October 1, 2016

Thank you so much for your love and prayers and gifts! We are deeply grateful for your part in reaching the Hewa people with the love of Jesus. Thank you!


We just finished a one-week men’s leadership training “conference” here in Hewa, led by Matthew and Bapo from the Kudjip Hospital. This is the third time Matthew has come to teach our Hewa community, and each time he has brought life-changing information in both medical and community developmental areas. In these remote mountains where tribal fighting and un-restrained tyrants have stomped out potential advancement in the past, there is now hope for the future as men are making decisions to follow Jesus’ principles of love and join hands to make a better community. We are very encouraged by the eagerness with which our community leaders are embracing these principles as they are making plans to make a better future for their children.

August 2016

Thank you so much for your love and prayers and gifts! We are deeply grateful for your part in reaching the Hewa people with the love of Jesus. Thank you!

We are so sorry for lack of communication! Our email situation in the Hewa tribe has continued to disintegrate and now we have not been able to receive emails for more than a month. We are terribly sorry for this inconvenience and regret that we have not been able to read emails you may have sent to us. The only time we are able to access correspondence is by making an expensive trip to town, so it may only happen every three or four months.

March 2016

Thank you so much for your love and prayers and gifts! We are deeply grateful for your part in reaching the Hewa people with the love of Jesus. Thank you!

I (Jonathan) have now arrived back to town to join my family after two and a half weeks in Hewa. It is great to be back together with them and also wonderful to spend time with other missionary families who gathered here for our annual conference for missionaries.

January 2016

Thank you so much for your love and prayers and gifts! We are deeply grateful for your part in reaching the Hewa people with the love of Jesus. Thank you!

December 2015

Thank you so much for your love and prayers and gifts! We are deeply grateful for your part in reaching the Hewa people with the love of Jesus. Thank you!

Mikayla will be graduating from BIOLA University in two weeks! We are very proud of her dedication and perseverance despite ongoing pain. As soon as her graduation is complete, she will turn her focus to a semester of studies to pass the MCAT exams, which are necessary before applying for medical school. Please pray the Lord provides an affordable medical education so she can continue with her dream to become a missionary doctor. After Mikayla’s graduation, we plan to drive to Florida to spend Christmas with Susan’s family, and then to return to Papua New Guinea in late January.

November 2015

Thank you so much for your love and prayers and gifts! We are deeply grateful for your part in reaching the Hewa people with the love of Jesus. Thank you!

We are very thankful for a safe and fun filled 4,300 mile trip in October through New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and Arizona, and are happy to be back together with Mikayla in California for a short breather. It was great to spend time with many friends, and especially wonderful to attend Micah’s graduation ceremony. Micah is now officially a medic with the Army, and has already been shipped to Georgia to begin airborne school, which includes (I’m very jealous about this part) parachuting out of airplanes!

September 2015

Thank you so much for your love and prayers and gifts! We are deeply grateful for your part in reaching the Hewa people with the love of Jesus. Thank you!

We are now in California! It was wonderful to visit with the Kopf family in Idaho in honor of my parent’s 50th anniversary, and are now grateful to be in Fullerton where we can spend time with Mikayla during her last semester at BIOLA University. I (Jonathan) am also happy to have the opportunity to participate in an online class this month.

August 2015

We arrived in America!

We were grateful to be reunited with some family and friends and can’t wait to see more. We are now in Idaho, getting ready to help my parents celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary and then plan to drive to Fullerton, CA where we can be close to Mikayla while she attends her final semester at BIOLA University. We feel blessed to have this opportunity to re-connect with family and friends, and we are extremely grateful for the Lord’s provision of a car and house to live in.

June 2015

In memory of our Hewa friend, Mifila (photographed in January with two of her three children)

Just four months after I flew to the Hewa village of Fiy to speak up for the lives of the four women who were accused of being possessed by evil spirits they believed were causing death, a group of armed raiders from a different language group swept into the village and murdered Mifila. We are deeply saddened by this news but are encouraged to hear the leaders of that village are asking for help from the police in town rather than planning a retaliation murder.

February 28, 2015

Thank you so much for your love and prayers for us and our Hewa friends. We are deeply grateful for your part in sharing the love of Jesus with the Hewa tribal people of Papua New Guinea.

Learning fever has hit Hewa! Right now as we are between teaching new books of the Bible, several people expressed interest in a new literacy course. Susan thought it might be a good opportunity to train more of her previous students to become future teachers, so she offered to oversee a new class. She was shocked, though, when there was so much interest that she had to start two classes instead of just one. Then the small children said they also wanted to be taught so now she is overseeing an adult class, and a children’s class that spans the ages of 6 through 14, and then an introductory class for the small children ages 2-5 (the youngest shown in picture on the right). Susan has chosen several men and women to be her assistants so she can prepare them to become future teachers.

Christmas 2014

A new baby, and a fresh start.

Matiu and his wife, Saina, had a new baby! He is a healthy and good natured little boy, and mom is eager to show him off to everyone.

That’s not the only beautiful new thing that happened in their lives though, as recently Matiu took a bold step to move away from spirit appeasement practices, to a deeper commitment to the Lord. In the picture above, you can see Matiu blowing on a small flame to burn his bundle of feathers and other things used for spirit dances. As he was burning these things Sunday after church, he announced to the entire group his intentions to follow only Jesus. “I am done walking on two trails,” he said, “trying to go to church while at the same time attending spirit dances. I want everyone to see I am burning the things that tempt me to have a divided heart.”

Thank you – November 2014

Unexpected change of plans

Mikayla’s back pain continues to be increasingly painful to the point she is struggling to function well at BIOLA University. Although she has been able to keep her grades up, she is often not able to sleep or eat well and has lost weight due to pain. After prayer and consultation with our mission directors we decided it was important for Susan (and Mikenna) to immediately fly to California to be with Mikayla for her next two months of meetings with specialists to determine the cause of her pain. The results of the recent MRIs showed that she may have some sort of autoimmune problem that may be causing slight degenerative problems with her back. On top of that, she has two slipped discs. The doctors are concerned about the degenerative problems and would like to run more tests to determine what may be causing this. It is sad to hear of our daughter struggling in such pain and we want to do everything we can to help her succeed.

Faith in the Jungle – October 2014

She was tiny, nothing more than skin stretched over bones. She wouldn’t make it through another night. I turned away feeling powerless to make a difference. I couldn’t imagine what we could do when my family was struggling to survive in a rain soaked tarp roofed shelter, rushing every minute of precious daylight to clear the jungle and cut lumber in order to build homes for our missionary team. God have mercy on that poor child.

At the same time we were moving with our co-workers into the Hewa tribe in January of 2000, a sickness was sweeping across the rugged mountains of the Central Range of Papua New Guinea. Among those who died were Fisa’s husband (Fisa is the woman pictured left) and her son Waina’s wife.

September 2, 2014

Thank you so much for your prayers as we battled the measles outbreak here in Hewa. Our village is finally turning the corner and a tremendous sense of relief and thankfulness has replaced the cloud that has hung over us these last four weeks.

Susan and our daughter Mikayla started treating the first cases of measles in early August but by the second week the terrible virus nearly took the lives of several of our friends. The government sent two nurses to vaccinate our villagers against measles on August 14 but by then a significant part of the population was already infected. Every day several new people came to our front door, asking for help. Small children and babies got hit the hardest and several times we were sure a child would not survive the night because of high fevers and severely compromised breathing.

Please pray! August 2014

War

Our village is now being ravaged by war. Not bullets ripping through flesh. Not missiles obliterating homes, nor by suicide bombers with hidden explosives. It’s not as visible as that but it is definitely war. This battle is taking place in the hearts of men and women as the truth of the Word is in direct conflict with the dark secrets that have been passed down from the tribal ancestors. The belief that sickness and death are results of evil spirits of the jungle, runs deep and is not easily overthrown.

Konef’s wife was sick with measles last week. Very sick. In fact, she grew so weak she could no longer sit up to take a drink of water to fight the fever. Konef brought her to Susan and Mikayla for help. Together they laid her in the back corner of the tin roofed building that serves for both church meetings and funerals and then Mikayla attached an IV tube to her arm to help fight severe dehydration with the life-giving fluid. Susan gave the sick woman medicines to help reduce her fever and then Susan and Mikayla let her rest while they and two nurses, who arrived from town, turned their attention to giving measles vaccinations to the rest of the villagers.

July 2014

Thank you so much for your love, prayers and gifts! We are deeply grateful for your part in helping to share the love of Jesus with the Hewa tribal people of Papua New Guinea.

Thank you for praying for us as we taught the book of I Timothy to the Hewa church for the first time. It is such a foundational book for preparing godly men to lead the believers so we wanted to teach it carefully with a special emphasis on prayerful discipleship and nurturing of future leaders.
For the last several years it has been beautiful to watch the Lord impassioning six men and boys to become faithful teachers of the Word in Hewa. In an effort to pass the leadership baton, I have been teaching them newly translated Scripture in my office so that they can then teach the passages to the church.

Faith in the Jungle – May 2014

Faith in the Jungle

Thank you so much for your love, prayers and gifts! We are deeply grateful for your part in helping to share the love of Jesus with the Hewa tribal people of Papua New Guinea.

Please rejoice with us for the many wonderful things that are happening here in Hewa.

Praise the Lord with us that recently John and Jessie George had a language evaluation by a consultant and they both showed very strong progress in their Hewa language acquisition. This is wonderful news especially now as they are returning to Mississippi for their furlough. They will have a lot of wonderful stories to tell their families and friends about how the Lord has blessed them with tremendous headway while on their first term here in PNG.

March 26, 2014

 

Thank you so much for your love, prayers and gifts! We are deeply grateful for your part in helping to share the love of Jesus with the Hewa tribal people of Papua New Guinea.

Praise the Lord with us for our safe return to Papua New Guinea! Because of snow delays in Chicago and then the unplanned need to refuel in transit we were stuck in one airplane for more than 21 hours- our longest flight ever! We were very happy to eventually land in the town of Wewak (all our luggage arrived with us) where we were able to reunite with our coworkers the Georges and Dunns (pictured above) and attend an annual conference for missionaries. We are very thankful for the unity our coworkers have been enjoying and felt privileged to have time to connect with them before returning to the tribe. Unfortunately the Dunn’s son, Kasen, (green & white shirt) broke his leg when a motorcycle fell on top of him so the family will be headed to the States next week for an early home assignment.

February 2014

Thank you so much for your love, prayers and gifts! We are deeply grateful for your part in helping to share the love of Jesus with the Hewa tribal people of Papua New Guinea.

We have started our journey back to Papua New Guinea! We had a wonderful time with friends and family in the US and are now looking forward to re-uniting with our Hewa tribal friends. Please keep us in prayer as we depart Tampa, Feb 17, to head to PNG through Hong Kong and Bali.

Happy New Year 2014

Thank you so much for your love and prayers and gifts! We are deeply grateful for your part in sharing the love of Jesus with the Hewa tribal people of Papua New Guinea.

We are heading back to Hewa! The Lord has provided the tickets and we are now in the last minute scramble of packing and preparing to fly across the ocean. We have enjoyed our six month time with family and friends and are now looking forward to our departure from Phoenix on January 27.

Faith in the Jungle – November 2013

Thank you so much for your love, prayers and gifts! We are deeply grateful for your part in helping to share the love of Jesus with the Hewa tribal people of Papua New Guinea.

As Susan and I have been traveling around the USA since our arrival in July, our new coworkers who are living in the Hewa tribe, have done a terrific job informing us of the latest events. The most exciting news is that the Hewa Bible teachers, Faimpat, Fato and Ken have been teaching an overview of the Bible and have now finished teaching through the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus! We can’t wait to get back to the village and see how the Lord has been working in hearts. The Georges and Dunns have informed us that Kalafu (a leader of murder raids) has been attending the teaching sessions and has continued to ask questions that indicate he is engaged and tracking the themes. Please join with us right now to pray the Lord will work in powerful ways to bring Kalafu and the other villagers to repentance so they will ask the Lord for forgiveness and a new relationship with Him.

Faith in the Jungle – October 2013

Thank you so much for your love, prayers and gifts! We are deeply grateful for your part in helping to share the love of Jesus with the Hewa tribal people of Papua New Guinea.

Praise the Lord with us for a wonderful time of reuniting with family and friends in the USA. We feel so blessed by your love and care. We are also very grateful for the Lord’s protection as we have traveled many miles through the Pacific Northwest, Arizona, California, and Florida.

Praise the Lord with us for the completion of the airstrip in Hewa! We received News from the Georges and Dunns that an airplane has landed successfully several times and the necessary paperwork has been submitted to the government.