PNG – While Covid continues to monopolize much of the news in the USA, cases in Papua New Guinea have miraculously and  thankfully remained light! Several missionary families currently in the States are now trying to return to the field to get plugged back
into their respective ministries again. Flights are few and far between though and tickets purchased doesn’t guarantee the flight will actually take place. Many cancelations have taken effect due to restrictions on traveling thru the only open route via Brisbane
Australia. Mega dollars that go into buying those tickets is often hard to get reimbursed.

Are you catching the matters for prayer? Families that I hear from in this situation are:

  •  John & Joyce Meerstra – Pilot
  • Jon & Jen Meyer – Kaje Tribe
  • Eric & Judith Hedeen – Headquarters support

There is a humanitarian aid flight traveling from Malaysia to PNG on October 12th and missionaries hoping to end their home assignment time are working toward being included as passengers on that plane! Getting tickets depends on negative Covid tests and, with losing a day when crossing the International Date line, leaving the USA by Oct 10th to connect with the humanitarian flight. Won’t you please be praying for this complex plan! Thank you!

Meanwhile in the tribal locations in Papua New Guinea: In the newly opened Lembena tribal work Adam & Anna Ferguson wrote:

We are now 4 weeks in to our full time language and culture learning. Adam puts in at least 40 hours each week and Anna ranges from 15-20 hours a week. This is broken up to include planning daily language goals to expand our vocabulary, processing language recordings and cultural data, participating in cultural activities and all aspects of the people’s daily routine as well as practicing the language. At this stage for Adam that means trying to memorize 5 new phrases and 30 new words each day!
Homeschool- Overall our kids (Jael, Karis, Miles, Libby & Tessa) all seem to be adjusting well to our new home. Our oldest 3 are settling in to their homeschool routine. …We are still troubleshooting our daily schedule and routine, but the kids seem to enjoy having the structure and consistency of school on the weekdays….

Lembena friendships- We are getting to know the names and faces of everyone who lives in our village. It was difficult at first since it seems like there are always visitors passing through. …. The community has been very
generous to us and even though the current dry season affected their harvest of crops our families have still had a steady stream of garden produce given to us, mainly papayas, cucumber, greens, peanuts, bananas, pineapple and watermelon….

Ah, what distinct memories that brings back of the early days of establishing friendships eons ago with the May River Iwam! “The lady with the mole on her nose is L___. The man wearing red pajamas is W___. Friends with head to toe ringworm are M___, K___, and T__. The man missing half his middle finger is P___.” It wasn’t long before we no longer saw the mole, the missing finger, or the ringworm, and by the time W___’s red PJs wore out we knew his face and didn’t need his lone suit of attire to identify him. But so much for memories …. Real life today needs your prayers!

From Christopher and Lilly Meyer in the Kaje tribe:

About a month ago a guy from our village died. His name was Freddy … the doctors had suspected that he had TB  way back at the beginning of the year. But that explanation is not good enough for our people here. A young person does not just die. He cannot be overcome by a ‘white man sickness.’ If a sickness leads to death that is basically a proof that someone must have worked sorcery on him. Therefore, the people start to search for the cause. Which dispute has not been settled? This could even be an unsettled dispute somebody else in the clan caused….

Since our people here … have heard God’s talk, they are beginning to realize that things do not line up. A lot of them know that what they have been believing and practicing so far is not true. They know they have been tricked, because their ancestors were tricked also and did not know any better. They did not know the truth. Even though many people realize that, it is probably going to take a good number of years to replace all those old traditions and beliefs with a biblical world view. However, it is very encouraging that some people are eager to learn more about God’s kingdom which is not centered around fear, but Jesus who defeated sin, death and Satan. What a difference!

In Amdu Missionaries Ben & Missy Hatton wrote,

Continue to pray for the believers as they internalize the implications of the gospel message. That is our main focus with them right now and it has been lots of fun to illustrate these truths with our friends. Pray that these truths will really solidify and give them a new view on the world they live in. We know that there is no other foundation they can confidently stand on.

And from my desk in SEMO: What tidbits might be of enough interest to spur you on to prayer today? ……. I’m currently (hopefully) 1/3rd of the way into compiling a concordance for the May River Iwam New Testament. This has been more of a challenge than anticipated, partly because:

– There generally are not one word equivalents to spiritual terms, but rather often long phrases to convey what one word will do in English. (ex.: Grace = Kowa ni Yenkam Purik siret houk haitnak asiyamkra kremitem këpë haikiaki hankanhei tetmao – though once it is expressed in full in a passage it can be shortened in the following verses!) Various other words or suffixes sometimes need to be included in that phrase, which means numerous searches usually need to be done to find the best verses to include in the concordance list.

– Other helpful terms have numerous ways to express. (ex.: cares / trials = ho purik hai; hyempi hai; nenkëunani kopokopo kremitem nenkëunani; kwunain hokok; kwunain urikop hwosak haisrap yamakü, etc.) – WHICH verses are most important to include in the concordance for each term listed????? There are sometimes hundreds of choices!!!!

– Some terms in English may need to be expressed in several different ways in Iwam. (ex. – Bless: God blessing man. Man blessing God. Man blessing man.)

– And of course all the above are expressed slightly differently in the noun and verb forms….

Prayers will be appreciated as I traipse this twisted trail to, with the Lord’s help, create a useful tool for the Iwam. The more I work on the concordance the more I feel led to also create a “simple” diglot or maybe even triglot pamphlet (or booklet ???) of the key spiritual terms. Creating from scratch is not my forte so prayers will be appreciated for that potential project as well! Thank you!

For the closing loop tape segment –

∞ Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! ∞

for your muchly appreciated various means of support! Working 40 hr / week at the computer makes me appreciate all the more  what YOU endlessly endure and sacrifice to share in my life and ministry. It is difficult to find creative new ways to express my gratitude to YOU for your part in the Lord’s work. Thank you for the privilege of being your representative to God’s people in Papua New Guinea. You will meet many of them in heaven one day and know YOU had a part in their being there!

Co-laboring to bring back Christ as King!
Hope Sharp