Thanking God for you and your prayers! As you prayed…


Thank you for your prayers for our literacy teachers training course. Lisa and I taught 7 pastors and helpers from another mission and it seemed to go very well. Please be praying that these folks will indeed begin literacy courses in the villages where they live and work. We may never have contact with them again, but as you pray, they can endeavor to bring students to fluency in reading so that even yet more people around Papua New Guinea will be able to read God’s Word for themselves.

 Hospital Visitation

Biname (right) came to the hospital for major surgery. They waited for weeks and during that time I never saw her with anything but a smile – except when I took this pic! She did not know ANY of the trade language and was totally dependent on the guardian who came with her for communication needs, yet she never even hinted of a complaint. The surgery went well but then complications developed. The doctors and staff were still positive that she would recover but last week Biname was promoted to her heavenly home. With so few pilots to help with flights, it’s
become very complicated to get her body flown home.

Anna (left) came to the hospital several months ago with 2 broken legs after their house fell on her during a wind storm. One of their children was killed. She has finally recovered to the point that she can go back to her village so is also needing a road home. Again – there are no flights available due to there being so few missionary pilots.

Major Prayer Need!

The pilots we do have are few, far between, and overworked as it is. New “recruit” —  Jon Leedahl (right) – well, for Jon anyway, God has other plans. A truck hit Jon as he motorcycled home from work late one
afternoon. It was the following day before he could be med-evaced to Australia – a night where his condition was considered grave. If you are able to follow their story online check out  http://THELEEDAHLS.COM/ God has spared Jon’s life, and is now encouraging them thru these difficult days, for His own honor and glory. Do please pray for the Leedahl family as they recuperate from the amputation of Jon’s leg and look to the Lord for His direction for their future.

May River Iwam update

Several Iwam have dropped by lately including my “kids” — longtime friends, boat drivers, all round MacGyver-ish handymen, plus top language and translation helpers Mark and Daniel. Mark loves to talk and made this a much different social call than the norm of me merely asking for updates on my Iwam friends. Much of our conversation this time centered, directly or indirectly, around things of the Lord! Mark is a very gifted speaker but hampered in his qualifications to preach publically by his numerous wives–and the fact that he does not attend church. He does see problems in the local religious community though and, because of his own “history,” could be used of the Lord in one-on-one opportunites to come alongside others who have drifted away. perhaps that would spur him on, too, in his own walk with the Lord… (Mark and his brother Moses are pictured left)

Iwam literacy

Pita (another former Iwam translation helper) had planned to start a ladies’ literacy class this month — but told me on the radio just a few days ago that he’s postponed the class until February. That will be right smack in the middle of high water season when everyone takes advantage of their world being turned into an expansive lake-like locale. Flood waters allow them to head deep into the bush to work in areas most easily accessible when all surrounding ground is under water. When I mentioned that to Pita he just gave the typical Iwam “yaimë këuk” – kind of a shrug of the shoulders “wait and see” type response. Please continue praying for the mother tongue literacy needs among the May River people. The local ladies at least are certainly currently keen to be taught!

Interest is very high right now for literacy, and not just in the village were we formerly lived and worked those many years. For the first time ever the local government school at May River is graduating an 8th grade class! About 20 kids, most of whom we former missionaries knew as infants, will be receiving diplomas. The teachers will be incorporating some foreign pomp and circumstance for the ceremony at least to the point of providing gowns for the graduates and Government officials in the audience! This has helped to feed the hunger of Iwam women to also be able to read.

One fellow in a village downriver, a longstanding stronghold of a liberal “salvation by works” preaching line, recently asked Mark for help so that he could read the May River Iwam New Testament! Mark gave the man a few pointers – but how much better if someone – Pita, or Daniel, or Mark or ??? – would actually go and help the residents of those downriver villages. They are already fluent readers of the national language of the country so transitioning to be able to read their mother tongue too will be no great chore! Let’s be praying to that end!

House & Home

My clattering and clunking aged fridge has been threatening imminent demise, it’s dubious longevity certainly in the Lord’s hands! One day another missionary offered me a small chest freezer they no longer need. Did I want it? Wow! We got it moved over that same day. Later that night while doing dishes after evening company left, the fridge clicked and clunked repeatedly, the motor refusing to kick in or kick off. 10 p.m. No way I wanted to deal with it — but to leave it til morning wasn’t an option. I pulled it out to unplug it – and realized the problem was MAYBE not the fridge at all but the surge protector that was supposedly keeping the frequent electrical power spikes from damaging the appliance! I took off the surge protector — and the fridge kicked on! Fear not, though, little freezer! Christmas baking can now commence as I have a place to stash it! What a blessing as I begin hoarding goodies for the hospital wards, Bible study ladies, and others who always appreciate a treat! I can also again freeze bottles of water to take to patients at the hospital so they can have a cold drink – at least on the days I visit! BIG thank you to the Lord for His provision! And grateful thanks to the missionaries too who donated the freezer, thus meeting a need that no one but our God even knew I had! 

Other notable opportunities involve brushing the mold off the memory chips for Fun Friday American History time with the ½ American ½ Australian “grand” kids! Jedidiah is also doing a school power point project on WW2 events that happened in the Wewak – Aitape region of PNG. That’s right up my interest alley since my father was an army x-ray tech on a ship somewhere in PNG waters during the latter part of the war years. From the scene he described to me he could possibly have been right here off the coast where I now reside! It’s awesome to think of how God has acted over the decades to allow me to be involved in some of the various aspects of His work in progress around PNG. I appreciate so much each of you who make that possible!

2 Cor 9:12 (CEV) “What you are doing is much more than a service that supplies God’s people with what they need. It is something that will make many others thank God.”

So – My gratitude goes out to YOU for your part in making it possible for many many others to offer thanks to Him too!

Co-laboring together with you for the King!
Hope Sharp