While away the past 10 days on a literacy trip word came from Jason & Toni Stuart – the missionary family extra special to me for whom I
requested prayers in my last update. It is decidedly heartbreaking news. Toni has been diagnosed with the nasty brain tumor known as
glioblastoma. Chemo and radiation will MAYBE prolong her life for a few additional months. Please do pray much for this young family. They need a miracle of healing – in God’s own prefect time and way. Pray for some quality family times for them. Please pray especially for 9 year old Jedidiah and 7 year old Ella Jo as they try to come to terms with all that is ahead.


Toni went to be with Jesus. All we can do is take things from the Lord’s hand as He gives them to us and trust Him thru it.

Thanks to all of you who have been praying for healing. God has answered that prayer and given Toni a perfect eternal healing.

I Corinthians 15:53-55, “For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies. Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?'”


Jason & Toni have had vital parts in the ongoing work among our various tribal works and specifically with the May River Iwam since we moved out of the tribe back in 2000. Jason was one of the translation consultants who helped us check a good portion of the Iwam New Testament. Since the Iwam church has been on it’s own, he has gone into Iwam land numerous times to encourage the believers and to do teaching to build up the church leaders. Toni has been a special blessing to us all especially since they finished their own tribal work (in the Inaru tribe) and moved out to town a few years ago. She has a sincere heart for others. She often feeds our national workers plus hosts any language and translation helpers who come to town to help with various missionaries in their language project needs. She worked as a missionary in the Philippines before marrying Jason and they have had a tremendous impact on Pilipino people living here in our town. A family more vital to the ongoing needs of our tribal churches it would be hard to find.

As things stand now, I will be heading down to Australia around March 9th to spend some time with the Stuarts. As the adopted “Gwama” of the children (so chosen as being nearly the same age as Jason’s mother who has been with the Lord these past 9 years) I am privileged to
have been elected by all our missionaries to represent them as I go. This might be only a short visit, or prolonged, whatever is needed.

Lest you question my spending your hard earned support dollars for this trip to Australia, the missionaries in our region have pooled funds and purchased my plane tickets. We Sepik area missionaries feel very keenly the needs of the Stuarts just now and this is how God is leading us as their “family” to be a part of helping our dear brother & sister in Christ.

Please pray for the wisdom for me to know what to say, how to help, how to be a blessing to them during this trying time. Pray especially that I will know the mind of the Lord in discerning how long to stay. There may be opportunities to have some time with Toni’s mother (the kids REAL “Gwama”) too. I’ll certainly be standing in need of your prayers.

Regarding the recent literacy round: Here’s Picture proof – The Pei and Amdu literacy programs have materials in the works! April Fish and Sharon Mihill were a tremendous blessing as we tackled the task of setting up Primers to teach people in these two locales to read and write in their own mother tongues.

Our first stop was the Pei language group, a river location bringing back memories of my years with the Iwam. Each afternoon we took a break from primer construction to visit in the village. Even though very isolated, if you stood at one very tiny specific location in the village — you could get telephone service! Well, sort of. I tried to send a text (to Toni) but the connection didn’t hold long enough for my message to actually go through. Still, the Pei people have the claim to fame that they DO indeed have phone contact with the outside world and they have received phone calls from friends elsewhere! Yep! At Pei even the babes in arms have entered the high tech era with cast off cell phones as their toys! Very ingenious methods of recharging device batteries has emerged. Such progress I’d not expected to see in my lifetime!

After Pei we flew into the mountain location called Amdu. The cooler climate & lots of rain kept us “work bound” though there were a couple of short occasions to visit in the village. Please do pray for these two groups of people and the missionaries who work among them as they labor to finish creating materials that will eventually allow the people in these two language groups to read God’s Word for themselves.

Thank you again for allowing me to be your representative to God’s people here in Papua New Guinea. Your prayers and evidences of support are such an encouragement and blessing. May God give you glimpses of how vital you are to the team!

Co-laboring together with you for the King!

Hope Sharp