Our Sepik’s March Madness has begun — that fast-paced full-court press toward our annual regional    conference! No competition is involved other than the traditional men’s RISK tournament. Instead just lots of opportunities for encouragement with Bible teaching, prayer, singing, Ladies Nite, Men’s Nite, Skit Nite, Song Nite, Kids Carnival, Wom Day and a host of other opportunities for fun and fellowship together.

With all that looming, ideas for an update are as hodge-podge as the range of conference plans! For a few highlights ….

Kadawar update

The government has begun building a tarp house village at Dandan for the evacuees from the volcano. So far only the refugees from devastated Kadawar are at the camp. Any plans for the people of Ruprup and Biem Islands to maybe join them here on the mainland are currently on hold until the ones who lost everything are settled. Please do continue to pray for how God will use this relocation to open the door for foundational Bible teaching and bringing the gospel to the former Kadawar islanders as well as others of this language group!

Rosie and family

Rosie is FINALLY back from spending Christmas at her husband’s village. Rex watches 11 month old baby Philip now while Rosie is at work. More issues have come up regarding the land they were promised they could rent for building their house. A brother of the land owner also wants to have a say in the land’s availability – and price. Prayers will be appreciated in that regard.

Kaje Literacy

Remember the literacy trip I didn’t make last fall to help the Kaje team with their initial primer construction? God has worked it out that I have been able to have a part in their program anyway — via numerous phone calls! Yep! It still boggles my mind that SOME village locations have phone contact with the outside world and thankfully Kaje is one of them! The missionaries there have called numerous times with questions regarding how to introduce things or how to handle issues that have come up during these early classes. They have even asked if I would consider a trip in to give them more pointers on their teaching agenda! Would I!!!! Once again this is in the prayer stage and we will see what God works out!

Other Literacy

Susan, one of our employees and a member of our Wednesday Bible Study, had never had the opportunity to learn to read. Though it’s crossed my mind on numerous occasions to try to teach her, the time commitment involved just doesn’t fit with my current ministry duties. Naomi, a new employee, can read English but not    Pidgin. As missionary Jen Morlang has been overseeing these two gals work, God has led her to take up the challenge to begin teaching both of them to read the trade language of PNG – Melanesian Pidgin. Knowing the English alphabet often confuses Naomi since she thinks of the NAMES of letters instead of the sounds.    EVERYTHING about reading still confuses Susan though she has mastered the initial 2 lessons now! She writes very well and LOVES doing homework along with her grandchildren whom she is raising! Please do pray for Jen as she works with Naomi and Susan. This is very time-intensive long term commitment — but oh! what a    blessing to the 2 ladies to have someone whose schedule allows for the daily teaching sessions!

Stuart family

This month marks 3 years since our dear friend Toni joined Jesus in heaven. Jedidiah and Ella Jo (and their papa Jason) are all doing very well. They recently gained a kitten as a ‘thank you’ gift in appreciation for an impromptu sermon Jason was called on to share one Sunday. “Pixie” is a purrrfect addition to the trio. She certainly saved the day (or rather night) when the kiddos + kitten stayed with me for a couple of days while their father was visiting in the village where their family formerly worked. Pixie cuddled and purred and earned her keep when one of the children was ultra-sad missing Dad. God knows our needs and is so faithful to meet them — even to    providing a feline to help young feelings!  Jed turns 12 next week (during conference) so we celebrated with an    early “family” party.    Much to Jed’s delight, their teacher Miss Stephanie created a WONDRFUL drone cake! What a privilege it is get to be the “pretend grandma” to these two tykes!

Office work

Days continue to be occupied with finance and printing duties. These 2 munchkins come by regularly to play “guess which superhero Jonathan is today” and for Naomi to line up the dinosaurs on the desk. They prove to be better than coffee for keeping me alert and refreshed each day! A matter for prayer –remember all those pleas    about a year or so ago about getting cash? Guess what. Yep! Our town banks have once again run out of small denomination bills. Please be praying for availability of money in K2, 5 and 10 denominations again!

Teamwork !!!!

Since this update began with mentioning “March Madness” it’s only fitting is should end on a Teamwork refrain, eh! It helps tremendously to remember we are not alone in the tasks at hand. Besides God’s constance presence, your prayers and support are a refreshing encouragement and blessing. They will also reap eternal rewards as you hold your place in the lineup, working together with us toward helping people of Papua New Guinea know Christ as their Savior, too! Thank you for your part on the team!

Co-laboring to bring back Christ as King!

Hope Sharp