Instead of the usual BORing “same ole, same ole” news from the life of a support missionary, this update will be a “round the region” overview of some of the people groups where our missionaries are currently working.
Kaje language group:
Missionaries Taylor & Abby Goheen and Jon & Jen Myers have advanced in their study of the local language & culture and moved into creating and teaching a literacy course, initial scripture translation and Bible lesson preparation. A third family – Christopher & Lilli Meyer — just joined this team this past week to begin to move toward house building and then language & culture study.
Amdu and Pei ethnic groups:
Working among the Amdu, Ben & Missy Hatton and Bart & Emily Allen are on a short home assignment before beginning Bible teaching in their village.
Missionaries Justin & Lauren Rees, Candace Swift, and Chris & Evie Jones work among the Pei people. All are currently in the USA – Chris Jones recovering from a serious injury to his Archilles tendon over a year ago and the Rees family & Candace on a short home assignment time before returning to PNG early in 2019.
Both the Pei and Amdu missionary teams have launched their literacy programs and had their first scripture translation checks. Lesson preparation is in progress and the foundational Bible teaching will hopefully begin soon after the missionary teams return to PNG next year. By taking a short “furlough” now before beginning to teach, the teams can plan to stay on long term thru evangelical Bible teaching and on into beginning to see local churches established in their respective language groups.
Lisa Kappeler, Clint & Ashlyn Teele and Jason & Laken Cizdziel make up the team working among the Uriay people. This team, too, is currently in the USA tending to health issues, family needs and general home assignment ministries. All hope to be back in PNG early next year. When they return Lisa will pursue further scripture translation, overseeing literacy and other aspects of the work while the Teele and Cizdziel families delve back into “CLA” = Culture and Language Acquisition.
Hewa language group
John Michael & Jessi George are currently stateside for medical issues. They hope to return to PNG in January but due to physical limitations will not be able to live on location in the tribe. John Michael plans to do itinerate trips into the village to do Bible teaching. Jonathan & Susan Kopf contining on full time living and working among the Hewa people. Besides ongoing literacy, Bible teaching and translation projects they recently completed a discipleship course in preparation for designating elders and deacons for their local church next month.
is the newest of our tribal works. The language is a dialect of Hewa but due to the vast area the tribe covers, and the distinct linguistic differences, the people living in this area of the language group will need a different alphabet, literacy program, Bible teaching and scripture translation. Nathan & Rachel Mueller, David & Emily Rimestad, and Chad & Martha Earl are all in the language learning stage.
Besides these current works, ongoing itinerant ministry trips are being made to visit the tribal churches currently standing on their own. A conference was held last month for believers in the Sepik downriver area. Church leaders from the Inaru, YembiYembi, Waxe, Mariama, Malaumanda, Bisorio and Hewa churches gathered for a time of teaching and encouragement. Another such gathering will be held later in the year for the Sepik upriver locations. The Iwam, Nimo, Samo, Nakwi, Iteri, Sorimi, Sinow, Siawi, Ama and Wabuku churches will have the opportunity to take part.
But wait! There’s more!
Letters come to the missionizes all the time from the people in still unreached language groups asking for missionaries to come to work among their people, teaching them God’s Word and translating the Bible into their mother tongue. Many have asked repeatedly for the past 40 years. Sadly all too often the answer has to be that there is no one to send.
The burden is a heavy one – and there are few who come to help carry the load. If you are interested in a cross-cultural ministry – there is work here that you could help do. Living among the lost, learning their language and studying their cultural beliefs that the Word of God might be communicated to them in an understandable way without them merely synchronizing Bible into their ancestral beliefs is not a short term commitment. Job security is certain and the rewards eternal!
Also for your prayers:
- Please continue praying for fellow missionaries Gail Chen and Deb Rodges as they battle cancer
- Chris Jones – mentioned earlier in the letter – has had successful surgery for his Achilles tendon but still needs further surgery and healing before they can return to work in the Pei tribe
- 3 families currently in Australia for medical help beyond what could be given them here:
- Wewak co-workers Jacob & Beth Devine – Jacob is recovering from surgery for a fractured femur.
- Franc & Dardi Roy – Franc was just diagnosed with histoplasmosis
- Pilot Ryan Farran has a serious infection in his leg resulting from a very small cut. – Our medical clinic personnel have been working overtime as in barely over a week, those last 3 were all flown as emergency cases to Australia. We are so grateful for the medical personnel God has sent to help us. Please be upholding them in prayer, too!
For those of you standing together with us on behalf of the people of Papua New Guinea, my sincere and ever grateful thanks. Words fall short in expressing all it means to have you as co- laborers in this the Lord’s work. Job descriptions and work locations vary but our goal is the same – to see others have the opportunity to know our Savior too, and to grow in their love for Him. Thank you for allowing me to be your representative here in Papua New Guinea.
Co-laboring to bring back Christ as King!