes Mission – USA has a new name! For those of us who struggle with change, (in particular remembering that something HAS changed) thankfully God remains all-sufficient and ever the same!

As Ethnos360, commitment to our mission’s original vision remains the same:

This change of name has been under consideration for some years now. As our world has evolved to the present-day era, certain words in the name “New Tribes Mission” which were appropriate 75 years ago when the mission was founded currently have a negative connotation with some audiences and countries. Many people groups no longer like being called ‘tribes’, nor do they appreciate being called ‘new.’ Also, many countries no longer grant visas to ‘mission’ organizations. A large percentage of today’s unreached people groups are living in limited access or restricted countries. We as a mission still desire to reach those unreached wherever they may be found and in whatever manner best fits the situation. With that in mind, as a part of keeping the doors open for effective ministry, the decision was made to change the mission’s name in the USA. As Ethnos360 we endeavor to remain steadfast in sharing the Gospel and seeing indigenous churches established that also seek to carry on this work, persevering together with them until the people of every language group around the globe have the chance to hear the Good News of Jesus!

Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever!”

My grateful thanks to YOU for your part in working together with us toward this goal!

Co-laboring to bring back Christ as King!

Hope Sharp