We have a lot of news to share with you since our last update. Lots of things happening and some exciting new opportunities coming up in the next few months. Thanks for taking time to read and pray for these things as the Lord lays them on your heart. But first…
If you haven’t heard already, New Tribes Mission (USA) has changed its name to Ethnos360. Why Ethnos360, you ask? Here’s an explanation straight from our USA leadership:
Why have we changed our name to Ethnos360 from New Tribes Mission USA? Because we’re positioning to reach a changing world.Our founders had a vision for reaching the world: “By unflinching determination we hazard our lives and gamble all for Christ until we have reached the last tribe regardless of where that tribe might be.”
That’s a far-reaching vision. A vision that represents God’s heart for the world. A vision that’s worth our getting passionate about and working together to make it a reality. That vision hasn’t changed, but the world has. We face new challenges, and we are learning to face them together — relying upon God to unite His people to overcome them for His glory.
Ethnos360 is the name that anchors us to our foundations and points us to our vision. Ethnos is the Greek word for “nations” that Christ referred to when He commanded His followers to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19) and “…that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all the nations…” (Luke 24:47). 360 represents the entirety of the globe — all 360 degrees…
Our vision is the same today as it was 75 years ago. As we move forward, we’ll draw from those lessons God has taught us in our 75 years of ministry to pursue new opportunities opening to us. Opportunities to reach a changing world.Together let’s continue to embrace God’s vision of reaching the whole world as we passionately pursue Him and His goals.
Because each country has its own NTM entity, we will continue to be known as New Tribes Mission-PNG locally for the foreseeable future. The names may change, but the goals remain the same!
New Believers in Iski!
Recently, the Gospel was presented to the Iski people, located in the northern part of the country. After the great news of the Mali-Baining outreach earlier this year, it was exciting to follow that up with yet another people group hearing the Gospel in their own language. Here are some of the exciting testimonies from the new believers:
“Before when people would greet me and ask me how I was, I would think, ‘How can I be all right, I’m full of sin.’ I was thinking a lot about it. Now I am in God’s clan, God took me with him and I am happy, now I can answer that I AM all right! We are all brothers and sisters now!” – Fidelma
“For years we have tried many ways to go to God. Long and difficult ways, and we have tried them all and failed… Now we have heard this long story about Adam, Abraham, David… and we have heard that the road is not long, it’s short, we have to humble ourselves and believe. The road is clear! Before all the roads we tried, it was all lies. Now I am happy and I will stay with Jesus the Savior.” – Riri
“I believe that this is true. I was a sinner since I was born. I was born under Satan’s clan. Yesterday I heard the story of the savior who died for me and I believed it. Jesus died and said to his father, ‘Why did you forsake me?’ I understand what that means and I’m healed from my sin.” – Makoleta
“We have heard the stories and how we are separated from God. John the Baptist, when he saw Jesus, he said “Here is God’s lamb.” Yesterday we heard the story of the savior who died for us. It was big for me. God had mercy on us and came down to save us. He took our sin, he took MY sin, he was separated from God for me.” – Avara
“Before I use to try to go to God with my own strength. Before I could not kill my own sins, I tried but I could not. I was like a blind pig in the pigs fence since my mother gave birth to me, I could not do anything good, only bad things. I was in the pigs fence and you missionaries were out. For a while I thought that you would be the ones getting us out of it. But now I understand that there is only one way and that Jesus is the one saving us. I heard the story of Adam and of the promised Savior. I heard that Jesus suffered and died for me, he got me out of that fence, took my sin and put me in his good fence, and the bad smell is over. Now I’m clean in God’s eyes. Now the door of the road that goes to God is open and I can go to him! …Thank you for coming here to live in this place to be God’s mouths to us to tell us how to be in unity with Him. Today God saved me. I am out from underneath Satan’s power and in God’s clan now. I am so happy about you. Thank you!” – Priska
So exciting to see the hope and life exemplified by these testimonies of faith! Praise God! Pray for them as they begin to learn what it means to fellowship with one another as a church body.
New Opportunities for Ministry
The Lord has opened a door for us to be able to have a unique part in the Iski ministry. The picture above shows missionary Jason Williamson teaching the Iski people last month. The Williamson’s oldest daughter, Kadynn, is great friends with our daughters and classmates with Cara. Due to staffing shortages, the boarding home program in PNG is going to be shut down next year. So…Kadynn will be our temporarily “adopted daughter” for a few months so that she can continue to attend NCA. We’re excited to be able to help the Williamsons in this way, better enabling them to keep ministering to the new church in Iski.
One of the best short term opportunities that we have been able to offer here in Papua New Guinea is our Interface program, a college-level missions course that offers students the chance to experience PNG and tribal missions firsthand. (Read more about it by clicking the link.) The course is currently held near the town of Madang on the north coast, so for several weeks this summer our family will be headed down to help out with the program. Neil will be doing some teaching and the rest of the family will be helping out in the kitchen and in various other ways. Please pray that the students will be challenged during their time, and that the Lord will burden their hearts with the task unfinished among the unreached of the world.
On a personal note, we are a few days away from wrapping up the school year and greatly looking forward to a visit from some familiar faces! Michael and Ben will be accompanying Neil’s parents for a trip back to PNG for about a month. We’ll enjoy some time with them here and also down at the Interface program in Madang. We’re so looking forward to having them around for a time! Andrew will be missing the trip here, but will be doing a study-abroad program in Chile and Peru during the summer as part of his degree program at Texas A&M.
Thank you all again for your support and prayers for us here. We would not be here without you all. Thank you for what you do to help spread the good news of Jesus to a world that desperately needs to hear!
Gratefully in Christ,
Neil, Becky, Katie, and Cara