Dear friends and family
We have some sad news and good news at this time. The sad news first. I (David) have been teaching believers at Katagu through Romans since July. After several months of no rain here the people were recently without food. Since they depend on their gardens for their food this is a really big issue for them. I encouraged them to look to the Lord for help rather than the mission or the government. They were reluctant to pray to ask God for rain so I prayed. Two days later it began to rain and they got good soaking rain out of it.
The next time I went out they said, “But we are still hungry, we don’t even have anything to plant the next sweet potato crop with.” I explained that I couldn’t give them food because I would be accused of favouritism, which is a big issue in this culture, and I wouldn’t be able to supply the whole village. They asked me to ask the mission for food. Again, I encouraged them to look to the Lord for help but they were reluctant to ask God for help while they had a ‘heavy’.
Anyway, they asked me not to come out to teach during the ‘hungry time’. So, we realized that in this difficult time they have slipped back into their old way of thinking. And, because the Interface Program had been running there for many years they have become dependent on the white missionaries. We are praying that one of the national churches will take them under their wing. Already one of the national churches in a language group called ‘Dom’ have sent then a whole heap of sweet potato vines to plant in their gardens. Their need is to be weaned from their dependence on the ‘white missionaries’.
Now the good news. I met with the mission leaders to try and get some direction where to go from here. They strongly encouraged us to begin teaching the people at Koropa where we lived between 1997 and 2005. We were reluctant to do this since we didn’t know how long we would be here and it wouldn’t be good to start a work up there then leave too soon. But they encouraged us to trust the Lord to keep us here until at least our work permits expired in May 2022. They also said that they are strongly encouraging new missionaries coming to the field to consider working in the Upper Benabena area. The outcome of this is that we are planning to start teaching up there in January 2018.
There is a lot to do before then. Since we will need to stay longer than just overnights up there we need to make some improvements to our house. We want to extend it and put in an office and bathroom. We are thinking of staying two nights a week up there. For the last several months David has been putting the teaching lessons developed by Rich Foster into an outline form and checking them with our village son, Sevis. We are having these outlines printed on A3 sized paper with a picture printed on the reverse side and laminated. Please pray for the printing costs for these, our health and for our car to keep going over the rough road up there each week.
Thank you for your continues support
David and Wendy