When local gas prices hit $4.49 some weeks ago I stood at the pump pondering. The numbers 449 were “ringing a bell” somewhere in my aged and addled brain. …. Oh yes! Bible School chapel time! Nearly every day someone would request to sing #449 – Wonderful Grace of Jesus – a hymn was written by Haldor Lillenas back in 1918. So – while that liquid gold flowed into my car’s tank I recognized that I had the option – worry and gripe about the cost – or rejoice in our great God and His wonderful amazing grace that He has so bountifully lavished on me these many years! He has always faithfully supplied all that is necessary to do whatever work He places in my hands!
Wonderful grace of Jesus, Greater than all my sin;
How shall my tongue describe it, Where shall its praise begin?
Taking away my burden, Setting my spirit free;
For the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.
Wonderful the matchless grace of Jesus,
Deeper than the mighty rolling sea;
Higher than the mountain, sparkling like a fountain, All-sufficient grace for even me!
Broader than the scope of my transgressions, Greater far than all my sin and shame;
Oh, magnify the precious Name of Jesus, Praise His Name!
Wonderful grace of Jesus, Reaching to all the lost,
By it I have been pardoned, Saved to the uttermost;
Chains have been torn asunder, Giving me liberty;
For the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.
Wonderful grace of Jesus, Reaching the most defiled,
By its transforming power, Making him God’s dear child,
Purchasing peace and heaven For all eternity—
And the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.
2 Corinthians 9:8 – And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work….
So speaking of fuel …. hmmmmmm. Wonder what gas is going for in Papua New Guinea these days? Eons ago, I bought the petrol for my outboard motor in 40-gallon drums. If memory serves me right though, the fuel + shipping the drums into my jungle location made it about $7.50 / gallon! – and that was BEFORE the year 2000 when I moved to town!
It makes one wonder what the missionaries living in areas accessible only by river must be paying for their fuel today. Or those living where days hiking treacherous jungle can be replaced by mere minutes (or hours) in the mission’s airplanes or helicopters. Aviation fuel is likely sky high! And then, of course, the need for generators to supplement the missionaries’ solar panels for running their computers, printers, washing machines, etc. We here in America still have it SOOOOOOOOO easy compared to much of the rest of the world!
More prayer needs from PNG:
Some of you have been following and praying for the gang events around Mibu in the Madang Province, PNG. Here’s the latest from Chris & Angie Walker, the missionaries who work among them:
… Today, … things seem to be escalating once again, and we are issuing another call to prayer for our brothers and sisters and the surrounding communities of Mibu-land.
A little history:
Some weeks ago there was a rumor that the gang “surrendered” to some leaders in Nankina. This information did not match up with communications between gang members and Mibu. Around this same time, a gang member was apprehended by the sanctioned “Resistance Group”—a militia of sorts. He attempted multiple times to escape, and eventually did and attempted to flee towards his village. The Resistance group pursued him, and a fight broke out, and the gang member was killed. The gang then retaliated against members of their own village who assisted the Resistance Group.
News reports and local chatter indicates that the National Defense Force will be deployed with police to the Raikos district to ensure safety of polling officials for the election voting period that is (beginning soon.) And then today (early July):
Word has reached us that the Gang has attacked G… village in Nankina, specifically targeting another missionary translation office/helper’s house (from another organization—missionaries are not on site). Reports are that the radio and equipment are damaged, the translation helper’s daughter raped and possibly carried into captivity, and the helper himself at least injured if not worse. There are rumors also circulating that the gang is threatening to attack targets much closer to Mibu this weekend.
– God’s protection so far. There has been massive casualties to many communities. There has also been fighting related deaths on both sides (gang and resistance group), but they have been few (4 on each side if our current count is accurate).
– Mibu continues to shine bright in her testimony, despite being weary and stretched beyond their means.
– For the Defense Force to be able to follow through on their promise of going interior to protect the election process, and potentially defuse gang activity (though officially their presence will be solely to protect the election process).
– That safe and fair access to polling will be available in this distraught region.
– That God will once again show himself strong on behalf of the Mibu church, and the gang’s attempts at an attack on Mibu-land will be stymied, confused, blocked.
– That the Mibu church will find encouragement and strength in each other, in God’s word, and in knowing that armies around the world are praying for them.
Here’s another prayer need from the Maliyali ethnic group in a different area in PNG. Nathan & Rachel Mueller, David & Emily Rimestad and Chad & Martha Earl minister among these people and are planning to begin 3 months of foundational Bible teaching in this locale starting in August. This course teaches God’s Word from Creation all the way to the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. Mullers wrote:
…The Bible portions for the teaching have all been translated, consultant-checked and ready to be used in the lessons. And right now, Nathan and our coworkers (David and Chad) are working tirelessly to develop lessons for the gospel teaching. There will be a total of 62 lessons. It’s a huge job — to think through biblical themes and concepts and figure out the best ways to teach them in the Maliyali language. The Maliyali do not have words in their language for things like grace, mercy, belief/faith, biblical love, etc. When they hear the word God, they think of their ancestors’ gods/spirits — obviously not what we want them to think of when they hear God’s name during our teaching! …. Please be praying for the guys as they write these lessons…
Pray that God will prepare the hearts of the people. They believe so many lies. Please pray that they will be open and receptive to His Word and that they will reject the lies they have believed for centuries — and believe the gospel…
Pray for our family to thrive in this incredibly busy season of ministry. Pray that we can balance family with ministry. Pray for the health and stamina of our team. Pray for the logistics of our teaching. Three months of teaching is a long time for the people to show up every day — but we pray that they will. If they pick and choose lessons to come to, they will not hear the whole story, and they will be more confused than ever. We are asking the Lord that the people will faithfully attend the entire teaching.
Thank you, faithful prayer partners! For continuing to care for God’s people and for His work in the far-off country of Papua New Guinea. You will meet people in heaven one day and know you have had a part in them getting to hear of Jesus death on their behalf, paying the penalty for their sins that they too might be seen as righteous in God’s eyes. Your prayers are a labor of love and are never in vain when done for our Lord!
Because Christ came and is coming again, we have ……… HOPE !!!
Hope Sharp – Retired from NTMPNG