My last update left things rather up in the air as to traveling plans. The literacy trips were finished and I was headed for Australia to be with the Stuart family while Toni battled cancer. God in His abundant mercy promoted Toni to heaven even before I could get to Oz. At that time I, along with several other fellow missionaries did go ahead and go. Though we did not get to see Toni again in this life, we are looking forward to the day when we will see her again in glory.


The photo here – taken the day before Toni’s graduation day – is a precious treasure those of us who love her. Please do continue to pray for Jason and the munchkins — Jedidiah and Ella Jo. They are doing well – but of course will undergo many transitions thru the days to come.

Here’s a portion of Jason’s recent update: (bold added to highlight a major prayer need)

“Many people are wondering how we are all coping and what our plans are. While we are sad about Toni’s passing, it is not an overwhelming sadness and we are all getting on with normal life fairly well. The kids occasionally mention that they miss their mum, but again it doesn’t seem to be a huge burden to them. The kids’ biggest concern at the moment is getting back to Wewak as soon as they can.

While they have fit in well at their school, I think they still feel that this is not their home and that their friends and all they are familiar with is in Papua New Guinea, and they are very anxious to return there. That brings me to a discussion of our plans. Since the kids are enrolled in school here, it seems best to leave them in school until the next school holidays at the end of June. Our plan is to leave Victoria on June 29 and go to New South Wales for a few days to visit friends and then continue on to Papua New Guinea in the first week of July. Our desire is to return to Wewak, to the ministry I had there. In order for that to happen, we have one major prayer request we would like you to consider with us: I will not be able to supervise the kids’ schooling and also carry on my ministry effectively, so we need someone (preferably an Australian, since the curriculum is Australian) who would be willing to come and supervise the kids’ schooling. For this year, we just need someone who would be willing to come from mid-July to the end of November. ….. We don’t need an experienced teacher; just someone with initiative who could become familiar with the curriculum and supervise the kids while they complete their school work. If you know of any such person, please let us know so we can follow it up. If you don’t know such a person, please pray with us so that we can find such a person. The alternative, if we don’t get a person to help with schooling, is to move to the town of Goroka where our mission school is located. However, that would be yet another change for the children and I don’t really think that is the best thing for them at this point….. “

With Jason and the children coping so well, and their local church family being so tuned in to their needs, after Jedidiah’s 9th birthday (which would also have been Toni’s 44th) I returned to PNG. This brought me back to Wewak right smack in the middle of our annual conference.

“Hit the ground running” was an understatement. Due to pre Oz literacy travels, the trip “down under,” and just the emotional rollercoaster of the past weeks, I promised myself a day off when things return to normal. I’m still looking for normal ….. If you find it, or if you have some “extra” normalcy to spare — please send it this way!

Since my return — While my “old” areas of commitment are at present most manageable, I have been asked to consider taking on a totally new to me ministry to help out with the needs of the missionaries in our area. That “new hat” would be the region’s finance office. For those of you who know me well, you know I’ve avoided math like the plague ever since high school trig proved me to be the duchess of dunce. Add to that my age induced dyslexia (or maybe “early” dementia) it’s a petrifying prospect to head into filling that gap – BUT – as related in
earlier updates, we are currently VERY short on personnel. I’ve agreed to get a feel for how to do what’s needed in the area of finances. Can I count on your prayers????

The pressing point with taking on this new ministry is that the current finance gal is LEAVING for 2 weeks starting on Monday March 30th! Yikes! I’ll “only” have to do the payroll (a daunting duty) and then some “simple” scanning & submitting of forms during the weeks Beth will be away. Beth showed me how – but the “See one. Do one. Teach one.” training formula from earlier educational endeavors is not particularly pleasant to anticipate. At least I’ll only be at the “Do one” level and if I do mix or mess things up, it’s only money – not LIVES at stake this time around!!!! Once Beth returns mid-April I’ll be able to get more in-depth training from her for all the other too-many-to-count aspects of the office. Beth & family will be away for 2 months this summer and then head for their year of Home Assignment later in the fall. Theoretically that will give us lots of time to FIND SOMEONE ELSE !!!! (any volunteers ????) or for me to transition in full into that ministry. Did I mention yet that I’ll be coveting your prayers????

For those of you who have been praying for the safe arrival of my “stuff” – post conference flights brought the last of my Action Packer totes to Wewak so everything is now safely stashed in one corner or another of my home awaiting opportunities to relish using and / or sharing the goodies. Again my sincere thanks to each of you who gave toward needs here and who helped finance the shipping, customs and other miscellaneous charges. You are being a blessing to many by your caring generosity. Mega Thanks!

While I was away this past month the ladies Bible study group with our national employees gained 2 more gals! As you pray for Paula, Susan, Lisa, Rosie, Meta and Betila, please add Martha and Nancy to the list. We plan to get back into our Wednesday routine and dig deeper into Philippians in the weeks to come.

Again my sincere and grateful thanks for the privilege of being your representative to fulfill various needs here in Papua New Guinea. Your prayers and other evidences of support are muchly appreciated! You can look forward to meeting many PNGers in glory whose lives have been touched because YOU care!

Co-laboring together with you for the King!

Hope Sharp