Little news from anywhere of late – except from Jason Stuart* who is currently in the middle of a 10-day translation check for the Sorimi language group. He and missionary Poul Joenson are checking portions of the Gospel of John and Acts as well as 6 epistles. Jason gave an EXCELLENT overview of the local church at Sorimi. They are one of the language groups “near” where I lived and worked during my years in PNG. To abridge the Sorimi tribal work’s “history” from Jason’s overview – when missionaries moved into the tribe, Sorimi’s total population numbered only about 100 people living in 3 small hamlets in the hills. Three missionary families were allocated to work there and an airstrip was constructed. At the time this work was started there was discussion as to whether such an investment of time and personnel was appropriate for such a small people group.

Over the years the missionary families have had to return to their home countries but Poul Joenson (Faroe Islands) comes back each year to disciple the believers and continue work on their New Testament translation. His wife Carol (from England) and sons have returned a time or two also, to encourage the church in Sorimi.

The population of this language group has now grown to about 300 souls. There are Christians and local churches in all 3 of the villages, and systematic foundational Bible teaching continues nurturing the believers even when the missionaries are not there.

Jason gave this report on the translation check and the Sorimi church:

 

Two of the young men in this picture were small boys when the missionaries lived in Sorimi, but now they are working in the church, taught and discipled by other Sorimi men, and there are many others like them. The outreach in Sorimi has seen people saved in other neighbouring language groups.

The Sorimi are a small humble people group, but God gives grace to the humble and He has done great things in Sorimi.

(Contrast them to the dominant people group in the area who have so much potential to reach so many and who had missionaries for a couple decades, but now God’s work is shrivelling up and dying due to pride.)

Today before the translation check one of the Sorimi men prayed a beautiful prayer and it made think back to when I visited their village before they knew Christ. What an amazing change has happened. In the Gospel of John, we read what Jesus said about His Father’s words giving life. Before me sat proof of that statement–men who no longer walk in darkness but have the light of life.

So, how much investment is too much to see a small group of people reached with the Gospel and brought to maturity in Christ? How many years of struggle with the language and health issues is too much? Considering that Christ sacrificed absolutely everything to see these souls brought into His family, I would suggest that no investment on our part would be too big.

Won’t you please be praying

  • For Jason & Poul and the Sorimi men currently working long hours on checking more of the New Testament to get it approved and ready for printing, then putting it in the hands of the Sorimi believers.
  • For the Sorimi church to continue to stand strong in the Lord
  • That the Sorimi believers will continue to be a positive testimony to the neighbouring tribes
  • That the “dominate people group” Jason mentioned will be challenged by the reality of Christ in the lives of the Sorimi Christians and that they too will begin a serious walk with the Lord.

More pics from Sorimi:

There’s little to no news to report from me here in SEMO. As so many find, retirement leaves a person even more busy than before – though not with anything much exciting to share. Your thoughts and prayers continue to be GREATLY appreciated though as I continue to fit in as God leads each day, and looking to Him for any further opportunities He may bring my way.

Because Christ came and is coming again – perhaps today! We therefore have ………. HOPE !!!!
Hope Sharp

*Many of you have prayed for Jason Stuart & his children (Jedidiah & EllaJo) since his wife Toni died back in 2015. Jason continues serving in the very needy capacity of translation checking, as well as follow up and discipleship of PNG believers, especially from the tribes where missionaries are no longer in residence. Continued prayers for him in his busy life and ministry are much appreciated!