On the cusp of some exciting things…
‘Tis the season to be thankful! It is a wonderful tradition to have a time of year where we pause to be particularly Thankful to God for his abundant blessings and care. As I read God’s Word, I see over and over that Thankfulness is to be one of the hallmarks of God’s people all year round. And we cannot overstate how Thankful we are for each one of you who prays and gives toward this ministry. I was a bit taken aback by the calendar already reading “November” and realized that it’s been a little bit since you’ve heard from us. Much has happened these past few months, and we are “on the cusp” of some exciting things in the coming months!
On the Cusp of the Gospel
Over the past few weeks, our missionaries among the Kaje people have been presenting Foundational Bible Teaching after several years of living in the village doing in-depth culture and language study. This is always an exciting time, when a people group who has been waiting for so long hears the truth of God’s Word. Our missionaries spend weeks teaching the high points of the Old Testament story before coming to the good news of Jesus. This helps them to understand their own lost condition and need for a Savior!
This past week, one Kaje man said, “It is good that you have told me [this], because I have been sitting here listening to the lessons thinking, ‘I have so much sin, what am I going to do?’ ” Pray for continued conviction of sin and that they will put their faith in Jesus as the remedy for all of our sin!
In the coming months we also expect that the Amdu and Wantakia people will hear Foundational Bible Teaching in their heart languages as well. Please be in prayer for this critical stage of the church planting work.
Caring for our People
Our missionaries, our people, are our most valuable resource here on the field. Recently, Becky and I were able to attend a member care conference in Dunedin, New Zealand. It was great to see this part of the world for the first time, but more importantly it was a great chance to connect with resources and other agencies that can help us care for our most important resource.
One of the initiatives that we are exploring is the possibility of establishing an inter-mission counseling center in Cairns, Australia. This could be a tremendous help for our 650+ missionaries and children, along with other mission agencies in this part of the world. At times, our missionaries have needs for counseling, and their only option has been to return to their home countries. This could potentially allow us to have solutions that are closer at hand and might prevent such drastic measures in some cases. Please pray that we will find the Lord’s direction in this should it be His will. This idea is still in its very earliest stages.
On the Cusp of the Future
It may seem hard to believe since we have been back and forth from the USA so frequently in recent years, but we are due to come home to Texas for a one year home assignment in June 2020! Cara will be graduating (more on that in our next update) leaving us parents as “empty nesters.” In addition, we have some other extended family needs to attend to as well.
This is always a time of some upheaval and uncertainty and we would value your prayers for some very concrete physical needs. Could you please pray with us for this upcoming year? The car we were planning to use went “belly up” last summer so we are in need of a vehicle. Please pray also for our housing situation for the year. And of course just the regular travel expenses like plane tickets, etc. It’s humbling to have to lay these things out to you in this way, but we value you all as our prayer team and want you to be able to pray specifically with us. Thank you greatly!
As I said at the top, we are so Thankful for you all and that part you play in this ministry. We are Thankful that God continues to establish his church in Papua New Guinea and also very Thankful to serve Him here in this way.
Neil, Becky, and Cara Burleson