Dear Friends, It’s been just 8 weeks since I left PNG, but it almost seems like another lifetime ago. Strange how living on the other side of the world will do that to you!! Instead of basking in the warm sun and admiring tropical flowers, I am enjoying a typical Alberta winter, with plenty ofContinue reading March 2018
What a month it has been!! Less than 4 weeks ago, I was finishing up a translation check in Hoskins and was planning for the final check of the Mengen New Testament the following month. I never would have dreamed how things would turn out in just a matter of weeks.
At the time of my translation check, I experienced a major flare-up of MS symptoms where I had pain in my eyes and numbness in the entire right side of my body. At the same time my vision was getting worse and for a couple of days I was nearly blind from pain and blurred vision. After giving it a week or so to see if my vision would recover, I realized that things were not going to improve quickly. It was a very difficult and heartbreaking day when I finally decided to postpone the final translation check for the Mengen New Testament and return to Canada for medical care.
Many years ago when I first started writing prayer letters, I remember trying to come up with a catchy name for mine. A lot of people use alliteration like “Preheim Pages” or something catchy like that, but I chose to go with the name “Guided by His Hand.” And that’s how it has been from day one, trusting the Lord every step and with every decision. He has truly guided me every day for 20+ years with New Tribes Mission and He will continue to do so in the days ahead.
Jan. 13, 2018
Thanks so much for your prayers for me! I most certainly have needed them this week! After many trials and tribulations and answers to prayer, we were able to see another 7 books completed in the Mengen language! The translation check went fairly smoothly and I will have to work out some bumps still, but all in all, it was good. My next translation check is due to start in February.
Happy New Year….and what a year it has been! I’m very happy to say that 2017 ended on a high note for me, as I was able to finish the Mengen New Testament on Dec. 31. Whew!! All that remains is for the final books to be checked by our mission consultants, which is still a big task, but I can safely say that we’re looking at a very happy new year indeed!! To God be the glory!!
Merry Christmas from Papua New Guinea!
The past few months have been pretty intense for me in so many ways… and it seems like Christmas has taken a very different flavor for me, kind of a culmination of the events of the year. Many joys and many heartbreaks and many long hours pouring over a few New Testament books in particular. Here a few highlights, so you can see what I mean.
Well, things are really starting to get exciting around here!! Today 4 Mengen men will be coming out to Hoskins to help me for the next few weeks. Lord willing it will be my last big push towards seeing the Mengen New Testament to completion. I guess it has been a bit like childbirth…very painful with many tears and stress and certainly very difficult, but the end result will be amazing!!
These last few weeks have been some of the most emotional and intense in my recent years!
In my last update I told you a few of the incredible miracles that the Lord is doing amongst the Mengen people. What a joy to see the fruits of our labor and to see the Mengen church following after the Lord and maturing in Him!! It was incredible to see so many young people who are hungry to hear God’s Word and to hear the book of Romans taught powerfully to 120+ people in our small village. Like I said, it was such a joyous and intense time. It was also a very exhausting time as I often worked 10 hours a day on translation. It has taken me quite awhile to “recover” from this amazing experience.
Just 7 weeks back in PNG and what a whirlwind it has been. All I can say is that the Lord is forever faithful. My first few weeks were spent with 4 translation helpers here at Hoskins and we were able to cover a lot of ground in a short time. When the flight came to take my helpers back into the tribe, I went along with them!! It was GREAT to be back “home” again after being medevaced out last year. The Lord certainly was gracious in allowing me to see my friends and gave me strength to continue on with the translation work.
Thanks so much for your prayers! The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind to say the least but I am thankful to the Lord for His grace and sustaining strength.
Thanks so much for your prayers throughout this last year. I just wanted to give a quick update on how the Lord has answered prayers and what is coming up for me in the days ahead.
Isaiah 46:3-4 “Listen to me…I created you and have cared for you since before you were born.
I will be your God throughout your lifetime—until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you.
Introducing the new name of New Tribes Mission!
New Tribes Canada is now Ethnos Canada and New Tribes USA is now Ethnos360.
“In Matthew 28:19 our Lord commanded us to go and make disciples of all the nations. The word translated ‘nations’ in that verse is the Greek word ‘Ethnos’. This new name represents those people groups around the world to whom our Lord was referring and which we know are dear to the heart of God. These are the ones NTM has always been committed to reach. Those of every tribe, tongue, people and nation. Ethnos360 and Ethnos Canada hope to deepen that commitment.
360 degrees encompasses the entire globe. In Mark 16:15 Jesus said, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” By God’s Grace, we are determined to continue reaching into every corner of this earth until the last unreached people group is reached no matter where they are.” (Larry Brown, Chairman)
Thanks so much for your continued prayers and support. I am very happy to report that I was able to finish drafting the final book of the Mengen New Testament this week! God has been so very faithful. This doesn’t mean that the Mengen New Testament is ready to print as there are still many steps to bring this work to completion. However, to me this is the biggest step, so I’m very relieved and happy. What a great day it will be for my Mengen friends to have the New Testament in one book! They have been looking forward to it for a long, long time.
Thank you so much for your prayers for me over the past weeks and months. Hard to believe that I’ve been back from PNG for 6 months already. When I first came back, 6 months seemed like forever, but thankfully the time has gone pretty quickly and I praise the Lord for His faithfulness each day.
Thank you so much for your faithful prayers. Although much of the last several months has been very stressful, I was so happy to be able to visit my dear friend Keri in California this month! It was a joy to spend some time with my previous co-worker and her family once again. Keri and I had worked in PNG together for 13 years, so it was fun to catch up on the past several months of life and reminisce on the past a little bit!! In spite of rain and floods, we were able to get out and do some fun things too! It was a much-needed break after many months of stress and doctor’s appointments!!
Happy New Year! Thanks so much for your continued prayers for the Mengen church. These have been exciting days as God’s Word continues to go forth amongst the people of Papua New Guinea. Starting with our home village, we have seen the gospel go out in several other Mengen communities, with many people turning from spiritual darkness and into the light of Christ.
Just a quick update for you. My appointment yesterday went very well. Dr. Giuliano is very thorough and cautious and did quite a few different neurological tests. He also looked at all my MRI scans and carefully read through my medical report from Brisbane, so that was encouraging. After the appointment, I was sent down to get some bloodwork done in their lab. He wants to rule out every other kind of potential illness, so I had 9 vials of blood taken!!
I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it.
God does it so that men will revere him.
Thanks so much for your prayers and encouraging emails over the past few weeks. Just two months ago, I arrived back in Canada and have been “enjoying” a medical furlough ever since. Praise the Lord that I have not had anymore major flare-ups of Multiple Sclerosis since being home. In just a couple of weeks, I have an appointment to see the neurologist, so I’m excited and anxious to get my questions answered and to get started on medication at long last.
Thanks so much for your constant prayers and encouraging emails. This past month or so has been really crazy, but I can see the Lord going before in every step of the way. You may remember that after my medical evacuation from Papua New Guinea, I spent a week in a hospital in Brisbane, Australia where I was given the diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. However, I have been waiting to see a doctor here before starting any medications.
Thanks so much for your prayers for me over the last 2 crazy weeks. I feel a bit shell-shocked as it was just 11 days ago when I was medivaced out of our tribe and flown all the way to Australia. The Lord has certainly answered many prayers over these last few days and has gone before and paved the way.
Thank you so much for your prayers for me these last few days!! Sorry it has taken me so long to get out another update, but I wanted to speak with the doctor again today so that I could give you more info!
From my last update, you will remember that I had been having some strange neurological symptoms last week, with numbness in my face, vertigo and vision disturbances. My doctor here in PNG arranged a medical evacuation for me. I sure appreciate all his hard work as it turned out to be more of a complicated situation to arrange. In the end, I was able to come to a lovely private hospital in Brisbane, Australia. A special medevac team flew me in their plane and I had a couple of medical people on board with me, so I was very well taken care of the whole way. No one was certain what my problem was, so they were extra-cautious. An NTM friend (and fellow-Canadian) came along with me and is here in Brisbane during this time, so I have not been alone. I have sure appreciated Sien and her willingness to help me during this time!!
Well, life sure took a sharp curve all of a sudden and I thought I’d write a quick update while I can!
For the past few days I have been experiencing some very strange medical symptoms—the worst being tremendous vertigo and also numbness in my face and scalp. I’ve also had terrible nausea probably due to the vertigo. I’ve been in bed the past 2 days and just today was able to walk a few steps, with help, over to Laureti’s house to get online. Laureti’s have been taking very good care of me and I don’t know what I would have done without their help, to say the least.
Hard to believe that 15 years ago next week, Keri and I moved into our village and joined the Mengen team. The Lord has done so much in the hearts of the people we came to serve!! It is SO amazing to see the changes in people’s lives and to have been a part of it all almost from the very start.
Thank you so much for your prayers for me these last couple of weeks. They have been difficult, challenging and emotional for me in so many ways.
Last week I went in with friends to their village to pack up their belongings. Words can’t express how difficult it was for them and also for me to witness. While we know the Lord has a special plan, it is pretty hard to see from this angle and each day was filled to the brim with grief and heartbreak. However, on the last morning we were in this tribe, I was woken by a song being played in a village house next door.
“Be still and know, that I am God. Be still and know that I am God.
Be still and know that I am God. I am the Lord that healeth thee.
I am the Lord that healeth thee. I am the Lord that healeth thee.”
This song was played over and over probably 50 times and it really struck truth into my heart. Although we don’t know what the Lord has planned, we know that we just have to be still and know that He is still God no matter what the circumstances are.