Thanks so very much for your faithful prayers and support. I can’t believe that Christmas is just around the corner and the New Year right behind it. These past few months have been busy and stressful and I thank the Lord for providing good health and strength to meet each challenge. There are exciting things happening with the Mengen church these days and we are thrilled to see the Lord at work in the hearts of the believers here in our village. Here are just a couple of examples.
Marriage and Family Seminar: This week, several of the Mengen Bible teachers will be teaching a course on marriage and family living. We are thrilled to see these guys move ahead and to take the initiative to teach this seminar to the rest of the church. Please be in prayer for Edward as he does most of the teaching, as well as Bruce, Alex and Kamilus who will assist him. Please pray for open hearts and that the Mengen people would begin to put Christ first in every area of their lives.
Outreach to another village: For a long time, perhaps for years, we have been praying about where the Lord would like us to go in a future outreach. All the villages in our immediate area seem completely closed to the Gospel, so we have been praying that the Lord would open a door and show us where He wants us to go in the days ahead. Well, it seems like the Lord is answering prayers, although there are still many, many details that need to be worked out.
Recently my co-worker Lourens, as well as several Mengen Bible teachers, took a trip to the south coast of our island. It isn’t the first time they’ve gone there, and each time they have been warmly welcomed. To make a long story short, it seems like the door in that area is WIDE OPEN. We have been officially asked by a number of large villages, to come and share God’s Word with them. Seems like even local government members and the leaders of various religious groups in the area are open to having us come. And not just open to it…they are downright anxious to hear God’s Word in their own language!!! The one thing holding us back is distance. These villages are at least 3 days hike away from where we are now, so any outreach would require people to move down there and stay in this new location for an extended period of time. Because our young Bible teachers here are not quite ready to venture out completely on their own yet, we are asking the Lord for guidance, as to how we as a team can help see this church planting effort take place.
Romans “final check” coming up: I have been putting in long days, working on the translation of 1 Corinthians. Thankfully I feel like progress is being made, which is a good thing, since we will be starting to teach on 1 Corinthians right after Christmas break!! At the moment, however, I am making last minute corrections on the book of Romans in preparation for the “final check” which will happen the end of December. My work has gone to the mission translation consultant, who recently returned it to me with a list of questions and things to look over before we meet. It has been stressful, but exciting, as we are only 1 step away from being able to print Romans and get it into the hands of the Mengen people!!! Such a joy for me to be a part of this vital task!!
Please be in Prayer for us:
- Pray for the Mengen Bible teachers as they teach the marriage and family seminar this week, that people would be open and responsive and that the Lord would use this in the lives of the Mengen believers. There are A LOT of problems which continually arise because of family relationships.
- Pray for wisdom and clear direction regarding the outreach to these distant Mengen villages. Pray that the Lord would show us the way quickly while the people are still hungry to hear His word!! We are ANXIOUS that every Mengen person would have a chance to hear the Gospel message and be saved from their sin. We are continually reminded of the frailty of life as we recently heard of a young father of 5, who died because of alcohol poisoning. Sadly, he slipped into a Christless eternity, as far as we know.
- Please pray for me, for health and strength as I push through to the end of Romans. At the moment, I am exhausted and weary to the bone. I haven’t had a real break in 6 months, which is a long time when you live in these conditions!! I am looking forward to spending Christmas with friends at Hoskins, and then doing the Romans check right before New Years.
- Pray too as I contemplate my next furlough at home in Canada. I’m not sure of any details yet, although I’d love to come home during the summer sometime. The last time I was home, it was 7 months of cold and snow, so hopefully I’ll get a little time at the lake before it freezes over!!
I appreciate you all so very much!! May you have a blessed Christmas, full of memories and special time with your family as you remember the birth of the Saviour.