If I had to pick words to describe the past weeks, I’d have to say it’s been a crazy wacky world. Totally a mixed bag of nuts. It’s a good thing God plans my days as I’d certainly never CHOOSE some of what He allots – though it’s obviously all for my good and HIS glory!!!
Reading in English at the nearby school is always one of the highlights of ministry these days. We have finished the kids’ evangelistic book “The Lamb” leaving us scavenging for where to go next. For my two 3rd grade classes we’re into a mini version of the chronological teaching lessons covering the foundational truths of God’s Word. Finding materials though for 15 minutes of reading, in simple English, with a picture on every page, and stressing the important truths of that particular Bible story (rather than just fluff ‘n stuff) has proven a tough nut to crack. Of course there IS a lot of good material available for free downloading from the internet …. but ….
Ah, the internet! Therein lays the crunch! Though I had time to devote to finding, creating and stockpiling such booklets – the internet refused to cooperate. Any money I had put to my account was gobbled up before I could even subscribe to a data plan. It became a fierce battle of wits that
left me feeling like I’d been battered through the mill. I finally admitted I was licked. With so few missionaries here these days, and everyone flat out, I hated to bother anyone – but I was desperate. It was, of course, the busiest missionary on the base who was tech savvy enough to delve into the core of the crisis. With a couple of “It might be this … or that … Try this, and that …” …. Woohoo! I was up and running again! There was a bit of a time crunch getting “Adam & Eve” downloaded, edited, formatted, and off the press in time to read it to the class but hey! God isn’t intimidated by such minor details and deadlines! (So why am I ???)
Do please be praying that the kids will be mulling over the tidbits they get each week in the Bible stories. It is certainly needful in this community – proof being that, when we went to read last Thursday, we found the school rooms empty, closed and locked. Someone had broken in and stolen the office computer so they closed the school. In all likelihood it was one of the older students. Pray for our 3rd & 4th graders, that the bits of spiritual meat we can shell out to them each week will indeed draw them to the Savior. May they be ones to make major changes in the community now and as they grow to adulthood, shunning the enticements of “steam” (moonshine) and marijuana so prevalent today.
Obstacles to visiting at the hospital have also been nigh on impossible crack. I can easily put 20-30,000 miles on a car in a year at home, but by choice I do not have a PNG drivers’ license lest I be the one to lose an entire vehicle in a local pot hole. Finding a ride has been another crazy challenge. I finally got in last Saturday to visit Ana and Naruo from the Sorimi tribe. Ana was treated for TB before but was either sent home with insufficient medication to thoroughly eradicate the disease from her body, or perhaps she just didn’t finish the course of meds supplied to her. She’s back again now – and on shots instead of oral meds. Please do be praying that this will work!
Another kernel of craziness, notably insignificant but included in case any kiddos ask you what missionaries do: while craving some purrrrfect kitten comfort, God substituted 3 weeks of critter sitting the squirrely things pictured to the right. Not that I’ll risk letting them out of their cage! MK Lilly will be broken hearted if her sugar gliders escape while she’s away!
Nor will I flitter away precious moments catching grasshoppers or other suitable live protein for them. Nope. “Hugbert & Josephine” (no, I don’t know which is which) will have to make do with more civilized fare.
Significant matters – Rosie’s eye is “better” though still itchy & weeping when she reads. The eye clinic at the hospital remains closed. Her sight is totally in God’s hands. Please do continue praying for full healing for her. She’s currently on my “responsibility list” to supervise her work hours too as the missionary overseeing our lady employees is on vacation. Coming up with work for Rosie every day can be a challenge. There will be days with 3 guesthouse flats to clean, and then other days like today with – nothing. Rosie suggested to me that she clean the flower beds around the grounds. Bless her! Maybe she’ll even have time for my patch of weeds!
Finance Office matters loom. I’ll be “doing everything” WITH Beth in September, working by myself in October while she’s still available for questions, then totally on my own when they leave early in November. God’s promised to faithfully provide ALL we need WHEN we need it! I’m sure counting on that! He’s got the know-how to do this ministry – He’ll surely be alongside to help me figure things out along the way.
The Tribal Resource Center (TRC) hasn’t been wholly abandoned. There have been few projects of late – though several potentials in different stages of their missionaries working thru the final drafts and formatting before submitting them for printing. Our most knowledgeable missionary on printing will be coming for a visit in October to get a feel for what the ministry involves here in Wewak. I’ll appreciate your prayers that they will allow our office to keep running and not just consolidate things elsewhere on the field!
One ongoing Literacy / TRC project is to work via long distance with a retired missionary back in Florida who is endeavoring to revamp the literacy materials for the Siawi tribe. This group has had their New Testament for several years already but were recently super excited to get an updated waterproof edition of their Bible with the New Testament plus Old Testament portions. Be praying for them, and all the other tribes who now have New Testaments in their own mother tongues. Some are very faithful to use them. Others – like the May River Iwam – aren’t. The Iwam prefer the trade language Bible which is very much a “surface” language so doesn’t communicate in-depth as their own Iwam New Testament would. Many years of tears went into providing the Iwam with their New Testament. You were instrumental in making that a reality. We did our part in making sure it is in their hands. It’s now up to them to heed the Holy Spirit’s prompting and USE it. Let’s pray to that end!
Well, that’s the past few wacky weeks in a nutshell. I’m pushing my self-imposed 2 page length limit so will just again say a big THANK YOU for your ongoing input into God’s work and ministries here. You are vital to all He still desires us to do! Please keep those prayers coming our way!
Co-laboring together with you for the King!