Mega thanks for your thoughts and prayers this past month during our Sepik Conference meeting days and the recovery period aftermath. Some of us are still feeling the fog of “jet lag” fatigue after the full and frenzied days!

Our conference theme this year was “The Blood Bought Church” and our speaker – fellow missionary Lourens Lauretti — shared in depth with challenging messages relating that theme to us as individual believers and in the lives of our brothers and sisters in Christ in the churches we are striving to see established and brought to maturity around our region of PNG.

That latter part – seeing the tribal churches discipled to be healthy, mature members of the body of Christ, ever growing in their resemblance of our Savior — really hit home. The Christians among the May River Iwam where I lived & worked my first score of years in PNG have been faithfully meeting together since the missionaries left the congregations in the hands of local church elders some 18 years ago. A totally different group of men are now the leaders of those churches though. Reports we now hear consistently indicate that there are profound issues in the “health and maturity” of the body there, resulting in a “form of godliness” but often showing little in-depth reality of new life in Christ or any true reflection of Jesus. Such needs were also addressed in our Sepik conference sessions and there are ideas for helping the current May River Iwam church leaders in their spiritual needs.

One possibility in particular you can be praying for – how to connect the current Iwam church leaders with more mature national Christians around the country of PNG. Just how this might play out remains to be seen. John Hutteman (son of my former co-workers John & Debbie Hutteman) and Jason Stuart in their ministry to the established tribal churches are looking into details of how this might occur. There are several options but the logistics of arranging such ventures are such that it will be interesting to see which of the many possibilities God works out! In that regard, if you think of it, please be praying for the ‘who, what, when, where and how’ of the venture! At least the ‘why’ is clear: to see the Iwam arm of the bride of Christ growing to be ever more like Jesus until the day Christ presents His Church “a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; …. holy and without blemish” before His throne. (Actually in all honesty that is a truly great prayer need in my life as well – that I would be always letting Him make me to better resemble Jesus, a more clear reflection of our Savior in this needy world today!)
Again my grateful appreciation goes out to you for your part in seeing needs met here in PNG.
One plants, another waters – and GOD gives the increase! Thank you for your faithful prayers and all you do to support seeing that brought to fruition!
Co-laboring to bring back Christ as King!
Hope Sharp