Dear Praying Friends and Supporters,
Thank you so much for your faithful prayers and financial support. We continue to see people yield their lives to Christ almost weekly for salvation.
We were challenged recently, by Steven Mayo our new Asia Pacific Administrator with ABWE, to seek those daily who need to know about Christ and where they will spend eternity. It is easy to find one, two or more people daily who we can ask, “The Bible speaks of eternity. Where will you spend eternity?” Two easy lines, but they have an inner searching impact on people. Most have a look of anticipation on their face. We can then share with them that Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father but by me. Believe what God’s Word says and obey it!” Why not try it yourself – if you are not witnessing for Christ already? The Holy Spirit of God will do His work in the process of saving people from an eternity in Hell.
Thank you for writing to us and sending cards for our birthdays and our anniversary. We enjoy knowing that people remember us during these special times in our lives. We have been married 38 years now. We have spent nearly 23 of those years together in our journey of faith, to reach the people of Papua New Guinea (PNG) with the Gospel of Christ. As Steve turned 60 last month, he said, “I feel like I am 60!”
Possibly, those feelings were from working 10 hours daily, for three weeks, building a new septic tank out of poured cement. Thankfully there was a backhoe to do the initial work of digging the hole and the lateral drain field. A miss calculation on the depth, length, and width made the whole process rather labor-some digging the rest by hand. It brought to mind the verse about Christ’s sacrifice of His life on the cross, that through our personal faith, raised us up out of the miry clay and placed our feet upon a solid rock [this rock is Jesus – yes He’s the one – the only One]. Be very sure. Be very sure – that you are on the solid rock – Jesus.
Sandy was really busy washing out muddy clothes almost daily. Her task has been difficult too. Our power here is averaging being off 4 ½ hour per day. Monday it was off for 24 hours. The news reported that the PNG parliament government here has decided that many of the PNG Power executives have spent funds travelling to foreign countries, rather than spending those funds to upgrade the power system here. We are glad that they are finally talking about this escalating problem, at parliament level. We are also glad that Steve and Teri Conover are here to oversee maintenance for our mission. This really relieves Steve of the ongoing need for continual maintenance of our mission property. This maintenance position has gone vacant for over 3 ½ years now and our property shows the effects of this.
Praise the Lord that Steve and Gretchen Root are nearly at 100% support to come and fill the full-time maintenance position. They hope to arrive in February or March of 2014. Gretchen will also be a real asset to lighten the workload that is overwhelming. We are down to just three families here in Goroka. We also have only one family in Simbai. They have plans to retire in just a few years.
Please pray for Bill and Debbie Tobias our coworkers in the Simbai area. Bill has some sort of illness going on that is causing them to travel this morning to Australia for a CT scan on Thursday and a doctor visit following on Friday. Please pray that the doctor can determine what type of treatment is needed. We know that they will appreciate your prayers for them.
We are more actively trying to sell the airplane here in PNG. We have several who have shown interest in purchasing the airplane. Please pray that one of these will work out. One of the interested people is a Christian. He is developing a proposal to use the airplane in a sustainable development plan. Please pray that the airplane will sell soon.
We have become rather proficient in the work of loading and unloading and packing cargo. This year began with us helping our son-in-law pack up their 20 foot sea container and ship it back to the USA. Their container has been held up in US Customs and has been inspected 4 times to the tune of nearly $6,000. We just heard this morning that they have another $400 to pay to have the container released. Praise the Lord.
Then it was Rhonda Wilkinson’s turn. That process is nearing completion. Please pray for her. She initially had planned to leave PNG, get a counseling degree to teach Christian counseling here and also to learn to teach English as a second language. She is nearing the end of this lengthy process and is seeking God’s direction for her future ministry.
Now our dear friends, Rob and Amy Wagner are here. They have labored for Christ in Simbai and have completed the task that they came to fulfill. God has redirected them back to the USA for deployment in State College, PA. They will be repacking a 20 foot container. That container has not arrived here in Goroka yet. They are scheduled to depart PNG in less than two weeks. Please pray for all of these details to be worked out.
Phil and Jan Smith will be arriving tomorrow for a brief two week trip to survey the work here in PNG. They are new pre-field missionaries with ABWE. I know that they will appreciate your prayers for them.
Sandy is working diligently to prepare housing and meals for new personnel arriving to PNG. She has also been teaching a True Love Waits class. She is thankful that she has been able to pour her heart into these young girl’s lives. Some of them are texting with her. They are opening up to talk about their problems. We are in the process of digitizing class notes, into the Pidgin language here, so that others can perpetuate this important information that is giving them biblical direction in their lives, to be different for Christ.
We both are teaching two separate classes at the Goroka International School (GIS). One class is for evangelism and one class is for discipleship. The discipleship class is presently memorizing verses and practicing, in class, witness to each other using the Wordless Book. The students are having fun and understand the importance of sharing their faith with others. Three in the class made perfect scores on their scripture memory test. Praise the Lord.
We are still providing transportation for three of our Bible college student’s children who are hearing impaired. They are learning sign language during their process of learning to speak. Their original teacher is out on maternity leave. The present teacher became deaf, but she can talk and has a burden to teach other hearing impaired people.
Please also pray for Ezekiel and Meagan Magill. They are another couple who are raising support to come to PNG. Meagan is expecting their second child soon. They have plans to arrive here in PNG sometime next year. Please pray for them during this time of growing their family and raising the support that is needed to labor for Christ here in PNG.
Tim Hawes is a single guy who is praying for God’s choice in a wife. He is raising support to come to PNG. He plans to have his support completely raised in 2014.
We are having daily contacts with young men and women, mentoring them in things of the Lord. They are also learning what we do daily and are able to work along-side us in various tasks.
Please pray for more laborers,
Steve and Sandy