Thank you so much for your prayers for me. I have now been back in PNG for 1 week and 1 day! In many ways it feels so much longer than that! Each day has been extremely busy and I have barely had time to breathe!
However, I am happy to report that we have finalized 20 New Testament books and have sent 15 of them off to be formatted. My main helper has been a young man named Anton. I am so thankful for this Godly guy who has helped me with translation since he was probably 16!! He has such a heart for the Lord and for His Word.
This week has not quite turned out like we had hoped for all of us. A few days ago we received word that Anton’s father Gerard had taken a fall and was in a lot of pain. One of the local nurses was able to hike down and see him. He gave us an encouraging report and it seemed that Gerard was stable and not at death’s door at that time, so Anton chose to stay here and continue on with the translation work.
Then a couple of days ago Anton himself came down with malaria. Over the weekend he started treatment, so thankfully that has seemed to help. Late last night Flanagans heard from our friends in the village again saying that Gerard is still critically ill. He hasn’t been eating much the past 4 days and he’s in a lot of pain. Not sure if he has a dislocated or broken hip, but unfortunately there is very little that can be done. Unfortunately, due to weather the clinic has not been able to receive their latest supply of medication and are out of pain killers, etc.
This morning Simon Flanagan set out in the truck to take Anton “to the end of the road” where he will have to hike the rest of the way on his own. In the best of weather, this trip is long and arduous, but with all the rain and wild weather we have been having, we have heard that bridges have been washed out and that the main river is very swollen. Anton will have to swim across and then hike straight up a very steep incline.
- Please pray for safety for Simon and Anton as they are on the road, that the truck would function properly and that they can make it as far as possible in the truck.
- Pray for Anton as he hikes home over slippery trails and through big rivers. Pray that the malaria medicine would be working and that he would not be sick or feel faint as he travels.
- Please pray for Gerard, that the Lord would ease his pain. He is a strong believer with an incredible testimony! Before he got saved, Gerard was a shaman (or witch doctor). His life radically changed once he found Christ, and he and his wife Rose have had an incredible testimony over the last 10 years or so. All 6 of their children are walking with the Lord and even the younger ones share their faith with their friends.
- Please pray for comfort for Gerard’s family as they see him suffering and that the Lord would bring peace to their hearts.
- Pray for Bruce, Kamilus, Alex and the other men in the church as they try to help this family as best as they can.
Along with the sadness about Anton’s father, we are also thinking about the Bible translation work. Coming up in just 4 weeks, some other Mengen guys and myself will begin the final stretch of the Mengen New Testament. Lord willing we will see Matthew, John, Hebrews and Revelation checked by our mission translation consultants.
The next few weeks will be very exciting, but also very stressful for me as we see the culmination of 15+ years of work finally coming to completion.
There are some more things to be praying for in the weeks ahead:
- Pray that the Lord would be preparing the Mengen guys for this mammoth task. Pray that they would have a huge desire to help and they would be alert and enthusiastic. It will be a huge mental drain on all of us, so it’s a lot to expect of the Mengen translation helpers.
- Pray that nothing would hinder them from coming out and participating in the translation check. If there is a death or something in the village, that will impact everyone dramatically. Pray too that they would remain in good health and would not struggle with malaria or any major illness. Even a headache would really make the translation check difficult, so please pray for good health for these guys.
- Praise the Lord for giving me good health during my time in PNG so far. Stress tends to aggravate MS, so pray that the Lord would give me a calm heart and peace of mind as I make a final push to finish the Mengen New Testament.
- Pray for Jason, Lisa and Dave, our mission translation consultants. All 3 are currently in different locations and all 3 are flying in from overseas! Pray that the Lord would bring them back to PNG on schedule and provide for their needs. They are all sacrificing a lot to be involved in Bible Translation and we appreciate their work so much.
Thanks so very much for your faithful prayers and support. I appreciate each and every one of you.
Because He is forever faithful,