Greetings from hot and humid Hoskins. Life here continues to roll along. Thanks so much for your faithful prayers for me and for the Mengen church.
This last week the Laureti family went back to our village and are continuing on with discipleship for another few months. They report that the Mengen church is doing very well. What a joy to hear that our “children” are walking in the truth of God’s Word.
One special piece of news is very near and dear to my heart. My close friend Kariang has been my translation helper from day one and we’ve spent 100’s of hours together translating Scripture into the Mengen language. She’s a mother of 9 children and her kids are like my own family after spending so much time together over the last 15+ years!!
Kariang’s oldest son Junior became a believer many years ago and even helped Keri with Bible translation for a few months. At one point Junior became very sick and during this time he walked away from the Lord. That was at least 6 years ago. Kariang has faithfully prayed for her son and committed him to the Lord.
Well, her prayers have been answered. Although I don’t know the whole story, the Laureti’s say that Junior is now walking with the Lord again and is spending a lot of time with the other Mengen believers. I think he is even living in our village now, which is a big step in leaving his unsaved friends behind. Praise the Lord!! I can’t wait to hear the whole story one of these days from Kariang and to see this miracle with my own eyes. Please pray for Junior (around 23 years old) and for his brother Paul (about 21 years old), that the Lord would work in the hearts of these young guys and that they would be hungry to follow Christ.
As for me, I am currently working on the book of Matthew, getting it into a rough draft stage. It sure takes a lot of time and effort. However, I am VERY excited to report that I just have 3 more books left to draft after this one (1-2 Peter and Hebrews). That doesn’t mean that all the other books are done, but that they have been roughed-out in the Mengen language and are ready for the next step in the translation process. Praise the Lord for His goodness.
The next couple of weeks are going to be busy ones for me. I will be having another translation check and will see the books of Galatians, Philippians, Colossians and 2 Corinthians totally completed. I will then be able to go ahead and have them printed and given to our Mengen friends, so this is a big milestone. Another 4 books I can cross off my list—finally!
However, another situation will be taking place just before my translation check. This weekend some of my dear friends are returning to PNG to pack up their belongings and to return to their home country. The circumstances are very difficult, so I know it will be an emotional and heart-wrenching time in many ways. I would appreciate your prayers for them and also for me.
I will be going into their tribe with them next week to help them pack. It will require a 6-hour boat journey over potentially rough seas and then an hour-long hike up the mountain to get to their house. I’m certainly not in good shape for all this physical activity. Also, I am concerned about my lower back which tends to have issues, so pray that we would have smooth sailing (literally ) and that the Lord would give grace in this situation. I know that I will be totally drained from all the physical and mental strain and then I’ll be starting my translation check just 2-3 days later.
I am greatly comforted by God’s promise found in Isaiah…
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand…”
I appreciate your thoughts and prayers so much.
Standing on His promises,