Update time again. A blank computer screen looms before me. Possibilities folder is equally empty. Intimidating. But fear not! My devoid of ideas intellect is no limit to God! With Him at the keyboard you’ll probably still get a full page report on what He has had us involved in these past weeks! Let’s see what He’s done!
Thanks to your prayers, I was able to visit with my Iwam friend Hwanu at the hospital as she awaited surgery. She would share little about her personal walk with the Lord but did say her husband Tomas has “seen clearly” that things need to be different in his life. He now occasionally again attends church. Do please keep praying for them, and the multitude of Iwam like them, that as they “attend” the teaching times they will also be letting God’s truth be at work in their lives, drawing them into new depths of love for the Lord and changing them to become more and more like our Savior.
Another note on the Iwam – with absolutely NO effort on my part, God provided some in-depth encouragement to our brothers and sisters in Christ back at May River. Gordon Wohlgemut – another NTM missionary — spent several days in Iwam land. Gordon has written a book entitled Satan – Wokboi bilong God (Satan, servant of God) which deals at length with some of the misunderstandings people here have regarding the adversary and his cronies who are ever active in this animistic society. Spirits and even Satan himself are often seen as their benefactors. Though I have had no opportunity to talk with the Iwam to learn their response to this teaching, it will hopefully be life changing in their ongoing growth in their understanding, knowledge and lover for our Lord.
Here in town — Reading (in English) has resumed at the local school after a 2 week break that stretched to nearly a month. We have just 1 chapter to go in the children’s evangelistic book we are sharing with the children and then ????? What to read next ???? We usually do some “light” reading first but want to continue giving them the opportunity to hear Truth from God’s Word as well. Bible Story books with LOTS of pictures are currently being sought. With all the missionary children around God surely already has materials on hand that He will lead us to use. Please do continue praying for these school kiddos though. Without opportunities to talk with them individually it is hard to know what they are understanding. It seems that many of them are at least accepting the truths of God as “head knowledge.” Be praying that it will also penetrate and change their hearts!
Stuarts are back which adds a totally different dimension to the days! Critters I didn’t even know existed on my veranda can no longer hide. It’s usually Ella Jo who nabs them. This one happens to be a red eyed crocodile skink. Their dad helps the kids research them before relocating the reptiles to the vicinity of THEIR house instead of mine. Ella is ever active and involved with other missionary gals but Jedidiah has occasions when he’s bored and actually comes ASKING if we can do a power point presentation on my computer! So far we’ve done cargo ships and airplanes. He has plenty of ideas for more ….. Their teacher has arrived so instead of the few classes Jed originally did with me(Australian History, Geography and Art) my share of their education is reduced to just scanning their daily work for their dad to send to their “distance education instructors” in Australia. All in all, they seem to have settled in well. Thank you for your prayers for this family! They will be away off and on for several weeks over the coming months while Jason does translation checking in other parts of PNG. Life will be all too quiet during their stints elsewhere!
Other challenges – 4 days of last month were spent trying to figure out why the printer in my “other office” – the Tribal Resource Center – was not working. Being entirely electronically ignorant, outside intervention was obviously a need. Meanwhile I tried to halt enroute the $1000 of toner cartridges being shipped to us for the aged printer. All was in order, on paper anyway, to return the cartridges to Australia without bringing them the final costly leg of their journey here. Next thing I knew – they were sitting in my house… Obviously God’s doing as He then sent an expert from our computer tech department to overhaul the ailing contraption and the printer is again working! A new one is on order but the old 2004 model will be relegated to another office and hopefully last for another 40,000+ pages of printing to use up the ink!
The Bible study with the local ladies working on our center has been sparsely attended of late though it is hopeful that all 8 of the gals will be back now. We are into Philippians 2 and coming up on the verses “Let this mind be in you which is also in Christ Jesus …..” This is among the most challenging portions of God’s Word, for me anyway, in my walk with the Lord! How far short I still fall of being like my Savior! That does make for good, obvious teaching illustrations for the ladies though, so with your prayers the gals and I will grow together to be more and more like Jesus!
Rosie from the Bible study group could use your specific prayers. Some weeks ago a live cinder from a fire flew into her eye and she has had trouble with blurry vision and excessive “eye water” = tears ever since. She had it checked out at the local clinic but they only advised her to seek help elsewhere. Meanwhile she thinks her eye is improving so has delayed doing anything more. At times like this there’s the temptation to wish God had given me the gift of healing – but He hasn’t. That does not limit God in any way! He can certainly bring healing to her eye in His own time and by whatever means He desires. Prayers to that end will be appreciated!
So, these 1000+ words prove God wasn’t hampered in the least by my having no ideas of what to share with you for this month’s update! May this glimpse of His work these past weeks help you to realize that, be the task mundane or immense, it’s always a wonderful privileged He’s entrusted to us to be a part of what He is doing. Thank you for standing together with me on behalf of the people and the ministry He has entrusted to us here in Papua New Guinea.
Co-laboring together with you for the King!