Merry Christmas to each and every one!! For those of us here in PNG, Christmas seems rather distant, without all the commercialism that we have in our home countries! Although we definitely won’t be having a white Christmas this year, we know it will be a special time nonetheless as we celebrate our Savior’s birth!!
For our team, this last week has once again been unexpected and stressful for us!! As you know, I am gearing up for the “final check” of Romans at the end of the month. In the past 2 weeks alone, I figure I’ve spent around 70 hours making last minute adjustment and checking Key Terms etc. Anyways, I fully expected to have another 2 weeks in the tribe before Christmas break, to be able to go through a few things with my helper in preparation for the check. On Monday morning, Kariang woke up with the burning thought that she needed to come to work. Usually she’ll come on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so this was definitely not the norm for her. We know in hindsight that the Lord really prompted her heart to come, as none of us knew that our team would be coming out with a medical evacuation the next day.
As Kariang and I started working, we heard that my co-workers 4 year old son had woken up with a swollen cheek. As the day progressed, the swelling got much worse, spreading over his face and around his eyes. It was pretty clear that Liam needed to see the doctor, so we started making plans to hike out since there are no NTM pilots in our area at the moment. None of us were too excited at the thought of a long, grueling trek, but thankfully the Lord miraculously worked it out so another mission’s plane could bring us to town. We had very little warning…thus the stress, so we quickly packed up and hopped on the plane. Thankfully Liam was able to see a dentist right away and is doing much better. (Poor little guy had to have a root canal to remove the infection from an abscessed tooth!) It’s always scary when situations like this come up, as we live deep in the jungle, far away from any medical help, and once again we have seen the Lord protect us from any harm!
It has been great to be out at Hoskins a little earlier than planned, so that I can have a bit of a break before my Romans check! Just 2 days after Christmas, some of our Mengen believers will be joining us at Hoskins. Pray for 2 young men, Balsen and Richard as they will be helping me with the check. Pray that nothing would hinder them from coming and that they would be a good help to me during this time. Pray too for a young couple, Kamilus and Josephine. They will be bringing 2 of their children with them. Alexia, their oldest, was born with 2 clubbed feet and desperately needs corrective surgery. Their youngest daughter Sharon also has a problem with her legs or hips, and she is unable to walk properly. Please pray that the Lord would go before this family and open up doors for them to see the right doctors and to get x-rays and things. In a third world country, it is very difficult to receive proper treatment, so pray that the Lord would really help this young family.
We would sure appreciate your prayers in the weeks ahead:
- Pray for the Mengen church on their own, that the Lord would use this as a time of real growth for them.
- Pray that the Bible teachers would be faithful to teach and lead the church.
- Pray for safety for the believers during the holiday season, as there is usually a lot of drinking and fighting which usually takes place in the village at this time. Already we have heard of threats against the church, so pray for peace and comfort and safety for everyone.
- Pray for the teenagers and young people who are vulnerable to peer pressure etc. Pray that they would maintain a good testimony and that they would make good choices when faced with various temptations over the next few weeks.
- Pray for the upcoming Romans check December 29-January 4. Pray that we would be able to smooth out anything that isn’t communicating properly. My deep desire is that our translation would be clear and precise in the Mengen language and would speak to the hearts of the people.
Thanks so very much for your faithful prayers and financial support throughout this past year! You have been such an integral part of reaching the Mengen people with the Gospel! One day we’ll all stand together before the throne, saying,
“Worthy is the Lamb to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory, and praise!!!”
Hallelujah, what a Savior!!