First off, some praise and prayer points from PNG:
Bart & Emily Allen, who, along with Ben & Missy Hatton, minister among the Amdu people, recently wrote: “Most of the believers share a common prayer request — the weight of their unbelieving family and neighbors ridiculing and even threatening them. But despite the pressure, they are confident that Jesus is the only way of salvation, and they are hungry to continue to learn more. What one of the believers shared is similar to all of them.
‘I’m being pressured by my family and community not to continue listening to what you (missionaries) are feeding us from God’s Word. They are always telling me you are teaching us lies! But how can I leave my new family (fellow believers)? These are the words of life and I’ve seen in the book of Acts that all believers can expect persecution like this. It’s normal for us!’
Another Amdu friend shared this testimony recently:
‘The other day I was reading my Bible with my family, and we saw the verse in Galatians 3 where it says that Jesus became a curse for me (at this point he started crying with the memory of it). Jesus became a curse for me when He died in my place. That talk really helped me and my family!’
“We haven’t translated Galatians yet, but this believer is hungry for God’s Word, so he is studying his (Melanesian) Pidgin Bible (trade language of PNG) on his own. He came across this passage in Galatians and was encouraged.”
Please do pray for the Amdu believers as God brings them to mind, that they will remain hungry for the truth of God’s Word!
Communicating God’s truth clearly and effectively cross culturally is always a challenge. From Wabuku village where Lisa Kappeler and Jason & Laken Cizdziel minister, Jason wrote:
“(I) Spent the last few days deep in the bush with this family. It was another saksak (sago) marathon full of leeches, mosquitoes, and swarms of yellow jackets, but that’s real Wabaku life. It makes me wish I could provide all our comforts for them, but I can’t. The best I can do is understand them, relate however I can, and give them a chance to shed their daily fear of the spirits and embrace loyalty to Yawe. God help me speak more clearly so I can be more helpful to these people we have come to love.”
In Maliyali, foundational Bible teaching will begin around the end of August! Please do be praying much for Chad & Martha Earl, Nathan & Rachel Mueller, and Dave & Emily Rimestad as they prepare for this season of intense teaching.
Some pre-evangelism lessons have already been presented such as how to “see” / read maps; understanding a timeline from creation to today; and introducing discerning truth versus their rote acceptance of ancestral beliefs. Lessons such as those not only helped prepare the Maliyali people’s thinking for hearing God’s truth, but also gave the missionaries the chance to practice and feel out how the Bible sessions may go. The Rimesteads wrote on some of their gleanings from those preliminary sessions:
– If it’s raining the people won’t come until it stops!
– It takes 8-10 minutes for the people to actually come into the teaching house after the missionaries blow the horn – even if they are standing right outside the building!
– Don’t teach during the hottest part of the day or people will fall asleep!
– And a good, encouraging, praise-worthy finding: They will need a larger space to accommodate all who want to come to be taught!
Won’t you please be praying for the missionaries as they finalize Bible lessons and prepare to begin teaching God’s Word to their tribal friends? Pray much too for open, receptive hearts of the Maliyali people that they will receive God’s Truth and come to see their need for Jesus as their only hope of salvation.
On the home front:
Thanks to God’s provision of a recent very generous gift, I have been able to invest in more upgrades in preparation for my sister and her family one day joining me here. One pertinent object lesson:
Well, I DO at least TRY to plan ahead! When it came to replacing probably 30-40 year old couch and chair with totally decrepit (sink to your ankles!) shot springs, I did a LOT of measuring – length of old furniture and space available for the new, etc. I then checked stores in 3 different towns. Alas, they had nothing small enough to fit the available space in my 100-year-old house. Finally, further afield, I spied a couch and chair that seemed reasonable in every respect, and my brother drove the 120+ round trip miles that same day to haul them home. The chair fit in perfectly. The couch – not so much. Okay. It didn’t fit at all! For all my planning ahead, I’d neglected to measure the doorway into the house! The couch was 4 inches wider than the entryway! We couldn’t even get it in the house! ☹
You can go ahead and laugh. I did! There seemed nothing else to do!
It reminded me so much of those verses in Luke 14:28-30 — For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.
Thankfully, few got a chance to mock. My very ingenious little brother then did some measuring and found a way in – through the living room window! Very caring neighbors gave Dan a hand and got everything into its appropriate
place! Thank you Rick & Ben for helping Dan do the deed! Perfect proof for other pertinent verses: Mark 10:29-30 — And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or
father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in
the world to come eternal life.
Besides my dearly beloved flesh & blood kinfolk, and my 40 years in the making equally cherished missionary family, plus each of you, the kindred who have sacrificed and prayed for me over the past decades, the local church I now attend has also become part of that hundredfold. I am so grateful to God for each of you who have proven so faithful these many years to be an integral part of my life and ministry. Thank you!
Because Christ came and is coming again, we have ……
Hope Sharp – Retired from NTMPNG