News from Papua New Guinea:
Urgent need for prayer:

Here is a prayer request from missionaries serving in PNG:

The church among the Mibu people group of Papua New Guinea is calling on brothers and sisters around the world to PRAY. Established in 2006, the church in Mibu has grown and matured through many trials and the very passage of life. In the last couple weeks, they have started asking for prayer for wisdom in dealing with a hostile criminal gang that has been roaming the area, leaving a wake of mayhem and destruction as they travel from village to village. As the rumor of these attacks grew in frequency, scale of destruction, and in closer vicinity, the realization of confrontation the Mibu village seemed inevitable. Today, that confrontation happened. We received a message today that the band of criminals has arrived in the Mibu village. This is a very dangerous situation. As we await word from our dear brothers and sisters, please be holding them before the Throne in prayer. Pray specifically that:
They will remember that the true enemy is not physical, but spiritual.
They will remember that they belong to the Lord, and He loves them intimately.
The enemy will gain no foothold among the people of God…not in fear or anger.
The Lord will show himself strong on behalf of His church in Mibu.
The Lord be glorified!
Thank you for joining with us in prayer for this difficult situation.

Now for some Seasonal salutations! Christmas is coming and if you are among the blessed to be able to spend it with family, you are likely well into preparations for the season. The older we get, the more it means to have those precious times together with loved ones. Being able to do special things for and with family and friends gives substance to the reality of the celebration of Jesus leaving the comfort and safety of heaven and coming to earth for us. How we thank God for His plan of salvation for us that is indeed a most precious and priceless, wonderful and indescribable gift!!

But back to the point: not everyone, though, gets to be with family. The pastor of the church I attend here in SEMO (South Eastern Missouri) has a daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren in China. Needless to say, the forced separation is heartbreakingly HARD. Just like with Missionary families……

Try to imagine leaving the USA and returning to PNG just a few weeks before Christmas. The Nathan & Rachel Mueller family recently did just that. Straight from pre-winter temps of Indiana back into the steaming, sweltering Sepik region of PNG. From flesh and blood family back into the remote realm of the yet unsaved Maliyali people.

Since hitting PNG soil just a few weeks ago they have had a translation check (done in town) of many of the Old Testament verses from Exodus that will be used in the upcoming beginning chronological Bible teaching. That check concluded, they flew last Monday back into the village to catch up on local relationships and work toward beginning Bible teaching. Please do be praying for them as they:

– Settle back into life in a very remote (helicopter or a horrendous “hoof it” access only) location
– Settling in will include Mama Rachel resuming home-schooling their 4 children: Halle, Kaine, Layla and Daisy.
– Await the return of the 2 other couples working with them: Chad & Martha Earl and David & Emily Rimestead & children.
– Prepare for presenting the Gospel to the Maliyali people hopefully within the next year.

Let’s pray specifically for them that by next Christmas they will have brothers and sisters in Christ among their friends and neighbors there in the Maliyali people group!

Also from PNG: A report came in today on the conference held among the churches in the upper Sepik River region who have been standing on their own these past years. With missionaries no longer on location, and the work of the village churches in the hands of local Christian men as their leaders, these times of gathering together with believers from other “nearby” tribes for times of encouragement are so important. They were not able to meet in 2020 because of Covid so this year’s get-together was a muchly anticipated event. There’s a lot to share regarding their gathering so I will save that news for next month’s update. In the meantime, please keep the local churches in PNG in your hearts as they too celebrate our Savior. May God keep them focused on Jesus!

As we sit here in our comfortable homes indulging in our favorite holiday traditions, we have cause to wonder what God has in store for us and our country in the coming days. Our prayers are so greatly needed in that respect. Can we take some time to remember too, the dire needs of our brothers and sisters in Christ around the globe? And those multitudes of hosts (at home and abroad) who are still unaware of their need of Jesus as their Savior? May our celebrations this year of Christ’s 1st advent help prepare our hearts for His perhaps soon coming again!

Thank you for your prayers for these matters so near and dear to my heart, and for all your other evidences of how you continue standing together with me for God’s work around the world.

Because Christ came and is coming again, we have ….HOPE !!!!
Hope Sharp