Some of us aren’t at all sorry to see August end. It was a month of, uh – challenges — at least in my “other office.”

  • Rust on the blade of the guillotine paper cutter.
  • Jammed electronic saddle stapler.
  • More rust blocking / jamming the hole punch for the spiral book bindings.
  • A faulty toner cartridge leaving smudges along the margins of nearly every page printed.
  • Then there’s the order error from Oz = $500 laminate + another $1000 shipping + who  knows how much in customs charges — for the WRONG rolls of laminate. I ordered 1”  core rolls. The supply buyer sent rolls on a 2 ¼” core. It would cost about another $1000 to send them back.

But all that, compared to reports from the “real world” last month, seems pretty mundane:

  • Christians & the children of Christians being beheaded for their faith
  • Undocumented immigrants jamming the US southern border
  • Friends, family, supporters battling financial crisis, health calamities, family predicaments... Stress upon stress…

Yep. Life here seems pretty simple after all. And God always has answers to our every need.

For all the above mentioned office issues there are other support missionaries available to help. Between our own onsite maintenance crew (Jacob on the jams) and the local Friends in Action (Mike on the laminator & guillotine),  probably ALL the printing pressures can be resolved!

Except the faulty toner cartridge. God seems to think I need more practice in patience. After hours cleaning every  seeable surface of the innards of the printer, I “just happened” (certainly at God’s prompting!) to check inside the toner  cartridge itself. Yep. Obvious. Massive residue buildup on one portion of an otherwise untarnished part. Now that I  know it’s the cartridge at fault, I know where to clean! And by cleaning after every 20 or so sheets of paper pass thru  the printer, most pages print pristine! That also serves to make me forever grateful that the advertised 20,000 pages  per cartridge is grossly overestimated with around 9000 being more the norm. ….. I think I have about another 5000  pages to go …. (Hmmm. 5000 divided by 20 …. I guess I don’t really want to know….)

Tedious but still a mundane, easy life. Nothing like volcanos erupting, crisis brewing, and  people dying. Two of the patients I was able to share Jesus with at the hospital last month died within a week of my talking to them. Where are they now? I can only be thankful that because of your prayers and support they were able to hear of Jesus dying in their place. Perhaps you’ll  meet them in heaven one day!

As for the Iwam – “TW” dropped by for a visit yesterday. During my early years among the Iwam he was more of a missionary than I was. He assisted the men on our team with church work, often he himself doing the teaching. He helped us all with language learning, and was key in putting together the original literacy program. Then, mid 1980’s,  TW took a 2nd wife, got involved in politics, and spiraled downhill from there. When we  missionaries departed May River in 2000 to allow the local church leaders to carry on the work of  the church themselves, TW was one of the two leaders of the ensuing fiasco. We’ve crossed paths a couple of times since, always on a most friendly basis. Yesterday was the first time I’ve  been able to talk with him one-on-one though about his standing with the Lord. Won’t you please be praying that he will give serious consideration to his relationship with Christ?

What’s ahead:

  •  Missionary Jason Stuart heads into Iwam land this Friday (Sept 5) for some time with the  church leaders. He’ll be going over the Phase 1 chronological teaching lessons with them  again, and why it is important to lay a firm foundation from the Word to help people truly  understand Jesus our Savior’s death on our behalf.
  •  Please do be praying that God will also allow Jason some one-on-one time with Iwam  Christians who have strayed from the Lord.

The rest of life is same old, same old – hospital visitation currently with 4 different folks to see. Wednesday Ladies  Bible study with lesson prep on some preliminary studies before we get into a book on Titus 2:3-5. Things are also in the  works for a literacy workshop with pastors of the SSEC (South Seas Evangelical Church) who want to be trained in how to teach literacy. They will be using the “Kisim Save” Pidgin course, a curriculum I’ve never taught, so it’s good that I  have lots of prep time on this! (The course seems to have no compunction about using words in the stories with letters  that have not yet taught :-?) Hopefully the actual 5 day training sessions will be held sometime in November. Printing projects vary from nothing to 2 day projects that, because of the above mentioned challenges, take more than a week to complete. Still, I’ve had time for some Iwam work, getting more  lessons into shape for eventual printing. Also some homeschool projects with a couple of the  MKs — AND some lessons with the guard dogs to try to break them of their cat killing instinct.

There’s no word yet on when our ship – with all the items so many of you have donated for the people here – might get  in. Due to a delay in loading the container everything is still safe in the shipper’s hands in PA. There has also been no  word yet as to whether my stuff will actually fit on this next container or if it will need to wait for a subsequent  shipment. This is not unusual. Just another lesson in waiting on the Lord. Remember – it is YOU, your thoughts, prayers, and support on my behalf that make all this possible! My sincere and  grateful thanks to YOU for the privilege of being your representative to the people of Papua New Guinea.

Co-laboring together for the King!

Hope Sharp