For those of us yet in the throes of winter, life in the tropics may sound pretty good right now!

Over in Amdu PNG there’s news from one of the young churches in the process of being strengthened and established in their faith. Missionaries Bart & Emily Allen along with Benjamin and Missy Hatton (currently in the US
on Home Assignment) minister among this people group in the upper Sepik River region. I was privileged to get to help them set up their literacy program back in 2017 so their progress holds a special place in my heart. Since launching literacy, the missionaries have done the foundational Bible teaching and seen many come to know the Lord.

As they continue discipling the young believers, they are now teaching the book of Romans. Missy recently shared this tidbit from the feedback they have heard regarding the people’s response to the deep truths of God’s Word:

One of the ways that the believers express how God’s Word is impacting them is to say, ‘God’s Word is really carving me up inside!’ This is the word used for shaping a piece of wood. It’s the concept found in Romans 8:29 where it says we are being conformed to the image of Christ. We’re delighted to hear these little details about our brothers and sisters and their growth in Jesus.

(Question to self: How about me? Am I letting God’s Word carve me up inside to make me more like Jesus? I know, I still have so many rough edges to let Him hack off then sand & smooth down to make me better resemble Him! Lord, keep me willing like the Amdu to let YOU do your work in me.)

Missy also shared: “Other meetings are happening regularly to help young believers get established, and Bart (Allen) is planning another evangelistic outreach this spring. This outreach is going to be a shared effort with those believers who are most established in their understanding of the gospel. Pray for wisdom and grace as they learn and grow together.”

We can be praying for the Amdu and other young churches in the remote regions of Papua New Guinea. Becoming mature in our Christian faith doesn’t happen overnight. Let’s pray for other missionaries along with the Allens and Hattons who are also engaged in this task, seeking to lead baby believers into a deeper love and understanding of our Savior, Jesus Christ!

Meanwhile, back home in Poplar Bluff: January days have lumbered along, often being invested in awaiting repairmen, or an important package, or, more recently, being happily homebound due to the ice SEMOians
affectionately call winter.

The plow finally went by my house yesterday about 4pm, hopefully indicating that the more major thoroughfares in the town are “open” and they have the time now to work on the lesser streets. If the sun shines today the rest of the ice may melt enough to end this most recent confinement. If not, plenty of backlogged projects still await my attention here at home.

Thanks to your prayers, progress was made in each area I mentioned in my update last month.

  • Plumbing: Yep, that broken pipe was finally replaced and all sinks are properly draining again. I also have an estimate for the nonurgent work we’ll get done this spring, replacing yet more ancient conduits in the crawlspace under the house.
  • Computer: The same day that I officially paid for a new computer, my old one took to crashing at increasingly inconvenient intervals. Our mission tech department did indeed bail me out yet again, ordering the computer I need. It was safely delivered on a snow day when I couldn’t navigate to my volunteer commitment so was home to receive it. Our computer department head honcho, the ever patient and enduring Dave, has spent some 3 hours on the phone with me, remotely taking control of the new Dell to get most of my programs up and running, and transferring my needed files. Thank you, Heavenly Father, for the helpful brothers who have invested their lives to bail out the technologically challenged in our equipment needs! And Thank You, too, Lord, for how you brought all these details together, from the financial provision of friends to every minute detail of having a well-working computer again!!!!!
  • Regarding my sister Faith & family moving to join me in Missouri: Please keep praying! She will be 74 this month and is FINALLY admitting that her 12+ hour nursing home night shifts (plus overtime) are getting to be too much. Please keep praying for all the details that need God’s intervention for her to be able to make the move, the major one being the sale of her house. I am praying specifically that God will bring her here by early summer. Would you please
    join me in praying to that end?

Again, my grateful thanks to YOU who continue to be interested and a part of my life and ministry (at least when I’m not confined to quarters due to inclement weather!) May your lives be blessed bountifully with all God’s spiritual blessings in Jesus!
Because Christ came and is coming again (perhaps today!) we therefore have ……… HOPE !!!

Hope Sharp – retired PNG

(and definitely missing the tropics!)