Richard sat in my office and poured out his heart to me, “I pastor a small church in Wabag (a town a few hours’ drive from here). I have a tremendous burden for the youth. They have so many problems, drugs, alcohol, fighting. I want to help them, but I do not feel ready. I want to study theology, to really know the truth of God’s Word! Can you help me?” The pleading look in his eyes showed the sincere desire of his heart.
It was so exciting to see this young man’s heart for reaching the young people in his community. One of the strategic goals of NTM-PNG is to see more and more citizens just like him equipped to finish the task of reaching the people of PNG for the Gospel. Right now there are few in-country options for him, and training in Western countries like the USA or Canada is very expensive. Can you pray with us that we will have wisdom about how best to meet this need in the years to come?
Equipping the national church has been one of the core pieces of our strategic vision for the past few years. One of the things that is driving us there more quickly is the continuing decrease in our expat missionary numbers. On the global scale, the Western church is simply sending fewer and fewer missionaries to all missions’ organizations as the years go by.
Currently, we still need some key roles filled for next year by expat missionaries. In the school, our girls will not have a science teacher in the 2016-17 school year if someone does not step forward to fill this need. They have endured a distance learning course in English this year, and would hate to have to add a Science class to that list next year. Distance learning courses are just no substitute for a teacher in a classroom. Please pray for the Lord to raise up teachers in science, math, music, and PE for our high school next year! If you know a teacher who you think might be able to meet one of these needs, please let us know! (Don’t worry, all teaching is in English.) Here’s a link to the NCA website: http://www.ncapng.org/
Thanks for your prayers for the drought! Very soon after our last prayer update, the rain began falling across the country. Now we have rain in abundance (almost too much….”when it rains it pours?”) and the local people’s gardens are producing again. Thank you for praying!
The Kodiak is Flying!
Many of you may be aware that our mission has been able to purchase three new Kodiak aircraft in the past couple of years. The first of these just recently began service here with NTM-PNG! Not only that, but the Lord has raised up a number of pilots to fly them! A couple of years ago we were down to just a couple of pilots on the whole field of PNG. Now the numbers have greatly increased and we are excited that we can meet the needs of our tribal missionaries who work in remote locations accessible only by plane or helicopter. Thank you for your prayers!
Katie and Cara have had an opportunity of their own to step into ministry. The missionaries in the Eastern (Islands) area of the country are gathering for their annual conference. Our girls are part of a team of young people that will be helping with childcare and a VBS program for the event. They have been raising money through a variety of activities (babysitting, chili dog sales, baking English muffins, etc.) to help pay for their plane tickets and other expenses.This has been a great experience for them to work toward a goal like this. Pray that the conference in March (which Neil will also be attending) will be a blessing and a time of refreshment to the missionaries in that part of the country.
We are continually grateful to you all for your prayers and support that keep us serving here. THANK YOU!!
Neil and Becky, Michael, Katie, and Cara Burleson