Our 20th Anniversary in Hewa!
Thank you so much for your love, prayers and gifts! We are deeply grateful for your part in reaching the Hewa people with the love of Jesus. Thank you!
Here are a few thoughts from Susan as she reflects on the last 20 years here in Hewa, PNG.
Twenty years ago this month, we arrived for the first time in Hewa at our first of 3 Hewa locations. I remember my first day in Hewa was such a shock to my system that all I could do was cry all day. I wasn’t sad, just overwhelmed beyond anything I had ever experienced, wondering how I was going to be able to live so far from my family deep in the jungle. You see, I wasn’t the kind of missionary that was ‘made’ for jungle life. I have never enjoyed camping and I am terribly wimpy when it comes to bugs and this place is FULL of them! The Lord has stretched me in ways I never knew was possible. I have experienced grief beyond what I have ever imagined and joyous miraculous times surpassing what I thought was possible. I have ‘quit’ in my mind at least every six months for the last 20 years! The ministry the Lord gave me these last 20 years was impossible for a person like me. Actually, it still is… but nothing is impossible for God. He has lovingly given me the grace and perseverance that I needed each step of the way.
As this term is nearing its end and we are getting ready for our home assignment in May, I am continually reminded how blessed I am to have been able to make Hewa my home, my family and my life. Some of my Hewa friends are truly the closest friends I have in the world and I love them dearly. We share such joy as we share the word and grow together. The Hewa are not just my friends, they are MY kids, MY grandkids, MY sisters, MY brothers, MY fathers and MY mothers. I am truly blessed to have lived here for the last 20 years. Thank you Jesus.
My (Jonathan Speaking) hat is off to Susan for her years of faithful perseverance in this ministry. Her tribute to her 20 years in Hewa displays her heart in a beautiful way, but at times it has been far more challenging and laborious than she lets on. It takes one level of missionary to endure the hardships of remote tribal living while raising children and maintaining a home but it takes an entirely deeper level of commitment to also connect with tribal people on a heart level and love them and care for them in ways they appreciate. Susan’s tireless medical work has demonstrated daily love despite the unpleasant circumstances and her school for the children has shown her commitment to invest in their future. I am thankful for my wife and the way she has served side-by-side with me these last 20 years. Thank you, Lord!
As we are turning toward a new phase for our Hewa ministry, we know that some things will remain the same but many things will be very different. Although we plan to move from the tribe to a mission center in 2021 we will still be working to translate and teach the Hewa Bible, and also help the believers develop a mature church that will thrive and grow to honor Jesus. We will also endeavor to help them develop as a group that has the knowledge and skills to cope with the ever-changing society that is pressing in on them from every side. One of the important steps in helping them develop is to provide their children with education, and with that in mind we are very excited to report that one church has already promised to start sending $300 per month to help hire Christian teachers! Now another $200 per month has become available for a total of $500 toward an anticipated education budget of around $2000 per month. Thank you for praying with us as we seek the Lord’s guidance for how to help our Hewa friends continue to grow and mature in these future years.
To see pictures of our 20 years in Hewa, start here!
Thank you for your love and prayers and continual encouragement that has made these last 20 years possible!!!
Jonathan, Susan & Mikenna