On the front lines in Papua New Guinea: a few snippets for your prayers …..

Amdu tribe – Jason Stuart will be flying into Amdu this week to do a translation check on the Amdu book of Acts. (His 2 teens Jedidiah and Ella Jo will go along and doubtless have great times together with the 8 other MKs living in that village – children of missionary families Ben & Missy Hatton and Bart and Emily Allen). The team is in the process of translating Romans and will begin work on Ephesians soon. They will also begin a formal study of the book of Acts with the young Amdu church, showing how the Holy Spirit worked in establishing the first century churches and helping them see how He is working yet today in other “farther out places,” particularly how He is establishing His church there in Amdu land. The Hattons shared this testimony from one of their young Christians:

(One) man told me that one day he was returning from the garden and came to a place to rest and as he was sitting on a log looking down into the gorge at the rushing river he thought, ‘Man, just like that river is flowing out from its source, the Holy Spirit is the source of living water flowing out of my heart!’ He said he started singing and then prayed and came home. What a great testimony of the Holy Spirit at work in believer’s lives. Pray for this man. His wife and kids haven’t attended any of our teaching. They aren’t believers and it is a burden on him.

Biem Island – where the church has been standing on its own for the past several years, missionaries Brandon Buser and Thomas Depner are currently back on their ole stomping grounds spending several days checking on and encouraging the young church there.

Kaje is teaching their young church the story of Job. Christopher and Lilli Meyer have a language evaluation next week to see how they are progressing in the Kaje language and culture accusation. The other 2 missionary families who work in Kaje are currently in the USA on Home Assignment.

Nakwi tribe – Greg Greenlaw and his 2 youngest kiddos (Bram and Annie) will be in Nakui village from the 4-7 th of January to visit with their friends and the church there. The Greenlaw family lived and worked in this small language group for years, seeing many come to know the Lord, discipling the believers to maturity in their faith and seeing a church established. This is their last trip to the tribe before the family comes home due to some health issues, leaving PNG the 21st. How this will affect Heidi’s training Lisa to do payroll for the national workers (mentioned in my last update) I do not know. Prayers for the Greenlaw family and the gap their departure will leave in the Wewak admin ministry team will be appreciated.

Pei – Translation consultant Lisa Kappeler is currently in Pei checking Candace Swift’s translation of half of the book of Acts and the first three chapters of Romans.

Jordan and family

Inaru – Jason Stuart also posted this prayer need for one of his friends in Inaru, the language group where Stuarts worked for so many years, seeing a local church established. About a year ago Jordan, left the jungle and went to Wewak with some village friends. They stayed in a less than savoury part of town, where Jordan “freaked out” amidst all the drinking and New Year’s Eve fireworks, thinking people were trying to kill him. He fled and was missing for several days. Though he later was found and even returned to his wife and kids in the village, Jason says,

Over the last year (Jordan) has developed more frequent and more serious bouts of anxiety and paranoia, accompanied by violent behaviour. Many of the Inaru villagers are now scared to live in the village and are staying in the bush camps because they fear that Jordan might harm them. Jordan is a believer and normally a very nice and quiet young man who has helped lead singing in church in the past. When he has episodes, the church leaders gather around and pray with him. Unfortunately here in Papua New Guinea there are no treatment options for mental illness and these type of situations often end in tragedy. I know it betrays my Western mindset of trusting medicine over God to say this, but in this situation, the only option available to us is prayer. Would you please pray for a miracle for Jordan, that his mental state would become stable and that there would be no tragic deaths, either his own or someone else’s.

Stateside – “back at the ranch” – December was busy with Christmas and even about 2 weeks of family “stuff.” Many of you sent cards – a tradition I thought had long died out in America. It was fun to get mail every day! Thank you! Perhaps next year I will remember to reciprocate! … but don’t hold your breath ….. Little got done on finishing off the Iwam concordance so I am VERY happy to now be back in the saddle (i.e. at the computer!) at least a few hours each day. I’ll also be pushing to get some daily exercise, hopefully walking off the 12+ pounds I gained during the long days spent on digital Iwam materials (and eating to stay awake!) during the revolving rat race last year. AND I’m prayerfully looking ahead to what more God wants me involved in this year as I ease toward the dreaded “R” era. Still not sure when retirement will officially begin but theoretically, if I’ve done all the steps correctly, SS will kick in starting mid-March. That will free my supporters among you to invest elsewhere should you so desire. I appreciate so much each of you who have continued to stand with me thru this prolonged eon of “Home Assignment.” But for you I would be punching a timeclock somewhere – and it’s possible that will be a part of the future. God has a plan – for you and for me individually, as well as for our troubled nation. May God be merciful to His people thru all that is to come! You teachers perusing this can now pick out all the writing rules I’ve broken in this paragraph and if nothing else, pray for my intellect and sanity. Anything to draw people to pray!

Seriously, though, for the perpetual appreciation portion of my updates, I am so grateful to God for each of YOU who are a part of my life and ministry. Your faithfulness has been a tremendous encouragement these many years. May God liberally encourage YOU in return, as you continue to follow wherever, whenever and however He leads!

Co-labouring to bring back Christ as King!

Hope Sharp