“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” – 2 Cor 5:17
A Church is Born in Biem!
When we first arrived in Papua New Guinea in 1996, one of my first students at Numonohi Christian Academy was an energetic young man named Brandon Buser. A senior that year, Brandon was in my computer applications class and was also my teacher’s assistant. What a joy it was this past week, therefore, to be able to share in the joy of Brandon’s ministry as he and his wife and children, now missionaries to the Biem people, saw the first fruits of a church planted on a remote island off of the north coast of PNG.
Many of you will also remember Wayne and Gail Chen, for whom we requested prayer last summer. The Chens are the Busers’ partners among the Biem people. Gail had faced a life-threatening bout of cancer back in 2010, and they were concerned that it had returned this past August. Thankfully, after flying out of country for further medical tests, they found that the cancer had not returned, and so they were able to rejoin the team in Biem to help in the Gospel teaching and see the start of this new church. The Biem people gave testimony of their new-found faithin Christ. Read the testimonies as recorded by Brandon and his fellow missionaries:
Obviously the reactions were as varied as the individuals that were in attendance, but the neat thing was to see the joy that many of these men & women wore on their faces. For the ones that have been faithfully coming and listening to this talk…wow, it was the culmination of hope for them! They finally know with clarity, the road that God made for them…Jesus Christ the Road Man…didn’t just show or make a road…He IS the Road! Here are some of the things that a few of the folks said:
“Brandon, it’s so clear now. I used to go to church, give money, and do good. All those things I thought would make me clean in God’s eyes. But when I slept at night, truly I had no idea where I would go when I die. But now I know! Brandon, I’m not scared of dying anymore. Now we know why Gail (our coworker who was diagnosed with severe cancer) wasn’t afraid of it either.”
A literacy class among some of the Biem men
Another fella just kept saying “Really?! Really!?” Everyone beside the guy kept looking at him like he was nuts, but he was just beside himself with amazement at what Jesus had completed on his behalf.
One friend said, “I’ve been listening to the whole teaching and I understand this. I believe this. I know Jesus ONLY has straightened my sin pay. Now I understand this and the first thing I’m going to do is tell my family. They need to hear this.”
Another said, “We’ve talked about it already. We’re going to be going to the next islands to share this talk (15 miles – open ocean). We’ll row in our canoes if we have to. They need to hear. They don’t understand this talk at all. None of us did. We’ve been lied to this whole time. Man, those folks who lied to us are going to carry BIG PAY for their behavior. But us, we need to get this talk to others now.”
The Biem in traditional dress
We would appreciate your prayers for our annual Spiritual Emphasis Weekend (SEW) for our NCA students. We are once again blessed by a team from Hume Lake Christian Camps (Hume, CA) coming at their own expense to run the program for our kids! God often uses this time in the lives of our MK’s to challenge them in their walks with Him. We pray that this year would be a time of challenge for our students and that God would do great things among them. We have been encouraged by the spiritual growth shown so far this year by our upperclassmen through their service to the PNG community and to the younger students as well. Historically, the SEW retreat has been a great time for all of our students to “catch a vision” for what God can do in them and through them! We pray that this SEW will also be a time of growth in their lives. Thank you so much for your prayers for the students of Numonohi Christian Academy!
COLLEGE DAYS at LeTu
It was a bittersweet moment as we watched Ben take his first steps into college life at LeTourneau University in Longview, TX. We are grateful for the godly vision that so many of the faculty have for the students and program there. Ben has also made some great Christian friends who have a heart for the Lord and a desire to serve Him! Although we miss him terribly (and we think he misses PNG quite a bit as well) we are so excited for what God has for Him and for the situation that the Lord has put him in. We are grateful for the Lord’s provision for Him in so many ways. Thank you for your prayers for him!
Prayer and Praise Corner:
- Praise for new believers among the Biem people. Please pray for this new church and the believers who will face cultural pressures from those who have opposed the Gospel.
- Pray for our annual Spiritual Emphasis Weekend in the next few days. Pray that the Lord would use the time in the hearts of our students to draw them into a deeper walk with Him.
- Pray for more laborers for PNG. Pray for a math teacher for our school for 2013-14. Pray for many on the field who are struggling financially.
- Pray for Ben as he continues his first year of college at LeTourneau University. We are grateful for the godly faculty he has met and great Christian friends that he has made.
Rejoice with us for these new believers in Biem! You are playing a part in the work that God is doing here through your partnership with us!
Gratefully in Christ!
Neil and Becky Burleson & family