October sped by mostly spent on the road visiting supporters and friends. What a precious time it was! Every day that I was on the road I was confronted with the fact that I was blindly trusting and following my car’s navigation system. I knew the destination but had NO idea what route I’d be directed to take to get there. That is a very appropriate description of my life right now. My known destination is HEAVEN! What byways and trails God will lead me along to get there, I haven’t a clue! I merely pursue the next step as He shows it, trusting Him for light beyond to indicate where to go and what to do from wherever that step leads. Though uncertainly abounds it is a most secure and comfortable path to trod – following where ever He leads!

While I was gallivanting around WI-PA-MD & NC my cohorts in PNG were not sitting idle. All the families of the newest Sepik area team (Adam & Anna Ferguson, Jason & Tami Hughes and Micah & Laura Myers) are finally on location together in Wewak. They can now begin serious prayer and discussion as to where God will have them allocate.

The men recently made a survey trip into the Lembena people group. You may remember mention of this tribe from an earlier update: The population is around 1700, the people living in 11 villages in a rugged mountain location. Only one man – the local government official, knows Melanesian Pidgin (the trade language of PNG) well enough to capably communicate clearly with outsiders. The local understanding of the gospel seems to be centered on “repenting” which they understand to mean stopping sinful habits like stealing, adultery, jealousy, fighting and doing sorcery / “poison.” No mention of Christ, the work of Christ, or faith in Christ. When prompted, they would occasionally stumble on clichés as “get Jesus” but they are very confused and unclear when it comes to the gospel of grace. This leaves them trusting in a works based religion or still clinging to their traditional ancestral beliefs.

Won’t you please be praying with these new missionaries as they look to the Lord for where He would have them allocate? Also please pray for the Lembena people – that this team or another will soon commit to moving in, learning their language and culture, and communicating Christ to them in their mother tongue.

Meanwhile, over in the Kaje tribe where the foundational teaching is now well into sharing the life and ministry of Jesus – Please continue to pray for Taylor & Abby Goheen, Jon & Jen Myers and Christopher and Lilli Meyers as they persevere in presenting Christ as the only hope of salvation to the Kaje people. Pray too that the Kaje people will understand their need of Jesus.

Please remember the missionaries in these two tribes too as they prepare the foundational teaching lessons in hopes of beginning to teach in their respective locations soon:

And even now as you are reading this update this weekend  – another opportunity exists to support our PNG brothers and sisters in Chirst in prayer: representatives from several language groups in the upper Sepik River area are currently meeting together in the Siawi tribe for a time of fellowship, Bible teaching, and hopefully mutual encouragement and challenge to all who attend. Mature PNG Christian men from other tribes are also attending this get-together. Often they can communicate more effectively than returning missionaries can in these now established tribal churches.

The May River Iwam SHOULD have representatives there at the Siawi believers conference. They sent a message to me asking if I would pay for 1 or 2 of them to FLY over. I sent word back that I would be willing to pay for outboard motor fuel for them so that several people (not just 1 or 2) could go. The ball was in their court. Did they indeed make the day long river ride plus a couple of hours hiking thru jungle to get to Siawi ??? One of our missionaries
attending the conference (John Hutteman Jr.) will undoubtedly let me know if they came or not once he is back in Wewak next week. Please pray that the Iwam will take advantage of such opporutnities to be further taught, discipled and challenged in their faith.

Again my sincere and grateful thanks for all YOU do to uphold God’s work around the globe. I am so deeply thankful for your input and support over the past many years that allowed me to be your representative in God’s work there in PNG. Please know you are appreciated more than words can say.
Co-laboring to bring back Christ as King!
Hope Sharp