Prayer needs from Papua New Guinea: the people in the Maliyali language group!!!! These past few months the missionaries (Chad & Martha Earl, Nathan & Rachel Mueller and David & Emily Rimested) have been teaching about 5 days a week through the Old Testament and are now well into the life of Christ. These lessons server to lay a firm foundation for the Maliyali people to:

  1. realize their need of the Savior, and
  2. see that Jesus is their only hope.

This coming week the Maliyali will be hearing some final stories from Jesus’ life and ministry, and the events leading up to His death. On Saturday the crucifixion will be shared and then a pointed pause follows, giving these dear souls a chance to ponder what it all means: to consider their standing before God and their total inability to do anything to save themselves.

Then they will hear “the rest of the story” – God raising Jesus back to life! The resurrection is proof that God is fully satisfied with Jesus, The Lamb of God, dying in our place, paying our sin debt in full. This is a decision each person individually must make – to trust in Jesus finished work on his / her behalf! It’s more than just mental assent that these facts are true. Trusting Jesus as our Savior brings us into a relationship with God as our Heavenly Father, and Jesus as our Savior and Lord.

Here are some comments missionaries recently shared regarding the Maliyali:

Bondage… deep, dark and filled with fear. Fear based thinking engrained in such ones for generation after generation has left them with no hope. Light is beginning to break thru to them as they learn the story of God.

…Will the Maliyali people see their own need and recognize JESUS as their Savior? Will they let go of their many roads in order to follow His ONE ROAD to salvation? (John 14:6) Will they look to Christ when He is lifted up like the bronze serpent in the wilderness? These are the questions weighing heavily on our own hearts every night and day as this Story unfolds before the Maliyali. Only God can replace hearts of stone with hearts of flesh. These stories hopefully helped to prick their hearts. Pray, pray, pray for His Spirit’s conviction. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. -Psalm 51:17

We can be praying with them, that, rather than clinging to their traditional beliefs, that each of the Maliyali people will come to trust Jesus alone.

Now for the Back page – Back home in SEMO: the days fly by at full steam, occupied with nursing home visits, taking friends to doctor’s appointments – or maybe just for a drive into God’s country at the wildlife refuge. Attending Bible study groups. Volunteering at the local no-kill shelter. Supper twice a week with a 92-year-old friend. She cooks while I do minor chores and then we eat! Win–win – except that I’ll now be driving home in the dark. Prayers will be appreciated!

I have succeeded of late in sufficiently educating my church friends on why I don’t volunteer to help with the various meals they serve. A bit of background – My recipes have long started with:

1) Get out the Band-Aids. You’re going to cut yourself.
2) Get out the aloe. You’re going to burn yourself.
3) Get out a fan. You’re going to need it to blow the smoke away lest you set off the smoke alarm! I’ve now added a new one.
4) Get out the mop. You’re going to make a mess requiring cleaning up the floor!

The catastrophe needing a mop was AFTER a casserole I’d taken to a church potluck spilled over and burned on the bottom of the oven. Thankfully one of the ladies knew how to start the self-cleaning feature. I then proceeded to spill water all over the floor in front of the 92 and 97-year-old ladies attending the meeting. Never did find a mop but I did manage to get on my hands & knees clean it up with paper towels before anyone fell! (And yes, I was praying while down there – especially that no one would slip in my mess!) My inelegant return to an upright position likely further convinced any doubters that I wasn’t a prime candidate for the bending & stretching needed in kitchen duty! All such incidents are hard on the pride but good for finding out who my friends are – and influencing others to see me in a more honest light as well!

With Thanksgiving just days away I would be remiss were I not to mention it here! I am especially grateful to God for YOU! It is a constant marvel to see God providing whatever the need, and He so often does that through you who continue to pray. God knows beforehand what life will necessitate and He seems to delight in supplying, often in very unexpected ways. You and the evidence of your continuing care are always an encouragement to me. May you see God blessing you bountifully in return, with all His spiritual blessings in Jesus!

We are so truly blessed to know we can rest in Jesus, come what may. It is likely there will be different and perhaps difficult times ahead. Our ever-faithful Heavenly Father has promised countless times in His Word to always be with us. He will never leave us or forsake us to conjure up our own devices. May we each be trusting Him in the days to come. It is very likely we will be seeing God at work in ways we perhaps have never had to trust Him to do for us before. His Word remains clear though, God is faithfully bringing all things to His predetermined conclusion! And for those of us who are trusting Jesus as our Savior – we are on the winning side!

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