Possible Identity theft?????

The modern day worst nightmare comes to prime time daytime, too. My first thoughts when I ran into obstacles while trying to verify my identity were: “Why would anyone in their right mind want to be me?????”

Then I got to thinking about it ….

  • Ocean view living
  • In the beautiful South Pacific
  • Greatest family in the world!
  • Incredible team of friends & supporters around the globe
  • Wonderful Wewak neighbors
  • Fantastic co-workers
  • Perfect, ideal job & working conditions
  • The best Boss EVER !!!!! — who promises all I need for today
  • And then forever with Him in eternity too!

With that in mind — Who in their right mind WOULDN’T want to be me????


But yes, for a few weeks the possibility of identity theft added a chilling degree to life in the seaming Sepik. It came to light when I tried to set up my online Social Security account as a prelude to getting old. Countless hours have been spent trying to navigate internet road blocks only to end up at dead ends. The process proved to be not lacking in humor however! Phone calls went to automated services whose hearing is worse than mine: “Did you say your address is ‘Pffgst Street?’” Then there’s that “other me”  who has a car loan for a BMW or a Lexis (or maybe just a Honda.) And a mortgage on a house. ID multiple choice answer options provided current or former phone numbers; street names; employer names; bank, credit card, mortgage company names — none of them mine. Also names of people who have maybe lived with me sometime in the past 10 years – including Peter Ustinoff. (???) Not sure how I would have recognized him though with the 4,5,6,7, or 8 other people also supposedly residing in my household! Yep! God has provided a good many chuckles along the way (humor enhanced by knowing friends were praying!) If I only had a super-duper computer like they do on TV, I’d have this fellow or female nabbed in no time!

Best of all though were times with the Lord as He listened to my boggled brain blithering thru the bewilderment. One fact never faltered – my identity in Christ is as safe and secure as ever! No one and nothing can ever mar that!

AV version — 2Ti 1:12 …. nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

GNB version — 2Ti 1:12 … But I am still full of confidence, because I know whom I have trusted, and I am sure that he is able to keep safe until that Day what he has entrusted to me.

ISV 2 Ti 1:12 — …. However, I am not ashamed, for I know the one in whom I have put my trust, and I’m convinced that he is able to protect what he has entrusted to me until the day that he comes.

So, yes, THANK YOU, LORD!!!!! And thank you to all who have been praying! The whole kerfuffle has ended up to seemingly be nothing more than a “tempest in a pot of tea!” God provided several “coaches” out there to give this old bag the advice and guidance (and listening ear!) I needed. He then proceeded to open a “back door” to a notable credit reporting company that had already told me numerous times that I wasn’t really me. With God stirring the pot that same company suddenly hit on ID questions that do indeed reflect yours truly!! So – all those loans for a BMW or Lexis, house mortgage, student loans – NOT me in hot water! NOT me steeped in debt! NOT someone stealing my identity. Now if Social Security could only be so kind too as to admit I’m me ….

So — moving on to Christmas! Dates are on the calendar for:

  • last reading sessions with the 2 classes of 3rd graders at the nearby school — cards to be made to be handed out with candy treats (Dec 1st & 3rd)
  • employees’ Christmas party with cake and ice cream for our 13 employees and their 100+ family members; cards to make for including with their Christmas bonus (Dec 11th)
  • Christmas get together with folks from about 5 or 6 other mission organizations in town — sweet and savory delights to bake (Dec 18th)
  • delivering plates of baked goodies to the businesses in town and the offices and wards at the hospital – 20+ loaves of holiday bread in the freezer and ???? more to bake. Oh yah, cards to make to go along with those too! (Dec 21st or 22nd)
  • Still to be decided is when the Ladies Bible study group will have their last time together before the holidays.
  • I usually do a meal and lots of take-home treats (cake, cookies, cinnamon rolls, etc.) Most years I show them some appropriate DVD – though finding suitable stuff is getting harder and harder to do! (That will be maybe Dec 16th ??? or 23rd ???)

Those are the ones I know about so far …….

All those fit in around finance office duties including fortnightly payroll and closing out the books mid-month. …. One can’t help but wonder – what would Jesus think of all of the busyness implied above??? Our prayer is that as we create these special times for our local friends that our lives would be reflecting our Savior to them, helping them
(as well as us!) to focus on His great salvation offered freely to us. Won’t you please pray with us to that end?  

 Along with the above festivities — Happy days really are here again! The printing office has unexpectedly returned to life! After months of little to nothing to do there, suddenly there are 2 major projects pending. And 3 more literacy programs to be finalized and printed later in 2016! It’s always a satisfying experience to get back to printing and binding Scripture portions and Bible lesson books. And creating materials to help people learn to read and write in  their own language! That really is why the Lord keeps us going here – doing whatever God commits to our hands to see people in the remote areas of this country have the chance to study and learn of Jesus in their own mother tongue! Thank YOU for being a part of the work God yet desires to do here in Papua New Guinea!

May YOUR Christmas season be a refreshing time for you personally as you marvel in the wonder of the 1st coming of our Savior — and joyfully anticipate His promised return! Perhaps today!

Co-laboring together with you for the King of Kings!

Hope Sharp