From the front lines in PNG:
Over in the Amdu language group — the Good News of salvation thru Jesus’ death and resurrection was presented to them several weeks ago. We now have brothers and sisters in Christ in this isolated jungle locale! The baby believers can use our prayers! Here are a few of their comments that missionaries Ben & Missy Hatton and Bart & Emily Allen have shared:
… for much of my life people have been telling me that I would never go to heaven, that I couldn’t or wouldn’t be accepted by any means because of having multiple wives and the wild way I have lived. But when I heard you guys teach that it was Jesus’ blood that God was looking at to pay my debt with God, I was full of joy! He wasn’t looking at all the bad I had done, but only what Jesus did to remove my problem with Him! I was a great sinner and have done many bad things, but Jesus’ blood is special enough to cover all of it. I am so happy! I have left my ancestral and personal magic that I trusted in and am holding onto only the death of Jesus in my place. Now I’m looking forward to hearing Course 2 when you start teaching again soon!
From an older man who has been faithfully attending and sitting each day with rapt attention:
I was born a child of Adam and because of that I was a broken-off branch from God. But Jesus is the only way. His death on the cross took all my hevi (sin) away. Every single thing you see – the mountains, the trees, the birds and the animals and the rivers and dirt and rocks; God made all of it. Our ancestor stories are false. God’s story, like what you have taught us, is the only true story. And God sent Jesus. And Jesus alone can remove sin. I say that is true! So, while it is hard to live on this earth because of Adam and Eve, I’m going to be in heaven with God one day.
From a middle aged man who walked each day from a neighboring hamlet:
“Because I’m a broken-off branch, my confidence is in Jesus’ death on the cross. He removed my sin and took my punishment.”
From an older lady who is grinning every time we see her: “I can’t stop thinking about all you have taught us. My heart is just so light!” “Jesus came and died and his blood took away my sin. I am saying true to that.”
From a man who is a leader of a religious group here:
“All those ways we heard were the way to God – doing good and not doing bad, being good to other people… – those aren’t the way. Jesus dying in my place is the only road that God made to be right with him again.”
Also the recently allocated missionaries over in Lembena have had a few weeks now to settle in. They will be starting into “CLA” (Culture and Language Acquisition) in the next week or so! If God brings them to your mind, please be praying as they learn to juggle all the family responsibilities as well as 8+ hours of language study each day for the husbands, and as much daily CLA time as the wives are able to fit in too. Adam & Anna Ferguson, Jason & Tami Hughes, and Micah & Laura Myers will appreciate your prayers!
In the Pei language group – Christopher & Evie Jones are back in the USA after Chris developed a severe infection in his previously injured foot. At last report things were going well for them but please do pray for complete healing without the need for more skin grafting. The other missionaries there – Justin & Lauran Rees and Candace Swift are boating then flying to Wewak on Monday with Pei language helpers for a translation check on the book of Acts.
And at Kaje: Two of the missionary families – Jon & Jen Myers and Taylor & Abby Goheen are currently in the USA. This leaves the Christopher and Lilli Meyer family “alone” in the tribe. If you think of it, please do pray for them too as being on your own to meet all the needs of your friends and neighbors is never easy. Pray that they will have time to press on in language study and soon be proficient and able to be more involved in the teaching & translation ministries too.
And for the “back at the ranch” segment:
Some gleanings of (dubious) merit from recent proofreading of the May River Iwam materials ……… It’s been awhile since I’ve done this so …… multiple choice:
1) To mark a possession as YOURs you will
a. Spit on it
b. Step over it
c. Rub it under your armpit
2) To get a new pet, or someone else’s pet, to not fear or attack you, you will
a. Sit quietly enticing it to come to you
b. Ignore it til it is comfortable with you
c. Take some food, rub it under your armpit and feed it to the animal
3) Christians who yield themselves to God will see themselves as
a. Safe in His hand
b. Secure under His wing
c. Living under His armpit
Okay, maybe that was all too easy. Especially since I’ve shared #3 before. Arms are perhaps all too keenly in mind just now since by day’s end mine throb with aching, prickliness, numbness, and heaviness from shoulder to fingertip. Who knew computer work could be so taxing??? Little other than Iwam work gets attention with my Dell these days. Hence this combo August – September update. Marathons on my laptop highly lend themselves to frequent breaks of arm twirling, twisting, flapping and swinging to keep the annoying sensations at bay. Such exercise serves to help combat sleepiness too! Were you to view the scene however, you might question my sanity! Be assured, I often do, too!
But – progress is being made getting the Iwam materials into their final “ready to print” format. ALL the translated Old Testament scripture portions, Bible lessons and materials for the Literacy program (except the tedious daily lesson plans) are now in the “Finished!” file!!! The post literacy library materials list is down to just two more books to go – Pilgrim’s Progress and John Bunyan’s biography. Lord willing, by the time I write again these too will over the finish line and I’ll be working on the concordance for the May River Iwam New Testament! At least that’s the plan. We’ll see how God works things out!
Thank you again for continuing to stand together with me as we press on to complete what God has committed to our care.
Your part is appreciated more than words can say!
Co-laboring to bring back Christ as King!