News from Papua New Guinea:
In parts of PNG, when a person dies it is cultural to blame someone for that person’s demise. Often it’s a woman who will be accused of being a witch. She’ll then be brutally murdered to “pay back” the person’s death. With every death, the women live in mortal fear that they will be the one condemned. Laws of the land do little to deter this practice. The Good News of Jesus alone can make a difference in the hearts and lives of such people!
The missionaries on the Maliyali team – Nathan & Rachel Muller, Chad & Martha Earl, David & Emily Rimestad – have diligently persevered thru several years studying the local lingua and culture in order to finally be able clearly express God’s Truth to the people. Foundational Bible teaching started on 29th of August and lessons will continue until nearly Christmas time when, at long last, the critical foundation will be firmly established so that the Gospel, with all the essential Old Testament background, can make sense to the Maliyali people. We can be praying thru the months to come that many of the Maliyali will come to understand their need of the “Lamb of God” to take away their sins. He longs to save them from the penalty of their sin, and then the power of sin that still reigns so strongly in their land.
Some specifics to pray for:
- That all the Maliyali people will consistently come to hear the teaching. Some live a good 15 (or more!) minute hike away, down the mountain and along the river. The climb up to the village where the teaching is done can be treacherous, especially when toting babies and bringing young children along.
- The weather – rain can play havoc with their travel and make it hard to hear during the lessons. – That sickness, hunger, typical village dramas or even potential deaths won’t keep people away. – For clarity as the missionaries share the Truth from God’s Word.
- For attentive ears and open, hungry hearts of the Maliyali people to hear, receive, understand and believe the truths as they are taught that they might come to know Jesus as their Savior.
As they worked on one of the Bible lessons, missionary David Rimestad recently asked his translation helper:
“Lampo, are you excited about hearing the rest of the story soon?” To which Lampo replied, “David, we have been living with our hands bound, and our eyes blindfolded. For so long we have been sitting in the corner of the house not being able to see anything that is true. But I can see a little, my eyes are beginning to open and for the first time I am telling myself, I can see, I see there is truth and I am hearing it for the very first time.”
- -From Emily Rimestad: “Please continue to pray for the Maliyali people! It feels like the enemy is pulling out all the stops to thwart the advancement of this (God’s) truth to our Maliyali people.”
The back page:
Here in SEMO: My sincere thanks to those who replied when I asked your thoughts on continuing these monthly updates. Much to my delight, the general consensus is to carry on. I do love sharing specific opportunities for us to pray. We cannot be there in person but can be a part of seeing God at work as we uphold the missionaries before the Throne, and praying that these dear ones from Maliyali will soon be a part of God’s family as well.
A few people mentioned wanting more personal news. HA! That’s basically too boring to merit much mention. So what do I do? Weekly ladies’ prayer group. Attending Bible studies – I cut back from 3 per week to just one (or maybe 2 ) a week to be able to give more intentional time to prepare for the one I will still attend.
Visiting Jo in a nursing home about an hour from here is the highlight each Monday. She never remembers me but has been enjoying the watermelon I bring. A couple of the other resident ladies may not recall what they had for lunch 5 minutes ago but they come alive when Jesus’ name is mentioned! The staff are a privilege to get to know a bit and interact with, too.
I also have a younger than I am “elderly” friend who I chauffeur to her out-of-town doctors’ appointments from time to time. These can be all-day ventures. It still baffles me why one must travel so far to see specialists but in SEMO it seems that’s the norm.
Two evenings a week find me supping with a sweet 92-year-old saint of a sister. She lets me take her to do errands or tackle other small household chores for her. This fits so well into a ministry of our church to the “Home Alone.”
AWA (Animal Welfare Alliance) is still an every Wednesday commitment as it is a purrrrfect opportunity to meet people who seem to know Jesus only as a swear word.
Work continues on house projects. At long last, all the 40-year-old carpet is GONE! and the new now all installed! God’s provision for that continues to astound me! Thank you, Lord!!! Next will be to find time to get everything back into its place. No progress yet on getting my California sister Faith and her family moved here. Please do be praying that God will undertake to bring that about ASAP! Meanwhile, I press on getting things ready for them to move in. So much old stuff still needs sorted and discarded — but my sentimental self still finds that hard.
Other opportunities get fit in around all of the above. If you want my personal opinion though – if you hanker after structure and routine — DON’T Retire! Life gets too chaotic trying to balance the mundane plus the opportunities of each day!
I do thank the Lord for the good health He continues to give me so I can still help others whenever and however He arranges. My doctor is congenially adamant though that I need to work walking back into my agenda, and also pay more attention to my diet! Sigh. Thankfully heaven is ahead and we’ll feast together there where calories and cholesterol don’t count!
My thanks to you again for caring, and for your input into my life and the “retirement” ministries God has brought my way. I appreciate you more than words can say! Because Christ came and is coming again, perhaps today!
We therefore have ………….. HOPE !!!!
Hope Sharp – Retired NTMPNG