Our Provisionary God
Since our last writing to you, we have seen our provisionary God supply all that we need – and so much more. Thank you for praying for the many requests mentioned earlier; in this epistle we will tell of God’s answering of those prayers.
I am scheduled to depart US soil this Friday for the long trip back to PNG. I will stay 3 weeks in that country, and then return to the US in time to rejoin my family for our oldest son’s (Jordan) birthday. While in PNG, I am looking forward to spending time with the Bena believers in fellowship, in discipleship, and in formal times of teaching from God’s Word. Part of our time around God’s Word will be spent comprehension checking my Romans translation, as well as reading and studying Romans together.
God also paved the way for Romans 4-8 to be consultant checked. The missionary translation consultant that I need to work with lives in another region of PNG, so if he was even available, I was expecting that I would have to travel with a couple of the Bena believers to that region so we could get these 5 chapters checked. When I contacted the consultant, he informed me he is booked up with translation checking all the way through the remainder of this year. However, during the 3-week window that I will be in PNG, he will be in my region of the country teaching a translation seminar to other missionaries, and at the conclusion he has 2 available days as he waits for flights to get him back into his tribal location in that other region. So we are scheduled to get my portions of Romans checked on Oct 15-16, before he returns to his village home.
In our previous correspondence, we mentioned that we were asking God for the estimated $3000 needed for my airline tickets. As His Church (you, the Body of Christ) responded quickly to help meet that need, others of His children continued to give, which went $500 beyond the needed amount. Initially, I thought I finally found God making a “mistake” by providing more than what we need (He sometimes does that, but it is never a mistake), but when I went to purchase the tickets online, the prices had gone up from early Sept to late Sept. And you guessed it, the new ticket price was $3500. So God took care of our needs before we even knew we had them.
Another wonderful provision came in the form of a mother-in-law. I know some of you may be thinking, “that is not possible for a mother-in-law to be a great provision”, but mine really is a tremendous blessing. As my scheduled trip drew closer, Dawn & I were seeing that it was going to be very difficult for her to take care of everything here on the home front by herself – home schooling, chauffeuring kids to cross country meets and practices, caring for my mother both night & day, caring for an 8 month old baby, etc – and remain sane in the process. We were starting to run out of time, and we didn’t know what to do to help alleviate her many responsibilities. Many people at our church here in KC offered to help, and they were just waiting to hear from us, but we couldn’t see asking any of them to abandon their lives & responsibilities for 3 weeks to fill the night & day gaps that we were realizing was needed. And then God’s provision came in the form of Dawn’s mom volunteering to leave Michigan for 3 weeks to live with Dawn and the kids, and to assist her daughter in any way that she needs. Dawn’s dad has a couple of schedule conflicts, so he won’t be able to be here the entire time, but he is also planning to come for at least a week. And we are still receiving many offers from the church here to call if we have need of anything. We are so thankful for God’s provision that goes beyond what we can imagine and plan for.
We have had our share of doctor visits this year. It started with Josiah’s birth in Feb, plus the many check-ups and immunizations that are needed for that new life. That was followed by chiropractors, surgeons, pediatric ophthalmologists, x-rays, MRIs, and several osteopathic doctors. One of those ailments that required a variety of medical appointments was my knee surgery. It went well, and the doctor said that I should have many more years of running on that knee. I did the recommended rehab, and am now slowly getting back into a running routine. The body is not as young as it once was, but it still feels good to be out putting a few miles on the road.
Thanks for praying for us, and standing with us as we watch God build His church among the Bena people.
Please be praying with us for the following requests:
- For the believers to be available these 3 weeks for discipleship and teaching and that they will have open hearts and a hunger to hear God’s Word as well as a desire to grow in the Lord.
- For wisdom for NTM leadership and myself that we would be able to figure out some good ways to help the believers continue to meet to feed themselves from God’s Word as well as keep in better contact with us during this time apart from them.
- Safety in travels
- That Dawn & the kids & her parents will be able to maintain the responsibilities here in my absence.
Rich & Dawn