Well it's back in the saddle again. Wow it has been a long time since we have written an update! Our time in the USA has blown by quickly with the Lord being faithful in meeting our needs. The Lord has provided for all our needs and we were able to pay off our medical bills and he provided a car for us too! We want to thank you all for continuing to support us while we were in the USA.God has shown himself faithful ,even down to the very detail. Our tractor broke down in the middle of haying season and we had the hardest time identifying the problem. We even took the starter in to the mechanic to look at. He said it wasn't the starter. Soooooooooooo, now what do we do ,and how can we even be able to pay for the mechanic to come to the house? Our cousin Sig happens to come over for the day from Seattle and Keith is showing him the farm and stuff and briefly mentions that the tractor is sickkkkkkkk....... Sig diagnosed the problem and had it running in no time. Thank you Jesus! Many times we saw the Lord work in small ways this summer. We were able to identify the right curriculum and have it sent to us before we left for the discipleship and home studies.We appreciate so much the time to spend with our families this summer. We have not been able to touch base with many friends and family because of family, farm and work pressures.... But next furlough we will plan to sit down and enjoy our time with you all.......
The Lord has used you to get us back on track with our evangelism and church planting efforts. Lord willing we will be focusing this year on establishing the Obregons medical ministry as it works side by side with our evangelism efforts. We will be establishing four evangelism teams each focusing on critical areas of need in PNG. General Evangelism, Youth, Womens ministry and Children.
We arrived in Kokopo on Friday Morning Sept 6th after spending a couple days in Singapore walking all over China town and catching up with our friends George and Joyce Butron. The Obregons picked us up at the airport and we spent the weekend shopping for groceries and moving back into the house. It is sure nice to be back in PNG!
While I (Cindy) spent the time attacking the invasion of rat droppings in every crevice, cupboard and box ( My house and gardens were immaculate which it made it easier to deal with the smell and mess.) The droppings were hidden underneath Everything! Keith spent the day taking the truck into the Auto Mechanic for some repair and it wound up taking all day. He came back tired about 6:30 pm,and then at around 7pm he was struck down with the most severe case of malaria he has ever had. To add fuel to the fire the mosquito bite got infected. While he was suffering from malaria, he got a severe case of staph infection that caused cellulites. Tuesday, I went out to buy a couple of more rat traps and medicine and thought he was resting, but I came home to a very sick man. I could not arouse him. His fever was so high I thought I was going to loose him. We did get the fever down and now it is a battle of keeping the cellulitis at bay. Thank the Lord for Obregons. our personal Physician and Nurse. We are suspecting (no diagnostic equipment here) that he may have a a DVT (deep vein thrombosis) so I am giving him heparin injections and observing the redness on how it travels up his leg. So far it has stopped at his femoral (groin area) Which is GOOD! Which means we do not have to go to plan B. He is pretty miserable and I am miserable too! ( I need more patience to handle this patient! I do want him to get better NOW. But we know that this takes awhile! I didn't know how much Keith does for me now that I have to do it all. Yesterday, I found some compression stockings (Ted hose) at the thrift store! If you have been to this country you would know that this is unheard of. I also was able to get heparin from the hospital..... So I do feel the Lord is taking take care of the little things Keith has finished his malaria regimen and has no symptoms of the Malaria! Thank the Lord for that!
Please pray for the pastors here and for their marriages. This week alone I have heard of 3 more beatings of close acquaintances. I also was able to minister to a young girl who is married to a policeman and had been beaten by him. Her face had cut marks by one of her latest beatings. There are many people who think they deserved it in some way....
We will let you know how things are going soon. I can not tell you how much it means to us for you to be praying for us..... and the ministries here. Keep them coming...... Please pray for our kids back home..... We appreciate it...... Kristal is now living close David, Natasha. Melissa is still down in California. Our farm is being looked after by some close friends kids.... So we do thank the Lord for finding the right people that understand about fences, cattle, keeping the pipes from freezing in the house! By for NOW! Have a Great day in JESUS! Love CINDY
We are both now back in the good ole of USA.... I came last Thursday night, joining Keith after a month and a half alone in PNG. It is so good to be home. The last 6 weeks have been very eventful in Papua New Guinea. The Lord is faithful and he has been my Protector and my Shield. I couldn't write this testimony until I could show myself to Keith in person that I was alright and unharmed. If I would have shared the events of the last couple weeks I am sure that Keith would've swam across the ocean or hired the Marines to come and escort me out of the country.
I have experienced God's Word become alive and active in my life again! It all started Thursday May 31st during my devotion time where I was reminded over and over again that the Lord would be my fortress and my strong tower. He would be my deliverer in times of trouble and he would hide me in the shadow of His wings. As I was reading I thought it was really strange that most of my verses pertained to God's protection. I wasn't fearful or apprehensive in the least. I just thought it was peculiar because it was reiterated over and over again. So, after devotion I went out to work on my flower beds. That Thursday morning about 9:00 in the morning 6 men (rascals, some escapees from the prison) showed up under my house. One of them was intoxicated but the ring leader (the one with the gun) definitely had other things in mind. Francesca my neighbor was under my house at the time visiting and saw that they had "other things" besides stealing the car in mind and told me to run upstairs and lock the door. I did not want to leave her and stayed with her. She then started to cry and yell the name of Jesus. She continued to do this for sometime. All I could do was to hold my shovel and keep telling them to step away. Of course, The Holy Spirit had already arranged a Pastor friend walking by to hear Francesca's yell out and come running through the plantation to our house. The men turned around and were completely taken off guard. The Pastor had just felt like he was suppose to walk the loooooong way around to get to his church 6 miles away instead of taking the bus. He and I believe there were a bunch of angels around that scared the men away.
Pastor Gabby explains that when he arrived, that Satan's plans were broken. Not because he was powerful or stronger, but He was operating with the Lord. This was an awesome miracle but the frosting on the cake was the police show up 5 minutes later. They just "happened" to be in the neighborhood looking for some penitentiary escapees who had already held up people, hijacked a car, assaulted and robbed a women, and did some damaged the night before. I have never seen a police car on this road. You have to remember, we are in PNG where the Police force is not the most reliable. They often run out of fuel before the next month of fuel allotment comes and can not respond to the police calls because of lack of funds. I heard later, that the rascals thought I called the Police on my mobile phone. (Like,,,, we have mobile service in the bush, NOT!) We are very fortunate to get service in town with only one tower. The village where we live doesn't even have electricity, yet alone being able to get cell service. So, after this incident, I continued to stay at our house. Now to my dismay I have at least 2 families staying with me that have taken on themselves to be my guardians. They were afraid that the escapees would come back. For the last 2 weeks,,,,,,,,,, I had the privilege to cook for all of them! Before this incident, I had our carpenter or a dear pastor friend stay in the dormitories next door and be my security. Pastor Emmanuel left that morning about 6:30am to work in his copra block and was to return that evening. God really showed me through this incident that I needed to stay in His Word and that he would give me Peace to wait it out until I joined Keith. I have great friends at the SIL guest house that would have put me up if I chose to but I didn't feel I needed them. I did have the privileged to stay for a couple of days in the guest house before I left and catch up on some much needed laundry. ( Automatic machines really make the difference.:))
I believe during the last few months the enemy has really tried hard to get me down with fear and discouragement. It began with Malaria and hosting constant visitors, difficult daily living conditions, and work I had to do in the pastor training and Bible studies in the plantations. He always likes to target us when we are tired and sick. So this time coming home has been sooooooooooooooo good to regenerate my body and soul. I have not made any effort to contact anyone outside of family because of this, but I assure YOU are important to me and later I will love to catch up with you....
We have been progressing with our classroom/mess hall. We were able to get enough wood cut for the walling. Of course, I had to drive and pick up the chainsaw and take it to the different locations. I think my next job in heaven will be car racing. It will be a lot easier! I was busy each week preparing for the women's follow-up Bible studies and hosting them in the Kabanga plantation. Please pray for the people who have turned their lives over to Christ that they would be rooted and grounded in Christ.
The other incident right after Keith had gone back to the US happened to my neighbor about 30 yards away. Two masked men forced their way into her house and drug her and her little girl down the steps where they were going to rape her. She again sang out and in the name of Jesus and they picked up their clothes and ran away.Thank the Lord that they escaped unharmed. This incident made me aware that we need to be smart and safe. I am so thankful that God never sleeps and he is always there!
We are so glad for the solar panels that now runs the freezer about 8 hours a day! That's if the sun is out. We are so thankful for those who donated the money to buy the solar panels. Thank you, Thank YOU, THANK YOU! We researched and tried to find a refrigerator that ran on gas, but all of the distributors have pulled out of PNG. It is so nice that I can buy food that will last more than one day! Plus, I can get a cup of cold water when I want it. The trouble is.................. I can't fit my body in the freezer, for just a little cooling off........... Oh well,,,,,,, It is probably best. My sweat is great bug repellent. I smell so bad nothing will want to land on it! ( maybe I can market this smell...........hmmmmmmmmm.....
Please continue to pray for the work in the Islands.
1. Pray for the Obregons as they continue on with the leadership training , Crusades, building projects and the starting of the medical outreaches.
2. Please pray for us. Pray for wisdom and for decisions on the farm.
3. Pray for our finances that Keith's part time job would last until we get the medical bills paid off from the kidney stone incident.
4. PRAY for our family. ( Kristal is having a family wedding in 2 weeks. It's great that we could be home to attend it.)
I could go on,,,,,,,,,, but most of all pray that we could hear what the Lord is saying to us and how we can love and serve him in every thing we do and say each day!
We so appreciate you and appreciate your prayers and support. Thank you so much for being faithful and letting us be your hands extended. You can reach us at 509 276-9606 this summer. Love to hear from You!
We have been busy as usual so it is now time to catch up.
Keith will be returning to the USA the week of May 10th to straighten out some personal finance shortages. Lord willing Keith will be working for Biblesoft for a couple of months to help us pay off our medical debts and restore our reserves. He will also be making arrangements for some one to manage our farm in Deer Park. Kristal is also needing his help in taking care of finances. I will follow him in mid June and we hope (Lord Willing) to be back in PNG first part of September. Victor and Lori will carry on the work while we are gone. I would like to ask our supporters to continue to support us while we are in the US in order to enable us to use the support money to purchase our final return tickets at the end of 2008. Also we could use it to build a bathroom and shower facility for our Bible School. Then it is Back to the jungle!
Please pray for us as we shift gears and that God would supply all we need to return. I will keep you up to date with what is happening in PNG till I come in June. Pray for me because I will miss him and especially pray for my safety and anointing in PNG.
Easter was an awesome time! We had a combined service of 10+ churches and a tremendous response with hundreds rededicating their lives to Christ. We also attended a Bible Dedication in the Duke of York islands. Some friends of ours who are Wycliffe Bible translators Robyn Davies and Elizabeth Fritzell have spent 15 + years of their lives to translate the New Testament to the local language. It was a time of rejoicing with the thousands of people who celebrated the Bible being translated into their mother tongue. It is hard to describe the air of celebration as the bible was dedicated. I believe even creation was celebrating. As Robyn and Elizabeth were accompanying the Bibles by boat with choirs in other boats escorting them with their voices and harmonies that could qualify them for any heavenly choir, the dolphins too were rejoicing as they accompanied the boat.
Our Continuing educations classes are doing well. We just finished our "Strategic Evangelism - Spiritual Warfare from the Generals Perspective" Class. This class was to help us develop a successful strategy for evangelism using age old time tested principals of warfare. We have been using these principals successfully for the last three crusades we have held this year with the last one on the week end of May 4-6th . We saw at least one hundred come forward to receive Christ and rededicate their lives. The manager of the plantation was wondering why we didn't hold a longer Crusade and gave us a open invitation for us to return. This coming week Lori and I will be starting a women's Bible study and doing some health teaching for the local women in this area.
We want to Praise God that Victor and Lori Obregon have finally arrived in PNG! They will be assisting us in the work here by teaching in the leadership training and developing a mobile clinic for medical outreaches. Victor is a Doctor and Lori is a nurse and they will be a tremendous asset to the work here. They have settled in to our old place in Ralabong village and are "Acclimating" to the heat and culture. It is so exciting to see how God has already used them and how easily they have fit into the culture. We are amazed at the volume of pidgin they have picked up already. Their son has already involved in village Rugby team. Please pray for them! They seem to have "sweet blood" I think every bug has taken a taste of their ankles and legs.
The Lord is continuing to work in our lives. I am also reminded that he supplies the needs before we even ask. We were blessed to have Paul and Shari Kieffe had an opening in their scheduled to come to Rabaul to hold a Marriage seminar last weekend. It was so needed and so timely. Just like married couples in the US need help in instruction and guidance to make their marriages work. Couples here need help. The week before they came we had a incident where a someone almost killed his wife by beating her. This is just the tip of the iceberg in what is happening all around us. Keith and I had already scheduled that are next class would be on marriage and family life before this incident happen. This was a great kick off seminar of what we want to be accomplishing in the next 12 weeks.
Well, the Malaria bug hit me while the Keiffe's were here. I just wished that Keith was there to hold the bucket and bring me more blankets. Somehow I manage to make it through and am well and back in form again. I didn't know one could get so cold in the tropics. I thank the Lord that HE was with me even during those not so fun times.
As always we get opportunities to share with people who really need him. I have been befriending a young (13 year old) girl that I run into in the plantation nearly every time I drive by.. She is always alone or with her younger brother working the copra. She finally got enough nerve and came to our house as I was washing clothes outside. She continued to stay for the duration of the clothes washing (2 hours) until I hung up the last item. Then she asked me if I went to the church next to my house. She asked me if I could (story) tell her about God. So a loongggggggggggg time later after going through Genesis - Revelation and explaining that Jesus had come to give us LIFE. She wanted to know this Jesus. Praise GOD!!!! Two days later I walked to her house and set down with her family. They thanked me for what I was doing in their daughters life and wanted to know more about what we were doing here. Please pray for more for hunger to be stirred in people hearts for the TRUE meaning of life.
Well, Last week we finished the trusses for the Bible school classroom and continue to supply fuel and files for the chain saw. Last week, we took down lunch supplies to the boys cutting the planks for sides of the Bible school classroom. They are cutting a HUGE tree . (about 70 + feet )that has washed up on the beach from a storm. ( JESUS will supply all of our needs) This is the time where the winds change and the waves and tide really change. Our tree was being threaten to be carried off by high tide. So Victor spent the day looking for a come-along to help pull the tree up farther on the shore. The tree itself, when it is cut up in chucks, is still too heavy for the boys to move very far. We had approximately 14 boys with poles and all of their strength moving 12 foot lengths up the sandy embankment. After struggling all day with just a few cut up they went home hoping that we could find some sort of way of getting the tree up off the beach. Well, us Americans think technical but the people here with faith have a little more heavenly perspective. They prayed they would be able to continue to cut the tree the next day. Next day comes, they arrive and the tide tossed the tree way up over the embankment. Thank the Lord for his hand. ( PS We didn't find any come-along, we did not need it!) So I am again reminded to think beyond what we can imagine and ask!
Thank you, to all of you who hold us up in prayers and support. We truly could not be here without you. I pray that our Heavenly Father will reward you and Give you the desires of His Heart for you!
Please continue to pray for Us and our families.
Please pray that we have wisdom to do only what God is asking us to do and not go on human emotions only.
Pray for protection, health, safety on me (CINDY) and Keith and the kids back home.
Please pray for the Obregons as they pick up the torch!
Please pray endurance and we would have the resources to complete the work here.
Thanks for all your prayers.
Tsunami, Earthquakes, Volcanoes, Storms. Yes, that's where we live. The land of the unexpected! The last few weeks has been a great eye opener that the atmosphere is changing here. I believe it is a wake up call that we need to concentrate on reaching the lost with the good news that Jesus Christ has come to give them hope and that he has a plan for their lives!
This week we had some strange earthquakes and then the Tsunami warning in Rabaul. They dismissed the schools and had the radio blaring in all of the shops. I knew nothing about it until I was in town and hearing the panic in some of the peoples voices. One of the stores I was shopping is built on pilings over the water. Later on I heard that the sea levels dropped and they had some wave surges. Other parts of PNG were not so fortunate. We appreciate all of your prayers for protection. We know that the Lord has His hands on us.
Last week we held another 3 day Crusade. WOW!!!! The Lord is good!!! Around 50 or more gave their lives to the Lord. It was amazing to see the turnout in spite of the pouring down rain. This month we are doing a crusade in a plantation (Kabunga) near a beautiful cove. Sunday, after church we drove down to check out the place (scouting the beaches), building relationships with the plantation manger and families, and of course cooling off. We were warmly invited to bring the Good news to this area. Two weeks ago a new church was started in the neighboring village. Some women from our church here, went down to visit a family in Kabunga and noticed a baby was crying in the house. She and the mother went in the house to retrieve the baby and saw that there was a large snake wrapped around the arm of the baby. After scaring the snake away they noticed that the arm had some kind of a bite and saliva on the arm. Francesca, knowing that the Lord can take care of a poisonous snake bite, started praying for the baby. Francesca described this miracle happening before their very eyes. The mother then wanted to know more about this Jesus. That night they had their first house meeting telling others of what God had done for their child. The snake returned and they saw that it was big enough to kill even a large man. The father killed the snake and wanted also to hear the Good News! On Sunday, when we visited this plantation, there were about 100 children just meandering around. There is a big need for the Gospel to be reached to the children of this area. SOOOOOO... "come on all of you kids at heart, we are going too be doing a Children's mini camp!! Come one, come ALL!!"
Another Praise report is we are pouring the foundation for the class rooms tomorrow. That is, if the cement bags are delivered in time. We have had torrential rains and our road is pretty muddy (OK, not pretty muddy, It is bad!). 'Four-wheeling' is not just a word, it is a means to get through 18 inches of mud. So lets just say we haven't had very many cars make it down the road. We did have the gravel delivered by a huge truck. I was thankful that they made it. The good news about all of this rain is I don't have to cut grass. Our front yard is a big lake...... Also the winds of the volcano have changed and we have been getting ash in our house. But the rain keeps the ash down. I am still amazed even our water filter is clogged with the fine soot-like stuff. No wonder my hair doesn't feel very clean.... I guess I can 'chalk' this up to another beauty treatment! 'Conditioner Ala Ash-----------
We have seen some great moves of the Lord in some of our workers. Our neighbor, Collin, just gave his life to the Lord! He has been working with our PNG son Eremis for the last 3 weeks. This father of 4, has had a RISKYYYYYYYYYYYYY past. He has been a leading rascal (gang member), hidden from the police, served time in the jail, and has many scars to prove his toughness. Last week, he cut off his 'Rasta' braids and then wanted to come with us to the Crusade. You could see a softening in his spirit even before he committed his life. Last night he attended one of the house fellowships with Erimas and again was encouraged and strengthened by the very same believers he has robbed and done havoc with, in their villages. GOD IS GOOD!! Sunday, one of our other neighbors died (that Collin would have been hanging with), from a drunken brawl with other rascals. That gives us an even more motivation to reach others with the hope. I believe Collin is going to be instrumental in this. Please, pray for him as he grows.
We have started our follow-up bible studies in the villages our crusades have been held in. It is rewarding to see the hunger and turnout that these new believers have for the word of God. These bible studies will last for 12 weeks with the hope that a house meeting will be established in each of these places. Our car is running and is able to get to these remote villages. I am sure that the Lord has helped reinforce some of those parts where things should have been broke.
We have been using our chainsaw with 2 operators cutting the planks for the bible school. We had a work party Saturday that would amaze anyone! Around 50 youths from the churches in East New Britain, found a ride or walked for hours to come and help haul planks up a steep mountain where they cut the tree. We were able to move over 100 pieces of 18 foot long wet planks, in less than an hour. It was so steep they had to dig out foot holds so they could stand and pass the planks. It reminded me of workers ants lined up in a roll. Of course, I stayed back and cooked for all of these youths. (I knew I probably would still be down the mountain, if I ever got down there without killing myself!) We cooked cauldrons of rice, tin meat, and noodles. Wrapped them up in lunch packets of leaves and gave them out. We had a large gunny sack of Mangos to give out as dessert. We had the planks delivered yesterday so they could start framing next week.
Thank you so much for your prayers and support. We could not be here without you behind us.
· Please pray for our children back home. They all need encouragement and PRAYER
· Pray for us that we can keep up this pace. I get discouraged from the not being able to communicate with our kids and not being able to help them when they need it.
· Pray our health, and stamina.
· Pray for endurance with the heat, cooking, battling the roads, and doing all the things the hard way.
· Please pray for us that we can hear the voice of the Lord clearly and act upon it!
Hello, Happy Valentines DAY!
First, We would like to tell you how much we appreciate you and all your PRAYERS and SUPPORT. It has been a Busy 2 months. We are Thanking the Lord for Keith's full recovery from the 9 days we spent in the hospital. We arrived back in PNG and immediately started planning the Crusade and finishing our house so it would be able to be move in without us being the main course for all of the mosquitoes. WE moved in on Thursday and had our first sleep without any noise on a weekend! It was heavenly! But for a few disturbances,,,,,,,,,,,,,A rat decided to move in the same time we did! That evening I saw him run up the rafters in the store room underneath the house. It was a size of a house cat! So, Keith promptly put out the Deacon and the rat decided to have a feast! The next day much to our distress our resident decided to die between the shower and the bedroom wall! Yes, imagine the smell in a hot tropical climate! It is unbearable. I am ready to move back to the village and it has only been 2 nights! Last night, our third night, the wind carried it away from our bedroom. But as you entered the bathroom you were once again assaulted. I asked Keith if he could rip the newly painted wall down and I would gladly use the outhouse until the smell is gone. He told me that the smell will soon dissipate! So,,,,,, I am waiting.... It reminds me of.... that we are these beautiful temples that appears to be all nice on the outside but when there is sin on the inside nothing can get rid of the smell unless it is taken out and cleaned from the inside by the washing of the blood of Christ. No matter how much we try to hide our sin, or "decorate or disguise "it. The smell will still come through! I love the verse 1 John 1:9 where it says, "If we confess our sins he is faithful to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
Our house is built on stilts and and is sided with metal siding. We have a front door and a porch. The inside does not have any doors yet, but we will eventually get doors as the time goes by. Now we are using fabric for doors Now you know why the smell is so bad.
I really am looking forward for you all to come over and see the house! Hint! Hint! ( remember I have indoor plumbing!) Just think,.... you could experience, a hot sauna" the house" ( no fans), candle lite evenings and no telephones, beepers or pagers! For entertainment, we do Four wheel driving crossing streams every time we leave our house. Listening and watching the beautiful birds and butterfly are top on my list for things to see. For your local enjoyment you could go to the best beaches in the world, snorkel, body surf or beach comb. Visiting the war museums, Japanese caves, active volcanoes and markets are great places to frequent also. Last of all and Most important are your ministry opportunities they are endless!!!!! SO,,,,,, I would love visitors!
The Crusade went GREAT. We had many dedicate their lives to Christ! That week we were not without opposition. Our Four wheel drive went out, brakes ceased up, air condition went out and our battery platform broke in our car. This happened over the 3 days that the Crusade was going on. The good news is we were able to fix and "jimmy rig" everything but the air conditioning. The air conditioning will have to wait...... We had to put some of our building projects on the house on hold until later but we were able to pay for the repairs. One of the neighbouring village members that gave their lives to Christ came back to Pastor Leonard the very next week and said they have a built a stage and they are waiting for us to do a CRUSADE. This month we will be doing another one. We are really interested in starting a home fellowship and doing some discipleship in the neighbouring villages. SO please pray that we can find the right people to take this on. "The harvest is great but the workers are few."
Our chain saw has been such a blessing!!!!! We
have a new chain saw donated by Jerry Canters home group back home. Boy does it
RIP! We cut a tree down last week that will be able to build at least the class
room for the Bible School. It is HUGE. It is too bad we can not ship some of
this lumber home. This tree is Tone. It is one of the hardest lumber you can
use. We will be using our "Alaskan Mill " to cut the tree into
planks in a couple of weeks. It is amazing how each one of us are
being used in some way to further the Good News of Christ. Don't ever think
that you are not being used for the Lord by what you do!
We appreciate so much of the donations that have come in to to help pay the deductible on our medical bills. It has really helped. Thank you,,,,,It really has encouraged us that we have people behind us!
1. 1. For our families back home. David and Danielle are leaving the farm and moving to the West side to get more steady work. Kristal and her new job in Deer Park, Tasha and all of her responsibilities, health for the baby Reese and Joshua, Melissa in California waiting to get into the Radiology program and of course my mom, Keith's brother Kirk, and my sister Debbie who are all suffering from Pain.
2. 2. For our health insurance to hurry up and pay us back for the hospital bills that we had to charge on our credit card before leaving Australia. Each month that they do not pay we have a 10% interest that is charged to our card which is at least 1000 dollars a month and this is not including the payment that is due. ( this is really killing us ( Keith) because we are so against charging anything ever,,,,, but it was an medical emergency and that is why we had the cards! )
3. 3. Our work here in the PNG. We would be instep with the Spirit and do what God wants us to do.
4. 4. Health and protection. (Keith has 2 boils under his arm.)
5. 5. Victor and Lori and Alex who are soon to be joining us in the ministry here. They are waiting for their Visas!
6. 6. Pray for Endurance in living conditions and against discouragement for us to have eyes to see what is God is doing.
7. 7. Pray for Encouragement!
8. 8.Pray for Encouragement!
Thank you so much for all of your prayers and support we could not be here without it! We are your hands extended! Love getting your emails! OH by the way during the crisis at Christmas I found all of the Christmas cards that I wrote and addressed to you all but never got them sent. You may be receiving them soon!
Here is a brief recap of our very trying (and expensive) emergency medical "Holiday"to Australia.
Dec 27 I'm in "Auto World" buying a Chain Saw that a friend of ours in our home group back home graciously raised money for so we can provide lumber for our building projects. (Thanks Jerry!) I begin to have back pain. I have had Kidney stones before and I had a mild version of this last week but this started to get really bad. After purchasing the saw I rush to "Papindos" (a grocery store) to find Cindy. The pain was so bad we went screaming (literally) to the hospital. I enter the emergency room (transport yourself back in time to 1940 equipment) and the Doctor gave me Tylenol, (not good enough, Dahhh!) After screaming and balling and pounding the walls they gave me a Demerol injection (I stop pounding the wall). So the Doc says you can have an operation here (no EKG machine, 1940's equipment, no X-Ray machine and a PNG Doc that would insist it was an appendicitis), or go to Australia. Gee... PNG operation on who knows what or modern Hospital in Australia? Tough decision but we chose to fly to Carins Australia. We then go to the SIL guest house and spend the night, loaded up with Demerol injections and oral Morphine and Cindy buys the airline tickets.
Dec 28 The next morning we wisk off to Port Moresby (the PNG capital) and Air Niugini (government run) won't let us get on the plane to Carins because they said "You have to have OUR Doctor give you a signed document stating you can fly. Oh, by the way he is out of town on Holiday and we will not accept any other Doctors opinion." (thanks Air Nugini "NOT") so we went to the only competition "Airlines PNG" and they said "SURE" and they gave me the red carpet treatment (for half the price of Air Niugini) wheel-chairing me all the way through customs and strait to a cab (thank you, thank you, thank you). We spent the night in the SIL TreeTops Guest house (thanks to the Morphine) and went to the Emergency room the next morning.
Dec 29 After a CAT Scan reveled a 10cm stone stuck in the right ureter, plus my kidney extremely swollen from the blockage and 3 or 4 more stones in the right kidney and 4 or 5 in the left (not giving me problems now so I will ignore them for now) they said "you need a [unpronounceable medical term which means "stick this flexible stone blaster laser due-hickie up my you know what and fry that sucker"] but by the way all the Urologists in Carins are gone on Holiday so you have to fly to Brisbane. (Gee... when do I get to go on Holiday?) So Cindy buys more tickets (my credit card company is loving this) and take off the next day (thanks to strong pain relievers).
Dec 30 We arrive in Brisbane and take a train to the down town "Mater Public Hospital" where I spend the night.
Dec 31 I see a Urologist who booked me to have my [unpronounceable] procedure on Jan 2nd (the surgical staff was on Holiday...) in the "Private Hospital" (ooo I feel special). So I say "forget spending more money in this 'Public Hospital', I'm spending New Years with my Wife!" Cindy is booked in this little hotel close to the hospital so we spend a few hours New Years eve sitting in the down town riverside park, it's a perfect 80 degree summer day with everybody Barbecuing and swimming in this cool beach-like pool in the park (it's New Years eve people!!! We should be freezing!!). We then watched the city fireworks out the window of our motel.
Jan 1 Did nothing. (thanks to the drugs)
Jan 2 Checked in to the hospital and had the [unpronounceable] procedure up my you know what. They cleaned out the left kidney removing several stones.
Jan 3 Lots of pain.
Jan 4 More pain.
Jan 5 More pain but I was discharged and walked to the hotel (almost didn't make it) Major Headache and nausea.
Jan 6 Saturday- On the floor moaning in pain, drugs not working. Cindy thinks I need to go back to the hospital but she prays for me and the pain is gone in 20 minutes! Thanks for your prayers!!!
Jan 7 Sunday- I'm perfectly fine!!! Praise God! I'm so happy to be alive and pain free!!! I spend one of the most enjoyable days of my life with Cindy, walking around town.
Jan 8 Monday Fly home pain free.
I want to thank God for His protecting hand and comfort during this time. He was with me every day and every time I was in pain He made a way to relieve it. I felt His presence strong and His peace kept my heart at ease. When I was down Cindy would pray for me and when Cindy was distressed I would pray with her and we both received strength. Just remember, even when your circumstances look grim, God loves you and he will come in your time of need. That's why we call him Savior.
Please pray for the evangelism crusade we are having in the remote village in the Ganai area. I will be preaching the first night Jan 16th and one of our local Pastors, Oscar will be preaching the next two nights. The enemy has prevented us from having this crusade for over a year now but NOT THIS TIME! He can fight us but he CANNOT WIN!
Thank you all for praying for me!
PS: Some of you have asked what Kidney Stones feel like. Well there is a simple way to find out. Put your upper lip between your thumb and forefinger and squeeze real hard. Harder... HARDER... now lift your hand (with lip attached) up over your head...
Hello, Our dear FRIENDS!
We haven't written much lately because we have been extra busy. Our main focus these last few months have been leadership training. It seems like at the end of the day we fall into our beds from exhaustion. The heat, travel plus, teaching will do it to you. A great solution to insomnia! The activity of fixing the house really helps one sleep good too.
Every day life in the village tasks take longer. Doing simple laundry takes 3 to 4 solid hours. This consisting of first, hauling the water to a small Chinese washing machine and repeating this step several times until the wash is rinsed. Then you proceed by putting them into a spinner which spins the water out of the clothes. The washing machine is a glorified plastic tub. I do appreciate the spinner though! It is a separate tub on the side that holds about 3 to 4 items at a time. You put them in the spinner and then you rinse them again until they don't smell sour! Of course, then you hang them up to dry. After spending four hours of washing yesterday I was rewarded of having my clothes line break and my clothes falling into the mud! So, I had to start over again. I wasn't a happy camper! We are constantly reminded that God gives us strength especially when we need it!
In November we travelled deep into the Bining mountains to our most remote Foursquare Church in the village of Laun. Our purpose was to bring a team of 6 women and (2 men) to do UFW (United Foursquare Women) training in this remote pioneer work. The Bining mountains is the last unreached wilderness in East New Britain. Here the tribes are traditionally nomadic and don't stay in one place very long. We established a Foursquare Church there in 2002 to minister to those who are settling down close to the coast. We left at 3 am to travel the 5+ hours to this remote location at literally the END of the road. The roads were good (remember "good" is a relative term) for half the way and after fording 10 rivers the road became 4x4 material. We went deeper and deeper into the bush where we saw huge rubber trees reaching it seemed 80 feet in the air and 60 feet in diameter. Rubber trees have about 100 trunks rising out of a huge tangle of roots. After we forded another 5 rivers, one of which I thought we would be washed down because I could touch the water with my hand out the window, we finally made it to the base of the mountains. Pastor Lebet my guide said we needed to turn left. I said "Left! There's no road here!" (Actually we have been driving on what most people would describe as a trail for the last half hour.) He said "Just turn left!" So I began to ascend the mountain in 4x4 low, on nothing but a foot path! We finally arrived on the top of a small plateau with the Laun Foursquare Church overlooking the valley and ocean before us and the high mountains behind us.
After resting for an hour the pastor mentioned that there was a school close by and Cindy and I wanted to visit it and maybe do some drama and puppet evangelism. We asked "How far?" And he said "It's not far", we can drive close to it and then walk the rest. (Note: We learned the the term "It's not far" is a relative term that can mean from 1 hour to 3 days journey!) So off we went! After an hour of driving deeper and higher up the mountain on what I describe as a goat trail we finally arrive at the school to the total astonishment of the students and Head Master (A member of our Foursquare Church). Come to find out we were the first visitors EVER to visit the School. In fact, we were the first vehicle to EVER come there. The entire materials for the school was hauled up on their backs. Pastor Lebet thinks that the Government doesn't even know the school exists. Cindy and I gathered the entire school together for an impromptu gospel presentation where many respond to except Christ. On the way down the mountain the Pastor takes us on a detour to visit a church plant that the Laun church has started in an even more remote part of the Bining. So I am driving along this cliff with the mountain on one side and the ocean 100 feet below on a one lane tractor path. The pastor begins to tell us how appreciative he is at having us visit. Because we are the first Missionaries to EVER visit the area... that they have not eaten! Come to find out the last and only missionaries to visit the area were a Catholic Priest and two Nuns who were killed and eaten. (Gee... thanks for telling us now!) So as I'm driving along the ruts that are so deep I bottom out and get stuck... On a CLIFF! Of course we are driving with about 6 people in the back so they all jump out and push me out backwards. Now I have to make a decision, do I back up a half a mile along this cliff or drive up on the ocean side of the rut with about 10 inches of clearance. Well we only live once, so I drive forward and after a lot of praying I make it. (Funny how everyone including Cindy jumped out of the car before I tried it!) Boy, I haven't prayed like that since George Butron and I crossed the Bismark sea in a dingy in the middle of a storm with only my hand held GPS as a guide, but that is another story. We finally make it to the remote Clagem village church on the cliffs over looking the ocean. The Laun Pastor also pastors this Church and walks an hour or two over a "Short Cut" every other week.
The 3 days of UFW training meetings went great and Cindy and I took every opportunity to share the gospel, even when washing in the local stream. Our puppets accompanied us everywhere we went. We always had at least 12 kids following us even when we bathed! We noticed two Bining bush men hiding in the bush listening to us as we shared the gospel with the kids and their parents. As we came to the conclusion of our drama their necks were stretched out and eyes focused on us. These were nomads that live in the deep bush and sometimes visit the stream. Pray that the words they heard would bring them to Christ. After preaching Sunday morning we made the 5 hour trip home. We plan to return there for further evangelism and medical outreach in the next few months.
Later in November my cousins Louis and Ilene Sparee visited with us for 6 days. We actually took some time off and went to the ocean. Of course Louis got opportunity to preach in 3 services. It was so awesome to have visitors! HINT HINT!!!! After dropping them off at the airport we immediately got busy preparing for the children's camp to be held at the Bible School property. Of course, when you are hosting 250 kids you have a lot of preparation to do. Just imagine camping the hard way! We had to cut and gather wood for the cook to prepare the meals. Then we had to start clearing ground to work the temporary shelters and toilets,( which were just canvas strung over bamboo poles) and make a makeshift tables out of coconut trees and planks for the cooks to serve the food. Organizing chapel, worship, games, and lessons for the counsellors which was the easy part. Kind of! This all included several trips into town to buy the food and all of the craft stuff! The counselors then took the material we prepared and taught their campers what the spiritual emphasis was for that day. We followed up with the 2 chapel services each day. Here in New Guinea Islands they have never worked as counsellors, So months before we would gather on Saturdays and hold training classes for Sunday School teachers and want-a-be counsellors. That was the fun part for me to see people passionate for the kids. We emphasized to the counsellors that they were the pastors for their 10 kids . Normally, in camps here in PNG , churches usually gang up together regardless of age groups and hang out without a discipleship emphasis. They let the pastor take that part in the chapel service. It was so amazing to see the counsellors respond to the kids. It was all worth it. We had an amazing response of 200+ kids who got saved and received the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Sunday, we did a combined service for all of the churches in East New Britain to end the camp. It was a terrific service with all of the kids marching around the field displaying their flags and worshiping the Lord! Many parents seeing this were moved and rededicated their lives to the Lord! Monday, we returned back to the Bible school grounds to disassemble the shelters and and burn the garbage and clean up the grounds. Then we started working on our house again. We have been there all week trying to get the outside walls and front door in. Then as the money comes in we will fix one room at a time. Today, both Keith and I laid down underneath the mosquito net and fell fast asleep in the new house. We didn't get so much done but it was nice to be able to catch up on some much needed rest.
On Sunday Christmas Eve we are going to the Wycliffe centre (SIL) and
celebrate with the Americans from Wisconsin , Koreans, Australians, Japanese, and
maybe one of the girls from Sweden. They are all helping with the translations
and are staying in the guest house. I need to bring a desert and some fruit.
Hopefully today I will find a pumpkin at the market .We then can have good old
pumpkin pie! I really miss mom's pistachio salad and ham with the candied
sauce. I guess, I just miss good old "taco bell!" We have been
subsisting on 2 meals a day. It is good for our diets. Keith has lost about 20
lbs and I have only lost about 15. No thanks to my mother. She sent at least 25
lbs of Almond Roca with Ilene and Lewis. Keith and I have enjoyed It toooooooo
much. In fact, I had to take it down the road and put it in the SIL freezer so
I can't raid it so frequently. Of course, we will enjoy it one Almond Roca at a
time, but not like I did before. One evening I ate 13 pieces! On Christmas
morning I am going to make the Fisher Scones from the Puyallup fair for
Breakfast. So here comes 2 of the pounds back. Tuesday, We will be return to
the job site and hit it hard. I am hoping we can burn off those calories from
We now have a toilet at the new house, butttttttttttttttttt before anyone could use it I was told we have a visitor. I looked down into this 8 foot hole and woe to my distress is a Python snake. The boys said it fell into it and couldn't get out. Of course, I don't know that this snake isn't an acrobat. It sure doesn't encourage me to use these facilities. Keith thinks that if we leave it in there it will eat the rats! This news still doesn't encourage me to use the out house!
We are enjoying mango season. We have a mango tree outside of our house and
it has been heavenly! The pineapple season is on too. I just wish I could send
them to all of my family and friends. Nothing is sweeter than locally grown
Our home group back home has raised some money to buy a chain saw. Thank you Jerry Canter and all! Next week, as soon as the store opens we will be purchasing it and will start milling lumber for the Bible School and our house. It will be sooooooooooooo nice to have it. There are many projects we will be using it for.
Our weather has been very hot and humid. It seems it is always on the brink of rain but seldom does. We were blessed that we had enough water to cook with at the camp. Our cistern for the camp was filled up the day before it started. So we did not have to haul water. We couldn't shower with this water but we did have enough to drink. The kids had to walk about a mile down the mountain to shower in a creek. We went home and used our cistern every morning at 5:00 am and returned by chapel. Our tank is standing for the new house but the rain gutters were malfunctioning and wouldn't collect any water. Keith and a pastor and I hung up new facial board and fixed it. It is now ready to receive a good rain.
I have been reminded so often these past few weeks that we are being pruned, shaped, and moulded the way God wants to use us. Sometimes, we do not see the fruit of our labour but the Lord ask us to be faithful at what he has given us. We are not to look at our neighbour and what he is doing, but for us to keep our eyes on the tasks at our hands. Galatians 6:9 "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time you will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore , as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people , especially to those who belong to the family of believers."
We love getting news from home. We sure appreciate your prayers and your support. Please continue to pray for our families back home. Pray for our health, safety, endurance. Thank you, Thank you, Have a Great Christmas and A MORE Blessed new YEAR!
Greetings from PNG!
Thank you for your prayers, We have surely needed them. We can always tell when people are praying, and when they are not! Life seems to be travelling in the fast lane for us. We are keeping busy with all of the training intensives and preaching in different places every week, sometimes 3 times a week. We need prayer for more hours in the day to give us more time to study. At night it is hard to study because of our solar battery is used for the office equipment during the day. Most days we receive visitors, mostly pastors who come and need some counselling. Remember, they have to walk into our village and some taking 2 1/2 hours travel time to get here. There is no way we could say "excuse me you need to go we are busy". It is always beneficial when we take the time to minister! We might as well put up a sign that says "Come on in! We would love to see you" Soooo please pray for us for endurance! We have dedicated 1 full day a week where Keith goes in and spends time in a office of a friend. The trouble with that is that Collin is also running a business out of that office so there is people coming and going all of the time. Sometimes Sunday afternoons works, but you are pretty beat after Sunday morning. We are also trying to finish our house at the Bible School property so we can move into it. Its slow moving and it seems we are in the caveman days where everything is done by hand. Tuesday, Keith and 2 other pastors laid the foundation for the water tanks. Besides, digging the ground up and levelling it, we have to bring in 18 inches of dirt to fill it up. Of course that is done with wheel barrels and shovels. The tank pad 18 feet long and 9 feet wide. That is a lot of dirt! The weather has been conducive to work, 90+ with 90% humidity. At least it was not raining! The good part out of this is we are exercising and getting fit. Of course not thin, but more fit. The thin part comes later. :-) We have not had any collected water since September 25th. So we have to haul the water in from town to work the cement. The sooner we are in the house the more time we will have. Tomorrow, we will be digging more ground to fill the hole. We will hopefully pour cement by Friday.( depends on how many boys we get to help with the mixing.) Then we will start to build the landing for the stairs. There is currently a rough made ladder to get into the house.
We have been experiencing so many tremors lately. Last week I was in a grocery store when we had the 6.0 Rector scale quake. The bottles and such went falling off the shelves. I was in the pharmacy part where the shelves are not so high so I felt pretty safe until the light fixtures and walls started to shake. That is the time I decide it may be a good thing to get out while I can.... Then the earthquake stopped and the employees had a mess to pick up. Some of the lotions and shampoos broke. It smelled rather pleasant in the pharmacy for a change! Last night we had another earthquake. I grabbed the PC and hung on. The house really rocks because it is sitting on stilts. The last couple of weeks when I put something on the shelf, I usually shake it and see if it will fall over. I guess after several broken cups I do this automatically!
A Pastor came over and asked us if we had any BP (Blood Pressure) medicine. She ran out. I took her blood pressure and it was 178/109. She said she had a Headache. I bet she did! She takes the same thing Keith did so I was able to replenish her for a couple of days. We have a class again today. Usually, we bring a snack for the class. I am making rice and tin fish with pumpkin tops for the greens.. Sounds good ( Not the tin fish). We will use the traditional plates. (leaves). It is a real treat for them to get rice and tin meat. We have had an excellent turnout in our class. I am impressed how people can sit on a plank for 4 hours.
Thursday, we had 5 men help us dig the ground and haul the dirt. It took us about 4 1/2 hours of digging. Friday, we finished the tank stand but will have to wait until Tuesday to pour the cement. Sunday Keith preaches at a combined church service where they will take up a special offering to help us finish our house. I'm humbled at their willingness to help us. We have to put in plumbing for a kitchen and bathroom, water tanks and gutters, finish the outside walling, put in windows and doors, build stairs, structurally reinforce the poles the house is standing on, put in a little electrical (for a generator, we won't have electricity), interior walling, and finally floor mat and furniture.
Sunday has come and gone and we received enough money to buy a bar and chain and bar oil for a borrowed chain saw. Now, we will cut the 2 by 12's for the stairs!
Monday, Keith closed the curtains so he could get some study time in, and I left for town to run errands to get quotations for dressing the timbers. That took all day, but you remember where you are at. I came home and Keith had only one visitor come. He served him a spaghetti sandwich! I am not sure if it was the spaghetti sandwich he served but he didn't stay very long. He got a lot done but the solar power ran out( it has been cloudy). Then we had a another pastor who came by. We fed him sandwiches and tea. He left before 5:30. Then at 6:00 the Sunday school came and practiced their tambourine, creative dance and boys dance team under our house until 7 :30 We thought we would be in bed by a decent hour. We blew out the candles took the lantern in our bedroom for a quiet time of reading when we were again visited by another couple. SO Keith in his night clothes and me and my pink night gown entertained for the evening. I guess it is quite comical if you could picture us. Of course, we are entertaining by candle light, So who cares what you are wearing!
Tuesday, has come and gone and I have discovered muscles that are not listed on Anatomy chart. We had less help pouring the concrete than was expected, so I shovelled gravel and toted wheel barrels most of the day. Then I had to haul buckets and buckets of water to where they were mixing the cement. ( what happened to,,,,Call the water company and have them hook up the water? or better yet call the cement company and order a truck!) We were thankful that the churches tank was full and all I had to do was fill the 50 gallon drum up from their water tank 2 times. Of course, I got cooled off in the process too. We have to return on Thursday to finish the other half of the tank stand. Today is class. I am glad that my muscles have a chance to recuperate. Last night, Keith and I were asleep by 8:30. We were again awoken by 2 hefty earthquakes. Never a dull moment!
Friday, we are leaving for a village at three in the morning so we can beat the tide. It will be hopefully only be a 6 hour car ride but I am presuming it can take 10 hours one way. This is a new work with a couple of new churches sprouting up. We will be doing some training and ministering and hopefully come back on Monday. Of course, it will be like camping, So we will bring most everything. I just got to remember to bring my bug spray! We will carry a extra container of diesel for our return trip! Our wind- up flash lights will come in real handy. ( I recommend them to anyone! NO Batteries ! ) That evening Keith will start the Provincial training for the leaders in the Islands region. It should go off without a hitch. Keith will be training the other leaders what he has been teaching every week. It will be intense but good. We need to get together with these pastors before the National Planning meeting so we can send a representative up to Madang. It is so costly to go for one day up to the mainland so we are pooling our monies to send one person instead of 5 persons. Just think if you had to pay one years salary for a one day trip! The difficult thing we have to face here is the expense to get anywhere. Some pastors may get only 100 Kena a month ( 33 US dollars), But most get about 70 kena a month in our region. Travelling to our region East New Britain may cost him 150 to 500 kena. It depends where he is coming from and that is not by airplane but by boat! We are so privileged to serve such awesome men and women of God who give up so much for the gospel. They teach us so much on how to walk in faith!
We are excited about having the Obregons coming to work with us next year! Victor is a Dr. and Lori is a Nurse and they will be helping us develop a number of medical outreaches as well as help us in ministry training. We were able to contact the PNG government agency responsible for issuing medical licensing and they are happy to secure licenses for Victor, Lori and Cindy to practice medicine here. This will open up opportunities to minister in local clinics and establish new Foursquare Clinics in the area! Praise God! Please pray that we will get our house finished in time for them to move into our current place. Also pray for their finances and support.
I have been contacted by our PNG foursquare president Timothy Tipitap, he is in need of any medical equipment and supplies to run his new Foursquare Health center in Enga, province. He needs everything! If you know of any hospital or clinics that is discarding old medical equipment, instruments beds, etc,,,,,,please contact Timothy at -- Timothy Tipitap <firstname.lastname@example.org> He would appreciate it. There is shipping companies that donate their shipping to NON profit organizations too.
Again we say, Thank you so for your prayers and your monthly support! We could not be here without them! Please continue to pray for our families back home. It is difficult at times to be so far away and not to be able to help them. Thanks, Love you all.
Have a great day in Jesus!
The Volcano blew Saturday without any warning and rained down a lot of ash. No one was hurt but all of us have ash everywhere and I mean everywhere. I can not distinguish the titles of the books that were laying flat. We (Ralubung) didn't get it like the town of Rabaul and Kokopo, but we still have the fine dust everywhere! In fact the day before the volcano blew I was priding myself how clean the house looked. We returned from the states where we were welcomed by 3 large rats that took up residency while Nina and her two year old stayed here. Of course, with Decon, rat glue, and rat traps accompanied by elbow grease and disinfectant we were able to get rid of the smell and all of the residue of what the rats left. (We are still working on the armies of ants that moved in too!) It took me almost a week to clean the house. The next day it was dark by noon and the ash started to rain down hard. It made you think of the last days. The rooster and the hens here went nuts squawking for hours. We kept hearing the volcano explode with the windows rattling 30 miles away. This transpired for at least 5 hours after the initial explosion. Usually there are some earthquakes and some signs, but this took the volcanologist by surprise. They have closed school for a week until they can get all of the ash cleaned up. Plus, they want the kids not to play in the fields until the next rain. Like yeah, that is going to happen. Even during the rain of the ash the parents let the kids play outside. I expect some nasty respiratory things coming up in the next few weeks. My sinuses fill like there are full of cement. I guess they kind of are.
We have been busy with preparing for our classes that start this Wednesday. With preaching, having the youth conference end last Saturday, and then catching up with the house work and all we have not had very much time to just sit!
We were able to enjoy our time in the states with our families and some of our friends but not all of them that we really wanted to visit. Much of our time was spent with our daughter who had a Beautiful baby girl named Reese. The other half was spent on the farm. ( which always equates to work). Our apologies to all of our friends and family who we were not able to see. You are all important to us!
We are thanking the Lord we have been strong and healthy to get through the adjustments of coming back into the ministry full swing. We have had visitors every day!!!!! Today, as I type we have a pastor staying with us that showed up at our door yesterday morning. He came from New Ireland to come to the hus sik ( Hospital ) to see a doctor about his 2 inch wide and 2 inch deep cut by his bush knife. His foot is so swollen. It definitely needed stitches a week ago. He put himself on a 5 day course of amoxicillin. I don't think the amox is strong enough. I am hoping that he doesn't get a nasty bone infection. So again, I pray and clean his wound. They are short of meds here as is all over the country. I am hoping to talk to a Filipino pharmacist here that may have some of her own stash of heavy duty antibiotics that I can buy off of her. We are going into town this morning hoping that the stores are open. They closed the stores early Saturday because of all of the ash. They had to evacuate the hospital patients in Rabaul town to Kokopo. I am not sure how long Pastor Isaac will be with us. He needs to take the boat back to his village but the S.E winds are pretty bad. So we will take him with us to minister at Pastor Leonard church.
Pastor Leonard lost his 15 year old daughter 2 weeks ago. She was swimming in a small pond .( like they do all of the time ) She waved at her brother and went under the water and never came back up. They say she had a broken neck. but you never know..... It has really impacted Leonard's family line. For this is the 5th death of the immediate family in the last year and 4 of them in the last 7 months. 2 brothers, a brother in-law, mother and now their 15 year old daughter. 3 out of the 5 were murdered. Pastor Leonard was one of our first Bible school students in 2001. He has been through so much. He has experienced persecution with his church. Through ground dispute and other troubles he has had to move his church congregation three times. His church has been torn down, the roofing stolen, guitars and tambourines wrecked ,and his own copra bags stolen. I thank God he has remained solid and mature during all of this time. He has the maturity of a seasoned pastor. So please pray for them as they shine once again through this trial.
We have really appreciated all of your support. Many times we have not been able to thank you personally but we do appreciate what you are doing helps so much! God is so faithful in meeting our needs. This month coming back form the states has been a lean month. There are times where you see God's hand so clear. This month is one of them. Of course, health/ evacuation insurance was due for the whole year. ( but don't you wish you could get emergency health coverage for 1800 dollars for a year). God is good to provide such a cheap plan. Our car needed breaks shocks and bushings replaced Badly. We were able to get all three things with parts for 250 US dollars. It is such a good deal. We truly want to thank you for supporting us. I am so grateful... I guess I said that already!!!! We know you will be blessed!
Our plans for this month is to teach our classes on Wednesday, midweek services on Thursday and we will be travelling to the islands on the weekends for ministry. Lord willing, the seas are not rough. Our training sessions for Sunday School and Children's camp are scheduled too. In December will be conducting a children's camp. WE would love for volunteers to come over and help us out!!! Ok , I did drop the hint. Our camp is in December 13-17. We estimate 300 to 500 kids
. We are also preparing for our move to the Bible school property. The house that we are living in will not be available to us in January. So we are going to fix up a house that needs the insides finished. Hopefully, we will be able to put the overhead tank and water cistern in before we move. I do like to keep my outside toilet usage down to my original 189 times! I know it is not possible, but it would be nice........ We will not have electricity so we will be lighting by candles and using the ole, ice chest for those times when we would like to preserve our meat, jam and mayonnaise. This Saturday we will be having a provincial work party at the Bible School cite to dig up and cut up some coconut trees by hand for construction of a Bible classroom and mess hall. HINT HINT we would love anyone who loves to swing a hammer to come and help us! The churches had reserved a grater to clear the coconut trees but the Grater has raised his prices and wants a full 8 hours of pay for one hour of work. ( The Graters around here are real busy and there are very few of them available so they can charge what ever they want.) Thank the Lord for backs , pick axes, and muscle power! We will be milling the lumber ourselves for the classroom. We have to share a private owners chainsaw with 14 other churches. There is a little wait on getting to the lumber! Last week, we found out where the chainsaw was and went 35 miles to pick it up. To our dismay another church beat us to the punch 1 hour before picked it up.( that OK for its the Lords work!) The blessing out of all this is we were able to visit one of our pastors and see there two week old twins. The pastor shared with us the miracle birth of his twins. His wife went into labor .The doctor told him you are having twins (surprise!!!!) and because of their position (transverse) we will have to do a c -section. His wife told him to go home and pray that the babies will turn, and told the doctor to wait until the next day to see what will happen. He went home prayed and prayed until he got assurance that God would intervene and reposition the babies. He came back to hospital and she delivered to 37 week old twins the Normal way. No complications! The twins are 7 1/2 and 7 pounds. Praise the Lord for His hands that can turn babies in such a tight space!
We are so grateful for your prayers. Please continue to pray for us. Sometimes, it is very hard to endure a camping lifestyle. Pray also for our pastors and leaders that they would be able to do the work that God has called them to. Pray for the 4 churches that were affected from the volcano. Pray for their congregations for all have been displaced for the time being. Pray for our protection and health. Pray for resources and finances to complete the bible classrooms and house. Pray for the students that will come in January. Pray for the Obregons as they prepare to come and help serve in the work here. Pray that we will have more workers, the Harvest is great but we have churches with no pastors! Pray for our Families back home that they would be passionate for Jesus. Pray for their health and protection. We miss them already!
Thank you so much for your prayers! We are your hands extended!
Some have asked how to give to the building projects/chainsaw. Please send your donations to Mirabeau Chapel and designate to building project.
3001 N. Pines Rd.
Spokane, WA 99206
We APPRECIATE your emails. Please do not send us your forwards. It clogs up our systems. We love hearing from YOU!!!!!!!!
Who is this guy?
It has been over a month since our last update. It seems like July has flown by...... We attended the Foursquare PNG 50 year Jubilee in Goroka during the first week of July with 15,000 plus people attending! About ten thousand of us marched around Goroka the opening day. Cindy and I marched with the people from the New Guinea Islands shouting and singing and carrying our flag. We met with so many friends we could not keep track of them all. Most of the missionaries from the last 50 years were there. We got to see many old friends from the Enga province we served with in 1998. We remembered about half their names. "Old timers. syndrome! " It was much colder in Goroka then what we are use to in the Islands. I wore long pants and shoes and even a sweatshirt! We spent some wonderful time with a team from our old church, NW Church in Federal Way Washington. God knew what we needed. The frosting on the cake was all of them were are friends! We traveled around to villages and prayed for Pastors and their families. We rented a Toyota 4X4 land cruiser and headed for some really mountainous places. One village was up so high that I was doubting we would make it up the hill! Cindy also got to bring some of the team members to the hospital and do some ministry there. It was great to fellowship with the team and experience the Goroka Market together. Thousands of people crammed into a small area with fruits and vegetables on the ground on tarps, definitely not Cosco. It was great time of refreshing and to hear some wonderful speakers, including our President Jack Hayford.
We returned home to our house in the Islands and found that mold had taken over our walls. So, it was wash the walls time! After a couple of days of scrubbing the ceilings and surfaces it was again habitiable Shortly after we arrived from the Highlands our friend a Chinese single mom moved in with us. She will be with us until she can get a visa to Australia to attend a Chinese Bible School. Her 2 year old son isn't potty trained yet........ and she has a interesting way to train him. Just cut a hole in the bottom of his pants so he can "let her rip"! Consequently we mop a lot. So we are being stretched.............. We are enjoying being the grandparents and not the parent!
Our leadership training classes started up again the week we returned back from the convention. We were blessed to see so many returned for training. We are so privileged to be able to share with people who want to learn more and improve their skills. You can not help but give them the best!
We received news that our oldest daughter had moved her wedding plans up to July 29th but we had plans to come to the US in September! Sooooo..... We decided to surprise her! We rescheduled our training classes and bought tickets to the US early! We arrived "secretly" a couple of days early and spent it with our youngest daughter in California. On the day before the wedding we arrive in Seattle to learn that they postponed the wedding (for economic and personal reasons)! Oh well, so much for the surprise! So..... We are here in the US back at the farm in Deer Park, chopping wood, mowing fields, repairing farm equipment, trying to raise funds for a chainsaw and sawmill, gathering Leadership training material, and studying for our regional leadership training conference in November. (No relaxing vacation for us... ) I haven't worked so hard in years! Cindy says it's good for me.
We will be returning to PNG on September 22nd. We will arrive the day our regional Youth Conference starts. So, back in the starting gate for us. We do pray for the leaders as they prepare for the Youth Bung. They will be having it on the Bible School Property. Before we left we were in the planning stages.; Who will build the toilets, cook house, sleeping arrangements, speakers, music, generators, and preparations for at least 500 or more. We will have several churches bring the truck loads of market food and big cauldrons, and fire wood for the "kitchen"
Two days before we left, Keith was busy picking up the pastors and supplies to fix 2 water tanks for the conference. This will be our only drinking water. The difficult, but not insurmountable is transportation to the Bible school . There is not one pastor in our region who owns a car. Everything they do they have to hire a vehicle to carry the supplies. The bamboo poles for the temporary sleep quarters takes the bulk of the money since they have to hire a large flat bed truck. We are excited to see what the Lord will do in the Youth of our Region. After this conference, we will be planning for the Children's camp at Christmas time. October is filled with weekend trips over to the Islands doing mini leadership seminars. We want to get our "islands "hoping medical/evangelistic ministry organized with the area churches as we meet with these leaders. Since there is no communication available between the islands villages we have to take advantage when we meet together. Please pray for us especially as we travel in the open seas with a 40 horse power engine. We have some straights that we cross that are 50 + miles across.
God has been speaking to me lately about patience and accomplishment. In the devotional "My Utmost for His Highest" by Oswald Chambers July 28th he says...
"We tend to think that if Jesus Christ compels us to do something and we are obedient to Him, He will lead us to great success. We should never have the thought that our dreams of success are God’s purpose for us. In fact, His purpose may be exactly the opposite. We have the idea that God is leading us toward a particular end or a desired goal, but He is not. The question of whether or not we arrive at a particular goal is of little importance, and reaching it becomes merely an episode along the way. What we see as only the process of reaching a particular end, God sees as the goal itself.
What is my vision of God’s purpose for me? Whatever it may be, His purpose is for me to depend on Him and on His power now. If I can stay calm, faithful, and unconfused while in the middle of the turmoil of life, the goal of the purpose of God is being accomplished in me. God is not working toward a particular finish— His purpose is the process itself. What He desires for me is that I see "Him walking on the sea" with no shore, no success, nor goal in sight, but simply having the absolute certainty that everything is all right because I see "Him walking on the sea" ( Mark 6:49 ). It is the process, not the outcome, that is glorifying to God.
God’s training is for now, not later. His purpose is for this very minute, not for sometime in the future. We have nothing to do with what will follow our obedience, and we are wrong to concern ourselves with it. What people call preparation, God sees as the goal itself.
God’s purpose is to enable me to see that He can walk on the storms of my life right now. If we have a further goal in mind, we are not paying enough attention to the present time. However, if we realize that moment-by-moment obedience is the goal, then each moment as it comes is precious."
-- No author assigned in CUT
We have always enjoyed hearing from you. Keep the emails coming!(without pictures... large emails cant be downloaded.) A very Big Thank you for your Prayers and Support! We can not be your hands extended without them.
1. Family Natasha, Kristal, David, Danielle, Melissa, Joshua.
3. Provision for a Chain saw and wood miser.
4. Bible school building projects provision
5. Teams that will come and help us with teaching and building projects!
6. Wisdom, Strength, and Vision in what God would like to do in PNG.
7. The leaders that we are training!
8. Boat for medical ministry!
We Love you!
It has been a month since our last update. We have not forgotten you !!!!!!!! Our time seems to slip by as easily as it does in the WESTERN parts of the world.
The leadership training classes have been going wonderful. Every week there are more in attendance than the week before. This has been so encouraging to see they have a heart and a will to become better leaders. The first class Keith has taught was Inductive Bibles study. It was not an easy class with home -work and all.
Sundays has kept us very busy with preaching and sharing. We also teach Religious Training R.I. in the schools every week. We are constantly reminded that we ourselves need to drink for the Living Water to be able to give to others! It sure keeps us in the word and studying our selves. ( I think this was the Lord plan for us to be dependent on Him. In fact, I know that!)
We always enjoy going to the different villages for the services on Sunday. It really is beautiful to drive deep into the bush. Of course, we thank God for our four-wheel drive truck since we have to use it Everyday! Our truck gets more washings than any of our cars put together. I think every teenage boy would be envious of all the “mudding” we do. I have prayed many times for the Lord to rescue us as we begin to slip side ways into a 5-foot pothole! The worst part for me was when Keith went to Bouganville and I had to do the driving. I thought for sure I was going to get the truck stuck for life! I do believe the key to 4 wheel driving is Guts, Gears, and Testosterone! Which I only can manage the gears “some of the time”.
Our paths have crossed again with a few more Chinese people. I told you about the Chinese girl Nana last time. Well, We were asked to come to her home and pray with her. When we arrived to her “home “ we were appalled and sadden to see her living conditions. She escorted us through an open sewage courtyard where other squatters lived and into a hallway where it leads to a little 5 foot by 8-foot office/home of hers. She lived in the office where she worked which had a counter and a place to hang her clothes on one wall. There were no windows and she slept with her son partially under her desk on the floor mat without a mattress. She had some towels for blankets and 3 boxes of her belongings under the counter. She had a small sink and a hot pot down the hallway. I am not sure where the toilet was. She has been virtually working like a slave for this Chinese man living with nothing. His business is closing this month and she wanted prayer on where she was to go. So we sat in this “cubby hole” for a couple of hours praying and visiting with her. Keith and I thought she would be better off under a banana leaf. She has a desire to go to a Chinese speaking Bible College. She really wants to become a pastor in China. She doesn’t want to move in with some of her Chinese colleagues because they don’t live the lifestyle that she wants her son to be brought up in. She will stay at our house until she decides what she is going to do. We live so far out of town it is hard for her to live here and commute to work. It would take part of her days wage just to commute. Please pray for the right doors to open up for her. She then told us that one of her friends needed some one to pray with him. Once again we were escorted through courtyards and zigzags to the back of a store where we sat and counseled him. I have never seen a person that was so despondent without expression or emotion. You really sensed that he had lost the will to live. He was virtually dead inside. You could see what the enemy did. In times of praying for people you usually can since a breakthrough after awhile. But I experienced something that seldom comes up during my public prayer times. It was a groaning and a time of extreme agony for this lost soul. The Lord came through! He got the Victory and you could see the light come back into Peter’s eyes. He said that his heart felt like the weight had been lifted and he could breath again! Please continue to pray for Peter. He needs discipleship. He and Nana live in Rabaul. The pastor of the Rabaul church is going to look in on Peter. The living conditions in Rabaul are complicated by all of the volcanic ash that spews from the mountain. It is pretty dirty and dusty all of the time.
Of course, things are the same in the village. Keith and I are enjoying living here “most of the time”*(We miss our family). We have thought of some sayings that you may enjoy!
You know you are living in the village when: (This really happened to me on
You are sitting on the toilet and you sneeze and someone outside the house yells out, “Bless you!”
You know you are living in the village when: you don’t have to hire buss boys, because the cockroaches will buss your tables free of charge.
You know you are living in the village when: A special dinner is Not by candlelight!
You know you are living in the village when: everything you own rust, molds or is damp and in the process of either rusting or molding.
You know you are living in the village when: Your soap, pans, knives and shovels has legs of their own.
You know you are living in the village when: People know when you get up and go to bed.
You know you are living in the village when: Everyone you know is a related to someone else.
You know you are living in the village when: it is payday and you hear all of the transistor radios, because everyone got new batteries for them.
You know you are living in the village when: You leave your house with no persons in the car and end up with 10 by the time you reach the road.
You know you are living in the village when: Everyone is looking after you and has your best interest in mind.
You know you are living in the village when: You trips to town are not to buy bread and milk. but to buy Kerosene and candles.
You know you are living in the village when: You take your bar of soap and shower outside during a downpour.
You know you are living in the village when: No one needs a clock because the rooster and the plantation bell wake you up before it is light.
We really have a nice permanent house that stands up on large poles. So you can sit underneath it and visit during the heat of the day. We are blessed with lots and lots of visitors. Sometimes I wish there were visiting hours,,,,, but how can you turn someone away after they have walked an hour just to get to the road and then ride a bus for another hour after waiting for an hour for a bus to pick them up.
We have been welcomed from the village people in a gracious way, but also from other visitors that have tried to take up permanent residency. Lice, Malaria and Dysentery. Of course the lice hated Keith’s head, they died of cold exposure . The mosquitoes loved me, but I promptly made their life miserable and took some Chinese medicine to get rid of the Malaria. Well, the dysentery we are still working on him. It is not too bad, Hey it’s better to be loose than to be blocked!!! HEHE. Yesterday, Keith stubbed his little toe on the chair and broke it. It looked like it was waving from another direction! Please pray for our health and that we may be healthy and strong.
Our outreach has been postponed this week do to 3 killings in our Pastor Leonard’s village. 3 Men were killed and the police are camped out at the road trying to keep the village from retaliating. Pastor Leonard and his family had to be escorted out of the village for safety sake yesterday to pass on the message. He has been real instrumental in trying to keep the people from retaliating. But he is from the other tribe that did the killing. Some of the people around hem respect him but others think that he should move out. He wants to stay there for his sheep. Keep praying for Vunabar and Gunia line.
We are still waiting………. for the Bulldozer to clear the property for the Mission house and Offices. They put a deposit down already so they bulldozer can work the ground but the dozer broke down. We borrowed a chain saw from someone after paying for the repairs. The Pastor who is using it to build a pastors house has had more problems with it. Please pray for provision for a chain saw so we can start cutting and milling our lumber for the mission house and Bible School projects.
We have several different irons in the fires including our mobile medical clinics that we want to start up. This we need provision for also. We are pleased that Victor, Lori Obregon and their son Alex are going to join us sometime in the future. Please pray that they will be able to raise their support quickly and closing down his practice will go smoothly. Of course, I would love to have them here tomorrow but all things take time. We are excited to see what God will do with all of us!
On the Subject of permanent Visitors!!!!!
We would Love to have you even if you are here for a visit!!!!!! HINT HINT!! If you like to swing a hammer, teach, scrub mold, or enjoy the deep-sea life. We can accommodate you!!!
Thank you for praying for our family. Melissa has an apartment with 2 other girls that are attending Asuza and her old job back a Lowes. Kristal is doing better. We still covet your prayers for the kids thanks!! WE really miss them. That is the hardest thing living in the village is hearing all of the sounds of the kids playing and wishing it was Joshua’s voice we were hearing!
Special thanks for all of your prayers and support. We could not be here without them. We really appreciate your faithfulness in your giving. Our last month we were about 200 dollars short. We know with summer and many things coming up that people get busy and forget. Thank you for remembering. We are continually amazed how far our dollar can stretch! We know it is your dollar and it is your prayers that we are here>>>>> Did I just say that ? Thank for letting us be your hands.
This month we are going to Goroka (main land) for a big 4 square Convention. We will be enjoying and helping the Team from NWC set up for the convention. It is robbery what Air Nugini can charge. To fly 650 Kl. It is 900 US dollars for both of us to go. I could fly to Japan and back to Seattle for 450 dollars. But as one of the Nationals said to me while I was grumbling, “It is the hand of God that you can pay it!” So looking quickly down at the ground to see if it is going to open up and swallow me for my grumbling, I repented and Thanked God that we are able to attend. So many times, I am corrected and humbled by the goodness of the Lord. He is faithful to forgive!
One more blessing has come our way!!!!! I have wanted a vacuum cleaner since the day I arrived here. Someone gave me a vacuum cleaner. They had no use for it and they gave it to us! I had not even breathed it to anyone that I wanted one. Keith has to put a muffler on the big generator so we can run it and then I am going to vacuum and vacuum and vacuum until there is not a speck of dust left north of Australia!
Please continue to pray for us!
1. Revival, in the hearts of the people here.
2. Pastor Leonard and the conflict up in his villages.
3. health, safety, and endurance
4. families back home
5. pastors and leaders: they would have vision and do what the Lord has called them to do.
6. Provision for a chainsaw and buildings and medical ministry
7. Victor and Lori as they prepare to move here.
8. Wisdom to disciple and teach.
9. Nana and Peter, Chinese friends guidance, wisdom and discipleship
Thank you again for your prayers!
Thank you so much for praying!!
We had a wonderful outreach on Friday. More than a hundred walked in from the bush to come to the outreach. The night sky was illuminated by a full moon and it had not rained for a day, so it made walking to the meeting easy. The Wonderful News is about 30 people came forward to give their hearts to the Lord. It was amazing to see their response. Three little boys broke the way for the rest of them to come forward. These three boys were so precious. They came forward without hesitation to follow Jesus. I think the rest were too afraid to be the first..... God is GOOD. We have a wonderful pastor that will be following up these conversions.
Next, Melissa has found a place to move into. She is moving in with 2 Christian girls that attend Azusa Pacific. She has been promoted in her job and is now next in line to be trained as a server where she will be making good tips. It was good to hear her voice on Mother's day. We continue to pray for her and the rest of the kids. We were able to talk to all of the kids on Mother's day. The best Mother's day present I could ask for. :-) '
Keep praying for us.
We appreciate your prayers and your support. , I am so thankful each time I go to the store for supporting us financially. We are blessed to be an extension of you! I just wished we had a Wall-mart close by. :-D I think you would then be worried where your money was being used for! Anyway, a big Thank you! Most of our support has been used on travel, ministry and housing. Of course, like the US our gas is going up and up close to 4 dollars a gallon. That includes our airfare tickets. An example is ,,,, For Keith to go to a conference in Bougainville which is about 180 miles away. It cost Keith 266 us dollars for a ticket. If he has to take a boat. It would take 24 hours to get there for 150 dollars. That is if there is a boat going there. Last week, the boat broke down. So it is not dependable when you need to get back in a reasonable manner.
Next week, we will be clearing and profiling the property for the mission house/ office and Bible school class rooms. The people are graciously donating lumber for the projects. We are believing God to supply the rest!
Stay tuned for the Praise Reports on our Prayers!
Thank you for praying!
The Book of Isaiah 43: 2 says that you would pass through the fire and you will not be burned, you will go through the water and the waves will not over take. It is true! We have experienced a time of fire, water, and of storm. But the Lord has walked with us during this hard time. Thank you for praying! We know we are on the right path when the heat gets turned up and the wave machine starts! Sometimes it is hard to remember when you are in the midst of it. Keith and I have been experiencing intense Spiritual warfare here. This reinforces why we are needed here. Both of us have been reading "The Power of Prayer" by R.A. Tory. This book has challenged us mightily to get on our knees and pray for revival in our Pastors, Leaders, Churches, and in our lives as well. As a result the enemy comes in like a flood. One example, we held a Pastors fellowship meeting and only 2 showed up. Well, this was no fault of our pastors but the Provincial supervisor failed to communicate when and where it was going to happen. A couple of days later the Provincial and Regional Supervisor profusely apologized for not showing up at 'their " meeting. They realized this is a symptom of a deeper need for leadership training. During our struggles of wondering what is going on and why haven't they been doing their job, the Lord showed Keith and I that we are on our knees and the enemy wants to divert, discourage, and destroy the work here.
In the mean while, back home in the states our kids have been really targeted. Our kids have had some struggles, especially with discouragement. We received an email requesting us to PRAY! On top of this, we receive an email from Melissa who is finishing up her 2nd year at Life Pacific Bible College this week and doesn't know where she is going to live this summer or where she is going to work. She is discouraged with her current job and experiencing car trouble. She said she applied to several churches that were asking for interns for the summer. She wanted to help with their kids departments or anywhere that they could use some help. Only one church responded. Soooo,........ we again hit our knees. You can pray for "mom and dads" heart... :'( .. Our kids are grown, live on their own and are adults. I do think it is harder knowing we ( I) can not do a thing or be close to lend them a hand.......... But then.......... that is the time we are able to give it to the Lord.
The next week we had a tremendous pastors meeting with 20+ pastors and we started off our first term of Pastors Continuing Education with classes every week on Inductive Bible Study and Expository Preaching! So God answers Prayer!
We do not have any students ready for this term for full time Bible School. We will be doing Leadership Intensives in each region and encouraging the Pastors to look for prospective students until next term.
Pastor Oscar, the pastor that came to the "Almost Fellowship Meeting" walked in from the deep bush and then caught a PMV bus into town. It was really awesome how the Lord redeemed the time. We took the food that suppose to be for the pastors meeting and took Pastor Oscar home. We had to drive through a deeply rutted road 4 wheel driving for 45 minutes. We drove through mud and gullies just to get to a little bush trail. We then drove about a mile through the deep bush to his house. What an experience to see where he ministers. It is amazing that he has so many coming to this little bush church. We are going to be doing an evangelism outreach with the "Jesus" video at his church next Friday night. Please pray for all those who will hear how much Jesus loves them.
Long story short, we were able to hear Pastor Oscar's heart as he shared with us his vision for the islands. We also had a chance to pray for his wife. She has been suffering from lower right flank pain for almost 3 years. She finally made it to the aid post and the nurse said to make an appointment with the doctor to take out her appendix. They haven't done any blood work or any test to rule anything else out. hmmmmmmmmmm..... Her symptoms come every month. So we prayed for her and told her that they needed to rule out many other things and listed them for her before they operate on her. We are so blessed to be able to depend on the Great Physician.
They have a son who was born 2 months premature and had something like "brittle bone" disease in his early childhood years. He walks with a stiff leg from a break 3 years ago. His leg is about 3 inches shorter than the other. His arms and legs have had several previous breaks and are crooked. His parents are so glad that he hasn't had a break in three years and he is about 9 years old. The kids were so excited to get rice and tin meat. I picked up some lolly pops and cordial before we left town. We had a party!
Our telephone that was suppose to be installed in our friends office this week has been prolonged. He is moving his office so we waittttttttttttttttttt. Papua New Guinea Time.
We are enjoying our indoor plumbing! Also we are getting use to living without a refrigerator. Besides getting frozen water bottles for our cooler from SIL, I am getting to know all of the places in town that sells ice. Every time we go into town we bring our cooler with us and pick up ice. It has been an extra blessing getting to know the same people. It is a great chance to witness on why we came here to live in PNG. I will be in heaven when I can have a real refrigerator. We found a very small refrigerator that runs on propane gas and electric power. At $1500 it Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too expensive! When we move to the mission ground we will have access to power and water. For the time being, we will keep filling our cooler with ice. ( We will call our trips to town "ministry on ice".)
I received an extra blessing from the Lord yesterday. He does know the desires of your heart! I was just thinking the other day," I sure wish I could have some dried prunes. " ( I know I am crazy, but I like them.) I thought I would never get them here in PNG. I have NEVER have seen them sell anything like it here. I was shopping at a locally owned trade store and lo and behold I see 1 package of dried plums at very back of the store next to the bottom shelf. Thank you Lord. ! Then in this same store I am looking at the prunes and there is 4 boxes of oat meal! (I have been looking for 2 months for oatmeal in all of the stores in Kokopo!) I bought 2 of the boxes and took it home.( I thought, since probably it had been there for years that I better look first if it is infested with weevils.) I didn't see too many things moving. SO..........., I cooked it this morning. It was great! I am going back into town later on this week and buy the other 2 boxes. If I remember,....... :-\ I will take it to SIL and see if they will freeze it for me and kill what ever was moving. I am sure by next year it won't bother me if my food is still moving while I eat it. But for now......... it still bothers me a little. :-) " Where he leads me I will follow. What he feeds me I will swallow."
We have been getting a lot of visitors. Saturday, one of the pastors brought over a girl from his congregation from China to our house. She wanted to come. So they hopped a PMV from Rabaul and came up to Ralubung. They then walked in 1k from the junction to visit with us for a few minutes. It ended up being a few hours! Nang is young single mother whose Chinese husband left her for another woman only weeks after she arrived in PNG with a very limited understanding of the language and with a three-week-old baby. She received Christ in China but when her husband left her it shook her to the core. The awesome thing is that Jesus has protected her and supplied all her needs! She is now working in a store raising her almost 2-year-old son close to one of our Foursquare Churches. The Pastor and his wife have really taken her and her son under their wing. As she was visiting in our living room and was telling us her testimony, I thought to myself someone shared the gospel message with her in her country and would have never thought that she would be in another country sharing what the Lord did for her. WE just never know where we will be effective! So be READY! She does not know English but now speaks Pidgin (with a heavy Chinese accent) so we communicate fairly well. Keith took them back into town during the worst rainstorm he has ever seen. He dropped them off to catch the bus back to Rabaul which is another 40-minute drive. He didn't know that the road to Rabaul was being washed out as he drove home. We heard that there were many people who had to sleep in town that night because the buses could not get through to Rabaul. I am sure they found someone to sleep with or they did make it home that night.
I have met a little friend named Joann. She is a child of 8 or 9 and is made fun of unmercifully. Every time she comes close to our house people in the village tell her to leave. It is horrible. She is developmentally delayed but she is one of God's precious creations! I really have a hard time observing some of the Christians treatment of her. They seem to think we need to be protected from the likes of her. I have talked to the teacher and asked her why people treat her that way. The teacher laughs and doesn't respond. I talked to one of the elders and asked why does people respond this way, but she didn't think it was wrong. Then I talked to the Pastor and they just responded that she was "disabled". So I have taken her on as a special gift to this village and me. When I see the kids walking down the path and Joanna is following, I have them all come close and do something that will include Joann. Then I give them all a small reward if they are kind to her. One day, I walked with her to her home and met her mom and dad. I am now not surprised on the way she looks from the condition of her place and her parents. Joann had mentioned that she had an earache and had to leave the house and sleep in the cook house because she was crying. So I looked in her ear and saw a newly perforated ear drum with my scope. I thought her mom would want to know and take her to the doctor. Her moms response was that she would treat her herself with some antibiotic. I don't know if she ever did or will but I feel bad for her. I noticed that Joann always goes around holding her lower abdomen especially when she runs. I thought maybe she was having trouble keeping her underwear up. Later, I asked Joann if she was OK. She said she had a lump and she showed me a "hernia" (I think) the size of a peach. She told me that the doctor wanted to operate but that was a "long time" ago. One of the Pastors said she has had this "lump" since she was a baby. Joann told me that it is really painful when she eats "strong" foods. I would appreciate your prayers. I would love to see the Lord touch this little girl. I am ultra sensitive to the kids here and my heart hurts when I see these things happen. I do need to hear what the Lord is telling me to respond to and not react.
Recently I talked to a concerned mother getting water from our water tank. Her baby is experiencing "short wind" a bad cough and runny nose. She lost a baby last year to Pneumonia and now has a baby with the same symptoms. She is really fearful (rightfully concerned) about her baby. She took her baby to the "hus sik" hospital and they gave the baby some antibiotic and sent him home. There is a need for a small clinic to serve this village and the villages around. In this village alone is approximately 1000 people. Long story short, they need to have an aid post close. The aid post that served an area about 7 miles down in the plantations closed due to lack of funds and medicines. I don't know how many people that it serves for 4 wards. While visiting a pastor down the road I saw a "witch doctor " aid post sign. It had prices for what kind of magic you wanted performed. Many people are desperate and are turning to what is available. Please pray for the need to be met. Starting next month we are holding evangelism services in each of these wards. We are bringing some ministry teams with us plus the local pastor of the area will be setting up follow up teams. Hopefully we will be able to plant new churches.
I wish that you could experience the Lord's creation with us. Each night in the village we have a light show in one of the trees outside of our bedroom window. The fireflies are just like twinkle lights on the Christmas tree. Sometimes I believe they are in synchronization. Then when the moon is out you can see the reflection on the palm fronds. It is so spectacular. We are experiencing the marvelous stars on the moonless nights, especially with no electric lights interrupting the view. If you are not enjoying that enough then close your eyes and listen. You can hear the crickets, frogs, geckos, bats, and occasionally the torrential downpours accompanied by thunder and lightening. Several nights a week you will hear different village choirs practicing. It is amazing how the littlest child knows how to sing in harmony. I believe that the Lord rejoices when he hears these "islanders sing." I can see him nudging Moses and saying," How about those Islanders they sure can carry a tune!"
Please continue to pray for the Pastors, and leaders here.
Pray for our family back home. Kristal, Natasha, Joshua, Melissa, David, Danielle. Pray that discouragement and depression would leave, pray for safety, ministry, and their passion for Jesus would remain strong.
Please pray for us for strength, health and safety and WISDOM to do what the Lords wants!
Please pray for provision on building the mission office/ house, and Bible School. Many local churches have volunteered to provide the wood. Pray that they will follow through so we can get started!
Pray for ministry and building teams to come and Help us. HINT, HINT. We would love for you to come! :-)
Thanks again for your faithfulness in you prayers and support. We could not be here without your hands extended! Love you and would love some VISITORS!!!!! HINT HINT>>>>. Love CINDY
We Love Emails. We appreciate you not sending us large files or pictures. We have a terrible time down loading anything more than 75kb. Our Internet service here is real slow and sporadic. Again, we LOVE hearing from you. Please don't let this discourage you from writing long email letters!!!!
Hello , Happy Resurrection Day!
It has been awhile since your last update. We are going in to town today (Monday), and we hope that the phone at SIL is working.
First, We thank the Lord for your continued prayers and support. We can not be here without them. SO as they say," If you want people to remember something important tell them at the beginning and at the end. " We love your prayers!!!!!!
We spent our Easter at the church where our Bible School is located. We had all the churches in East new Britain for one BIG service. I guesstimated there were about 2000 people or more that attended. This was an all day event. We started about 10:00 and ended about 2:30 and got home at 4pm. How is that for a Sunday morning service? We combined the Easter service with the Bible College graduation service. Each church in the region hired large trucks to transport their people. I now know where they get the term" packed like sardines". You could not see any space that was not filled up by a human. I still can not imagine how some of them even breathed. The trucks were so loaded I thought the tires would burst from the weight! Saturday night we had a tremendous downpour most of the night so the only cars that made it into the village were large trucks and 4 wheel drives vehicles. Many people walked in with their shoes on their head (if they had shoes) and their pant legs rolled up through the thick mud. Many of the trucks waited for their passengers 2 1/2 miles away down on the paved road away from the mud. After the service we had a large feast of taro, sweet potatoes, chicken and more taro. This was all cooked in coconut milk the day before. I think the Lord protects the world form many of the things that the health department would consider to be poisonous. You take chicken that you cooked in the banana leaves in the ground and then you let it set overnight in the warm (not hot but moist warm environment and then eat it the next day) I think our delis would be out of businesses after 2 hours without refrigeration!
Keith shared from his heart Sunday morning. The scripture became so real as the Lord touched the congregation. Saturday night we were awakened at 12:30am by a pounding at our door. There was a man who insisted that there was a medical emergency just at the school next to our house. We told him to get one of our pastors and then we would go out and see what was going on. We then prayed and asked God for protection and for discernment in the situation. We waited for Pastor Lebet to come but he didn't come. The man came back and said he could not awaken him. We then started to walk over and get him ourselves before we walked over to the school. Lebet then came and said he would first check it out before we would go down to the man. We never heard anymore from them until the next morning when Pastor Lebet said that there were many of the men drinking and that one of them drank so much Jungle Juice that he had a bad stomach ache but it was no emergency. I think his head will hurt more the next day than his stomach. We do not know what would have happened but we know that the Lord is faithful in keeping us safe. We just need to be on our toes. I know one thing is that Satan did not want Keith to share Sunday about Prayer and he would do anything to distract him from what God wanted to do in the service Sunday.
Praise the Lord! We now have inside plumbing!!!!!!!!
I thought it was 217 visits to the outhouse but I miscounted. It was 189. I am soooooooooooo thankful. What a treat. We got the shower up and running on Saturday night. So... I am taking down visitor reservations as we speak!!!!!
Another answer to prayer is we have solar power. Keith needed to run his PC and printer ( office ) from home so he went down to Kokopo and priced the solar panels and it came to $1000 dollars with the battery and panel, wiring etc.... but we did not have the money in our budget for it. So we prayed that God would supply the need. The next day we got an email from a friend saying God spoke to them and they would like to send us some money for something we needed. It was the exactly the same amount that we needed! We thank the Lord. It has made our life a little more easier to be able to work at night. We even have a 12 volt light we can hang up in our living room. I just have to get in practice not talking around the light in the evening. I have swallowed a few bugs talking and reading by the light! So we have indoor plumbing and a light at night. Did I say we would love to have you for a visit? Or would you like to come as a building team?
Thank the Lord for answered prayer!
The children in the village are blessing us with their visits. Last week, I had close to thirty help me clean the bush around the house. I started out with a few, but I figured whoever came to help I would not turn down. We then had a treat of cordial and bubble gum. Before I gave them the treat I got to sit down with them and share with them about Easter and how God gave his only Son to die for each one of us. It was a real powerful time. By the end I had a few mothers with their water containers standing by listening. I am hoping that someday as they get water from our water tank that I may share with them personally why we came here to their village. It seems more and more they are becoming more comfortable around me. Please pray for me so I will have wisdom and discernment!
I am getting to know more and more expatriates. (Foreigners who have come to Kokopo to work. ) Last week I met a couple form India. I also met a young man and his wife at the Easter service from China. I want to have them over for dinner. Hopefully soon start some Bible study groups with them. They seem very lonely and interested in what we are doing. I just wished I had a telephone.... Please pray... The cell service just started up here. Which means there is about two towers (7 mile radius) so there is some cell service in Kokopo town. We are hoping that they would put in a tower up on the mountain here. It would sure make it easer on us for us to communicate home too.
Praise God we finally finished the pluming! It took a month to do what we could do on a week end in the US! We hired a local plummer, Alfred who does not know the Lord but is quite a character. He is tall and has a crooked left arm. The bone between the elbow and the wrist literally is bent 90 Degrees in and then strait 90 degrees! He broke it while he was young and did not go the the clinic to have it fixed. He jokes that he has the advantage of being able to reach around the corners inside of walls while pluming.
While we were building the drain field for the septic system we had to go down to the river to get some stone. 5 guys and I jumped in the truck and drove to the Ralabong Plantation and drove through it to the river. The plantation is owned by a company in Malaysia and the living conditions for the workers there has greatly improved since I last visited it. The workers were imported from different parts of PNG to work and they generally live in poor conditions and don't have the advantages of village life. There are new houses for the workers now! They consist of a tin roofed shack with new metal siding. Two rooms with two doors and one window per room, just a place to sleep. An out side cook house with tin roof and tin sides half way up with benches and shelves in side. And finally a out house. This three building configuration was duplicated 30 times in a nice grass field with a small hedge of flowers between each house. This is much improved from the last time I visited with its dismal broken down shacks with burning rubbish and dirt and mud everywhere.
We drove for miles down a gravel road through coconut trees with coco trees beneath them. We then came upon some cattle! It was quite something to see rolling hills of coconut trees with grass underneath and 100 head of cattle grassing. We continued on till we entered true "Bush Jungle". The trees were 100 feet high and vines traveled clear to the top. At the top the trees spread out in a massive canopy of green and spattered with red flowers. We traveled for a about 1 mile along the ridge of low mountains and then began to descend to the river. We then came upon more rolling hills of Coconut trees and another 100 head of cattle, then back into the bush. We forded a small river (thank you Jesus for 4x4 drive) and eventually we came to the river which was a little larger than the Spokane or Green River. It looked the same as rivers back home I used to fish, except for the Crocodiles, and the 100 tall by 50 foot wide trees, the jungle reaching to the river edge... OK it did not look anything like the rivers back home! At the river edge was a gravel pit used by a local company for road construction so we filled the back end of our truck with big stones and headed back. On the way back we stopped while driving deep in the jungle bush to gather "Ibeca" a fern that grows in the jungle that we eat as a vegetable. It's funny, as I drive all I see is Jungle and all they see is food. As the guys disappeared into the bush I did a little exploring my self. As I ventured into the bush it sounded just like the jungle sounds you here in the movies except louder. I looked on the ground and saw leaves that looked like typical tree leaves in the states except they were 2 feet in diameter! I felt like I was a rat scurrying along in a giant forest. The trees were teak, that famous dark hard wood coveted by so many wood workers for furniture makers. The guys came back with large bundles of ferns wrapped in vines and we headed off for home. On the way back I asked about the new houses for the workers and they said that a local Christian business man that I knew had built them for them. Praise God!
Now that Easter has come and gone it is now time to begin work on the Bible School. We begin bulldozing this month to clear the property for building a classroom and dormitories as the Lord supplies the funds and materials. In the mean time we hold classes in the back of the church and the students sleep in bush houses out back. Please pray for the new students and Pastor/faculty for they will be the future Pastors in this region.
Please pray for our Pastors and leaders. They need God to give them initiative. We can not do that ,only the Lord can. Pray for our finances that we can do more with the money God has entrusted to us. ( like buy a yacht ) Just kidding. That we can start building the mission offices/house and our Bible School Dormitories and Classroom. WE love you and love to see your face! HINT HINT.
We had a great rain last night. Our water tanks are filled up and running over. I was starting to get worried. Our water tank was dropping down drastically. Maybe, today I can do the laundry now that the tank is full. It reminds me of what Jesus said, "He will give us living water! " WOW! Water that will never run out.
We are so thankful for your prayers. Keep praying! Friday night we attended a crusade with Derik Benson at ( Holy Ghost Ministries).There was a special speaker Abraham Akerley from the Foursquare Church in Australia. It was refreshing to join other ministries in our area that is working the work of the Gospel. We had 3 boys in their late teens attend with us form the village for security especially on pay day! Here in Papua New Guinea, many workers will spend there money on booze. The drunks start to climb out of the wood work! Well, to make a long story short,....... On the way home from the meeting we were driving a couple to a bus stop. As the bus stop some men came up to our car and wanted to take our car. The man at Keith's side had a bush knife in his straw bag at the window level. The other men that surrounded our car recognized the boys in the back of the car. I guess our boys knew what they were up to, so one of the boys jumped out and told us to take off. We then took off still not knowing what all was transacting. UN till later,.... When the boys told us what happened. Saturday morning, we were then told by several people not to go out on Friday and Saturday nights. They then announced at the community meeting in the village that all needed to understand what almost happened. It is like we have 1500 people who have taken upon themselves to be our parents and guardians. All I can say is........, Thank you for praying!
This week, we were visited by Emmanuel ,Provincial pastor from New Ireland. He sat down and talked to us about all of the needs of his region. He said that the schools and aid post are really going down hill because lack of Government support. He has a vision for the churches to help strengthen the school and health systems. He has a nurse working for nothing with virtually nothing to work with helping the people in her villages. He wants her to help him establishing this ministry. The aid post that we were working with in Lambom is gone. He shared his heart that he would love to see them have a banana boat stocked with a small aid post traveling from village to village on a regular schedule accompanied by a ministry team run by a National nurse and Pastor. Of course, we agreed. We would love to see teams come over and join them! ( HINT, HINT, HINT)..
WE are enjoying a dependable truck. Last night we probably had 10 inches of rain. We are thankful for our 4 wheel drive..... Sunday afternoon we finally got to visit the OCean. It is so close, but we have been sooooooooooo busy. We took a family with us and enjoyed the fellowship. We were able to enjoy the "Riven" wave side of the ocean. I would have liked to have gotten there and enjoyed the beach longer if it were not for all of the travel time we did from the village that we ministered at on Sunday morning. My heart went out to the congregation. I never seen so many skin disorders in one place than there. One of the families looked malnutrition also. I found out later that the father is raising most of the grandchildren by himself.( He is not from this area, so he has no family to help him. He is almost blind himself. He lives by " fresh water" relatively speaking, but I suspect what ever they are drinking and bathing in is some of the cause. I really enjoyed ministering to the kids. They were so receptive of someone loving on them. Keith preached on John. 1:1-14. Sunday morning as we were getting ready to travel to the village we listened to a message on the radio. The Pastor was using the same text as Keith had prepared. It was a sweet confirmation on what Keith was to speak on... God is so good!
Monday - Friday we have been working on the inside plumbing. Picking up and finding supplies is such a arduous process and then to top it off finding the workers that are suppose to be at the designated spot so we can transport them to our house . Everything takes time. The thing I learned early in missions training at NWC is FLEXIBILITY and Patience! Ok, Ok... I am learning!!!! I figure in the last month the out house has have been used at least 150 times just by me alone. That is 149 times tooooooooo much. Who is counting anyway! Ha, ha,,,,, Actually the out house has really nice painted cement floor surrounded by roofing iron and a nice door. It is the nicest one I have gone in! SO I am Thankful!!!!! :-)
Last night we attended a Birthday Party for a 6 year old in the village. It was more like a Child dedication and celebration. Keith prayed over her and then a Pastor preached. There were at least a 1000 gathered for this occasion. I never have seen so many baskets of food ready for the occasion. The little girl then sat on a new floor mat and everyone came along and gave her gifts, shell money and regular money . She really made a haul. Every uncle was asked to contribute a large sum of money to her. (Which means a least half the village.) I think I am going to invite the same people to my Birthday!!!!! She had heaps and heaps of gifts and bags shell monies. It made me think of a queen on perched on a throne while people would pay homage with presents. They had a village choir sing throughout the night accapella. It was so beautiful. Then they uncovered the chunks of pig that they had wrapped up in banana leaves and cooked in the ground. It was a celebration. We left the special meat to the others to enjoy. ( # 1 reason I don't think our digestive systems would handle it!) I am surprised that they celebrated a birthday. Most of the kids around here do not know how old they are.
Today, I am at the office at SIL trying to do some studying for a Provincial Womens Bung ( conference) that I will be speaking at. It has electrical power and it is air conditioned! I am tempted to take a nap after I get done studying. It is hard to study with the construction going on in the house. But I am NOT going to slow that construction down by complaining!!!!!
Special Thanks giving to God for the dependable car, protection and Health. My toe is healing and so is my tropical ulcer. Keith and I are slowly taking off the pounds. I recommend this diet. It only takes 2300 dollars to do it. ( Which means: visit us and I will help you not eat by not cooking!)
Special Prayers needs: Please pray for our pastors and leaders, elders. Pray for encouragement. Some of them seem to be discouraged and have dropped the ball as leading their entire flock; Sunday School, Youth , Men and Womens fellowship, out reaches, visitation etc.... The only thing they are doing is preaching. Pray too, that we will have the wisdom and know how to encourage them to pick up the ball and run. Please pray for more workers! Pray for the Bible School and leadership intensives. Pray for our continued protection on the road and in the village. Please pray for endurance and strength. Especially now as we are trying to prepare for the training. Please continue to pray for our kids. They Need encouragement! Thanks again for all of your support.
A little tidbit that hit me this week. I have been coming before my King JESUS with sooooooooo many request, but I need to come before him in worship and ask him how can I delight myself in Him. What can I do that would please him and listen to what he is saying. Instead of me talking all of the time! Lord, Help me to slow down and find out what I can do to please you..........
Thank you for your faithfulness in your financial support too. It really means a lot to us. Thanks for letting us be your hands extended.
Love hearing from YOU!!!!!! Cindy
HINt, HINT, Love Hearing from YOU!!!!!!!
Hello, It is now three weeks and we are getting settled. We are still getting use to the heat. Last night the temperature dropped low enough (low eighties) to use a sheet. We are blessed with sleeping good even without electricity to run a fan. The Lord is truly good. I wake up about 4:30 am and wait for the sun to come up so I can use the outside toilet without encountering any creatures that may love to abide in the out house at night. I bet, you never heard of a missionary telling about their morning rituals. :-D We are still gathering supplies and trying to locate the right septic tank to install so we can get our house up and running. We are blessed to have supporters like you who have been faithful so we can afford to buy the materials. Everything here is at least double what you would pay in the states. The bathroom and the kitchen with the wood donated and some labor will only cost us about 1500 dollars. This is the bare bones, but it will work. We have to put a 100 gallon tank on the roof to hold the water. Then we hand pump the water up to the overhead tank. We get this water from our 2000 gallon tank that holds the rain water that we collect off the roof. We are in the midst of the rainy season so our tank has been full.
It is really beautiful here. We wake up to a symphony of birds sounds every morning. If it were not for the roosters that join in, I would like the volume turned up even more. There are many sounds in the village. You hear people all of the time. I can now see some teaching that is to be reinforced on spending some time alone with the Lord. Just imagine yourself at camp all of the time and being with someone 24 hours a day. There is some good things about it too. It is especially good when you need something or you need to pass on a message. It has already been accomplished. I think they pride in knowing what it going on at all times. They do not need a telephone!
We have taken this opportunity to be an influence. Keith has been spending time working around the place with some young men They are coming around more and more just to learn and be taught. I did a load of laundry today and had seen some shocked faces that I actually can hand wash my things. I was promptly instructed to hang them up outside instead of hanging them under the house. :-) I politely told them I didn't want Keith pants to fade in the sun so I wanted to hang them up where I did. They then smiled and thought that it was a good idea, but they politely told me that the sun would dry them fast if they were out side. SOOOOOOOOO village life goes on.
We went to a village about 1 hour away and looked up a pastor, He has not been to town and no one has seen him for awhile. We really had a nice visit with him and he was encouraged that someone would come and look in on him. I compare that with our Christian life in the states. We too, need to check on those whom we have not seen in awhile. This pastor walks through the bush to his church 45 minutes to an hour each way. His church covers a large area with several plantations. I was concerned how thin he and his wife and children looked they all have lost weight. He asked for malaria medicine for his 2 year old. He has experienced persecution from several areas. He has had to move his church several times and some "rascals" have come in tried to bully him and destroy some of the post that hold up the roofing iron on his church. He said that they have left him alone and he is working the work of the gospel. We had a sweet time in prayer with him and his family. Keith will be sharing on Sunday at this church. Please pray for us as we minister. This is not a singular incident. Many of the pastors here in the Islands region have a difficult time to get transport and money to get into town. It is very difficult on our district / provincial supervisors to reach them also. Transportation is so expensive and very few cars travel on some of these roads. WE thank the Lord for a a good car so we may be able to get to them. Thanks again for making that possible.
This week we are starting our Religious Instruction in the area schools. The schools open up an hour a week to clergy who want to come in ans teach the children. Keith and I will be working this as time permits. It is another way the gospel can freely be preached to a "captive audience" . Please pray that we will be led by the spirit on what to teach!
Our trips to town have been productive. I think, I have run into more people who are willing to hear why we are here than any other time.Today I talked to a newly arrived manager of a Trade store from Singapore today. I am hoping that we will someday be able to lead him to Christ. Keith had opportunity to talk to a man for hours while waiting for our car to arrive. He had tons of questions about why we are here and who this Jesus was. He wants us to come to his house. I kind of think it is like Zacheus. So oooooooooooooo Pray.
We have been blessed on meeting the New managers in the SIL guest house.( The Guest House has power and you may stay at there when you come!) We have been using their phone system for emails. We had a great dinner with them. It was so nice to have a fan and real napkins! We celebrated John Glennons birthday with a real apple pie! I didn't know you could make apple pies from dried apples. It was so delicious! We even had ice water with ice cubes! The Lord has blessed us with friends that can relate to Taco Bell , Wendys and fast service.
To make this story short, Thank you for your PRAYERS and Support. We could not be here without them!
Keep praying,,, We are still in the mode of settling in. Our service on Sunday with Keith preaching was awesome. We are having a meeting with the Bible School board members tomorrow about starting the Bible School. Saturday, we are getting together for some local pastoral training and scheduling for next few months. Please pray with us as we make decisions on what the Lord will have us do. I was approached Sunday if I would be involved in some local outreaches into the plantations and outer villages that have limited chance for any health care and teaching. This has been my heart but I need to go about this the RIGHT way and have the right council and the right timing. My heart would be to jump in first and learn how to swim later. I can't do that so I will be patient........ :-)
We are learning all about village life. It has been truly an experience living here. Keith and Pastor Jonah starting building a cabinet for the kitchen sink and before you knew it we had several young adults helping us. I am hoping when we start digging the septic field they will bring their shovels! I have a sun shower bag hanging over for my kitchen sink for my "running water" and I have a bucket underneath for the gray water. I am hoping I did my last dish outside. Today, I got pretty sunburn hauling the water and doing the dishes. " Just a little dab will do ya here in the tropics" I did some wash by hand too, which probably didn't help much. We are so thankful that we have had rain fill our tanks so we didn't have to use the water twice or three times over. Keith did take the dirty clothes water and rinse our truck engine with it.
OH Yeah !!! We bought a truck yesterday. A 2001 Toyota Hilux, Double cab, Four Wheel Drive. Thanks for Praying. :-) We have already had to use our Four Wheel Drive just to get in the village. It is pretty nice, considering..... It was not real clean, but what is a little elbow grease for. We are having trouble getting the smoke scum and window tint off the windows. I tried rubbing alcohol, vinegar, Windex, lemons, soap and razor blades. Does anyone have suggestions? Thanks again for your prayers. We feel it is a real sound car and that it will last for a longggggggggggggg time. It was so nice to be able to go to town. I am counting the days when we can take some of our guest, team, friends ( hint, hint ) around in it. My date books are open and I have no one scheduled!!!!! We love for you to start praying when you would like to come!!!! I guess I already know the answer.. As soon as we have indoor plumbing! We will get it done SOON! ........
I so appreciate you praying for us and all of your support. Everyone is so precious to us. Please pray for our kids back home, we miss talking to them. We did reach home. It is very very very expensive for a phone card. It was 19 dollars for 11 minutes of card use. So each one of our kids got about 2 minutes worth. It really was torture to hang up. Well I best be going since this was going to be a short note!
We are still looking for a car. But with no car, it is hard to look for a car....
Yesterday, we waited for 4 hours for someone to pick us up and take us to several leads on some vehicles When he didn't show up after we gave up waiting. Soooooooo we started to go through more of our cargo, when an accident occurred.
I tripped on the edge of a metal sink and cut a big jagged DEEP whole around part of my toe. I proceeded to bleed like a stuck pig.(details for all of you who like drama!) We did get the bleeding stopped and foot elevated. Then we waited and waited for someone , or anyone, with a car to come by so we could have it checked out.( This was pay day for the most of the people in the village so the cars that could make it up the road to the village were busy transporting people around town). WE did finally get a ride.
I wanted my nurse friend, Ariana Glennon at the SIL Guest house to look at it first I was. hoping she had a suture kit to suture it in her "clean house" .To no avail she had no sutures. Blessed Ariana took me to the hospital. ....Keith stayed back and checked our emails, updated our banking. Thank the Lord for Godly friends. We prayed to gather and then prayed some more..... The temporary emergency room was very dimly lit and sparse. I knew we needed to pray more when the nurse carried the largest suture and needle I have ever seen. I thought she was going to do some leather repair job. I asked her if she had any smaller size suture needles and she didn't think they had any but ....." this one was sharp". Then she pulled out the antithetic and again pulled out an 18 gage needle. I asked her if she was going to stick me with that and offered her my TB syringe. Thank the Lord I threw the syringe in my purse before I left the village. After that she attempted to deadened it, she then ,drew up more of the antithetic with the same needle, which contaminated the whole bottle, Thank the Lord again!!!! She started a new bottle with me. I am sure they will use the same bottle until it is finished. . The antithetic was not working efficiently and I responded by moving my foot. The thread and needle dropped on the floor. She then picked the suture and put it in a basin and started washing it with some antiseptic cleaner Her intentions were to use it again finishing stitching my toes.. At that time, Both Arirana and I looked at each other and politely but firmly told the nurse," I would like a new packet!" She did go and get new suture and thread.. AS she was suturing she made the comment she could not see very well and for me to watch my fingers as I held my toes apart unless she sewed them too. I immediately took off my reading glasses and gave them to her. Her comment was," em nau! " or Wow! That really improves my sight. "
I am hoping that the antibiotic that Ariana suggested will help fight any infection that my foot was exposed to. It was a traumatic experience watching all of the errors and injuring my toe. I am sure glad that we have a God who is bigger than the problems at hand. Please pray for protection and an car that will fit our financial budget and pray for all of our kids back at home. We miss our kids greatly and are going through some withdrawals of not talking to them for a loooooooooooong while. Again, thank you for your faithfulness in your prayers and support. We count it a privilege to be your hands extended. We are getting all kinds opportunities to serve him here. Everyday, the Lord opens up doors just like he does back home. Only, if we look for them and ask Him to reveal them to us!
PS. If anyone of you have one or 2 suture kits available. Please Bring them with YOU!!! OR send them. I really would appreciate a few TB syringes since I used my only one Thanks! By for now! You are welcome to come for a visit. It is just like camping but it will get better!
Well we are getting settled and unpacked. We had our cargo trucked to us this week and we are sorting through our stuff. We shipped our cargo in October and it arrived in November. It has been sitting safely in one of our Pastor friends storage room and we hired a truck to haul it to the house. Kinda like Christmas but hotter... We had a planning meeting with our national leaders last night and God has some great things in store. The Kokopo town church has an opportunity to receive land from the government to build a church and regional office. Depending on how big our project proposal we could receive free of charge up to 5 blocks of land! So we will be busy with a site proposal real soon. We meet with the Bible School board next week to plan our school year and plan our classroom building project.
On the domestic side, I am embarking on my own little building project. The house we live in is just a basic empty shell so we need to build a kitchen, bathroom and plum for running water. We bought a kitchen sink and I will begin next week to build kitchen cabinets and bathroom. We will have to put a 100 gallon water tank on top of the roof and gravity feed it into the house. Since we have no electricity we have to hand pump it to the roof, oh well I need the exercise. We shipped in our cargo an out door shower complete with faucet and shower head. We just hook it up to a hose and Wa-La! No more bucket showers! For the first year we will be without a phone so we will have to go to the SIL station to use the phone for email. This will happen only once a week so updates will be sporadic. We were given a bush cell phone today, its actually a drum that we will use to communicate with our neighbors in the village. Four beats calls for some one to come to the house. It wont be long till we will be carrying conversations long distance with other villages.
From Me, Cindy! I got a cooking lesson today, and I received some language lessons form the elementary kids after school.They are determined that I will learn the dialect . About 10 kids came over to watch me prepare "s some strong" bananas. One of the young girls thought I needed help peeling the bananas. She thought I was wasting too much of the banana."Which I probably was..... SOoooooooooo she helped. I was then showed how to properly open up the coconut and scrape or shred the coconut. Then take the shredded coconut add a little water and squeeze the milk out of it and add it to the bananas and boil them. Well, long story story,I dropped too much coconut in the pot as was squeezing and had to rinse the bananas and start over again. ...... All of the kids thought it was quite comical that this lady didn't know to prepare their food. Since we do not have any running water it is easier to prepare the food outside. The mess is easier to take care of !
Without a car, our diets are low in protein and preservatives! Without a refrigerator we have to prepare most of our food fresh. I have looked for fresh eggs in the village.( fresh eggs that have not been refrigerator can last up to 6 weeks) So far no success.. I plan to get some chicks next week and start raising them for the protein and their eggs. I did cook protein this week. We bought some hamburger at the store on Monday. I ordered 500 grams ended up with so much left overs I didn't realize how much to cook for when there is only two of us. I am sure it will change when people think we are settled. So many adjustments, but there is so many opportunities to reach out. We rented a car yesterday and picked up a few things we needed from town took the car back to the owner which was in a village 45 minutes a way, we passed through several plantations with people who are so untouched by the gospel and are so very needy. I am excited to go back to the same areas we passed through and take some bible school students, food, clothes and a bunch of band aids and ointments and reach out to them. The rainy season is upon us and the roads are horrendous. We passed through streams and 2 foot pot holes. The road to the Bible school is flooded so we my be going around the long way (close to one hour out of our way instead of going straight there for 2 miles.or we may be hoofing it in for church on Sunday. Hey maybe we can burn some of this fat off! . Keith is going with a man tomorrow to look for a car. Please pray that we can get something dependable that is CHEAP! The Lord is so faithful to hear our hearts! Keep praying for us to keep our heads up and are hearts open to what the Father wants us to do. Thanks again for your prayers and support. WE are your hands extended!!!!
Just a quick note to say that we are safe. One hiccup on the last flight out of Port Moresby was the smoke detector in the bathroom kept going off. It smelled lilike it was some kind of electrical fire. I thought for sure they would turn around and take another plane but they just put on the air conditioner more and kept going. The pilot didn't come back to check so it wasn't too bad, I think.... The air line hostess locked the bathroom door and disconnected the alarm. We are so thankful your prayers.
Of course, it is a bit hot............... and I forgot about all the sugar ants.... We were escorted straight form the airport to a church service where we both shared a little something. They showed us the house and gave us a tour of the bathroom and shower. Which are outside. They updated the outhouse with a toilet seat and enclosed the shower with a bright yellow plastic. Of course, it is down stairs and a ways off. More exercise! I guess this means I will not drink anything after 4:00 PM. :-)
The first thing I saw was a spider the side of a juice glass eye level. Then, this morning I was visited by a large cockroach as big as a gecko. It wasn't scarred of me, so I guess it will be bug spray for the out house..... I am sure all of this will be old hat in a week or two I am a little confused on how to set up a kitchen since we have no running water. It just is a little difficult getting use to the first day with jet lag on top of it. The first thing on my honey do list is inside plumbing. SO when you come !!!! We will treat you like a KING! You will have your own throne room in the house.
We were so warmly welcomed and loved on by all of the churches. They had a large welcoming feast last night for us. It was great to see old friends and hear their hearts. Today, we are going shopping and putting away our cargo. Our first things on our list will be roach traps, bug spray, bug spray , bug spray,,,, did I mention bug spray. Please pray for our sleep that it will be rejuvenated. thank you so much for praying for us.
Thank you so much for your support too!
The saga finally ends!!!!
Praise God! We received our visa approval February 14th! We will send our passports to the PNG embassy in Washington DC to get them stamped today. We anticipate leaving SOON. We have been ready since October. So in the next few days we will be purchasing tickets and finalizing last minuet details. It's been a long wait and as Bill Page said "It has long gone past ridiculous!" But God is victorious and His timing is always the best. We want to thank Bill Page (Missionary in PNG) and Terupo (his administrative assistant) for going WAY beyond the call of duty in helping us. We also want to thank all of you for praying for us. God has sustained us every day. I am reminded what he told me in my study of Ps 23...
"You prepare a table
before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup
overflows." Ps 23:5
He wants me Inwardly to feast at a table alone with Him even when outwardly, all around me is turmoil, confusion and lies... I am realizing that I had my face turned away from the table (looking at the circumstances)... But facing Him now... in green pastures, beside Quiet waters, in the path he has chosen, in the valley of shadow, there is no FEAR, I am feasting, anointed, and overflowing...
Keep praying as we prepare to leave.
Hello, I am thanking the Lord for this new day and for you who are
supporting us in your prayers.
First, Keep Praying! The visas are coming ! When? We believe soon. We have heard from Terupo almost everyday who has been working relentlessly on the problem in Papua New Guinea. We even had our names posted on the visa approval list in PNG but the fax never was received! Yesterday at church, a man, whose name we do not know, came up to us and shared a dream he had the night before. This man didn't know about the situation in PNG, but the dream was right on the money. He didn't understand why he would have such a strange dream, but the Lord said he would know who to share it with when he got to church. The Lord really knows how to encourage us.
Our next email was suppose to be an announcement for our departure date but this is also GOOD news. The Lord is fighting for us and we are learning a little about perseverance on our knees. My lesson is simple: to REST. REST in his timing. REST in his WILL. REST in Him. AS you know this is soooooooooo hard for me. I want to get up and do. . Sooooo... I have been experiencing the school of refinement and I am sitting in the front next to the teachers desk! ( I've been there many times. He is a gentle teacher and oh, He loves to smile and pat me on the hand when I am paying attention. He often shakes his head and looks at me with the kindness of a gentle father and picks me up and takes me back to my seat of Love.) In the interim, we are living back on the farm and Keith is working for Biblesoft maybe for another 2 weeks.( They have hired someone to take his place.) The support that all have you been giving has been going into an account for us at Mirabeau Chapel. We will not draw on that until we get there to minister in person. SO a big thank you for the continued support.......!
We got to spend Christmas with the family. Which, I am forever grateful. Joshua stayed for 2 weeks and got to enjoy the farm. We had snow, but it has been raining everyday for the last 2 weeks. So hopefully we will get another good covering for him to come over and use his new sled.
Thank you again for praying! Have a great day in Jesus!
I woke up a bit depressed with all the stalemate going on with our
visas. I'm kept awake at night with all the worst case scenarios floating
around in my head. So this morning I open my Bible to my next Bible reading...
Psalms 23... I think, "oh brother... I've read this a billion times... I
need something different..." Then God started talking to me...
Psalms 23 A psalm of David. (Written by a guy stuck away in a cave with a death warrant by the King on his head )
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
This being in "want" has nothing to do with physical need or circumstance. I have been worried so much about our physical circumstances that it was all I could see. But this "want" has everything to do with the state of my soul and Spirit. The Lord is MY shepherd... He provides me with everything my SOUL needs.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he restores my soul.
The green pastures are not "smooth circumstances" but fertile food for my growth in Christ. Everywhere He leads me is fertile .
Quiet waters... quiet is the absence of noise... everything in this world is nothing but noise compared to his voice... all the lies of the enemy is noise...
But His is a quiet voice, in a quiet place in my soul... In His presence there is peace and he restores my soul. This is where he leads me. Outside there is lots of noise and circumstantial confusion but alone with him I sit by Quiet Waters.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.
He guides me... He is my shepherd... Romans says "Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit."... If I am guided then I am in step with Him and he guides me in paths of righteousness. Righteousness is right relationship resulting in right actions. Right responses... not knee jerk reactions... In the quiet place He helps me respond with quiet assurance that He is with me. How I respond reflects directly upon Christ because I bare His name "Christian". So He is leading me down this path for me to respond like He would in order to glorify His name.
4 Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
I'm walking where He has guided me and outwardly it may be the shadow of death... Where He leads me may be filled with evil outwardly, but inwardly I will FEAR no evil. Nothing on the outside can disturb the Quiet place where He dwells.
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
The rod and staff are discipline and authority... God disciplines only His children and He is LORD and has the right to lead me into the shadow of death... Does this comfort me?... Yes it does because he can do with me what He wants. "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him..." Job 13:15
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
He wants me Inwardly to feast at a table alone with Him even when outwardly, all around me is turmoil, confusion and lies... I am realizing that I had my face turned away from the table... But facing Him now... in green pastures, beside Quiet waters, in the path he has chosen, in the valley of shadow, there is no FEAR, I am feasting, anointed, and overflowing...
6 Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
And I will dwell with Him both here in the shadow and for ever more in the light...
God speaks through His word even when you have read it a billion times.
I want to thank everyone for your encouragement!
Gods timing is the best timing. In my devotions the other day God showed me how he sees the big picture much better the we can. In 1 Samuel chapter 1 Hannah was barren and "... her rival also provoked her severely, to make her miserable, because the Lord had closed her womb. So it was, year by year, when she went up to the house of the Lord, that she provoked her; therefore she wept and did not eat." All she could see was that she was barren but God saw that she would one day have a child (Samuel) that would be the leader of all Israel. If she was not delayed then she would not have dedicated him to the Lord and he would not have become a prophet and would not have anointed David as King. The delay was the key element.
So... We wait. :-)
We are staying at my moms and Keith is working on some side jobs for Biblesoft. Debbie DiPietro lent us her little Geo to get around until we leave. It great on the gas and it squeezes into any parking space. hmmm.. I wonder if the sidewalks are legal parking spaces? It has been a blessing to get around. The rain over in in Western Washington has made us a bit soggy and confirmed why we moved over to the dryer and colder side. But Keith said if I think its soggy over here just wait till we get to PNG! I am amazed at the beauty of the mountains and foothills over on the west side though.
Please continue to pray for our visas. It is all in the Lord's timing! We appreciate your prayers for our patience and endurance, and that we may be content and productive in the Lords work here until we are released. So far we are getting a little better at waiting. A I KNOW WHOM I BELIEVE AND HE IS ABLE.....! But I am sure I need more practice!
Thank you again for your prayers and support!
We have packed up and left the farm in the capable hands of our son and his new bride and its off to the coast to attend David and Danielle's wedding on the 21st. We packed everything in the car and I walked around for one last look and saying good by to everything, "Goodbye Cows... Goodbye Dogs... Goodbye Barn..." I had to do something silly to keep me from crying. Of course that only made Cindy sad and she did cry.
The wedding was beautiful! They had their pictures taken at 5 mile lake and we had beautiful weather all day! The wedding was at 7pm at North West Foursquare Church in Federal Way with the reception lasting late into the night. Afterward we were so tired we slept all day Saturday. We have been staying at Cindy's moms house and on the wedding weekend we had 20+ relatives spending the night. With everyone in one place we had a chance to say goodbye to everyone all at once.
Our Visas have not been approved yet. They are delayed in Immigration at Port Moresby. At first we thought they were approved when the work permits were approved but they had to go to the next step to Immigration. Then the embassy in Wash DC mistakenly informed us they were approved only 3 days later telling us it was a mistake. Yes... No... Up... Down... Go... No Go!!! Do I sound stressed!!! Our faithful friends in Port Moresby Bill Page and Teurpo have been working hard on our behalf . Not to mention being very patient with me! We will be postponing our departure date from Nov 1st to possibly Nov 22nd to allow Immigration time to process the paperwork. Please pray that the visas will be approved soon because changing the departure dates on our tickets costs a considerable amount of money.
We got our shipment off safely this week but continue to pray for our work permits and visas. They have not been approved yet because they lost the paperwork again. They have been resubmitted today so pray hard! We leave Nov 1st from Seattle and we leave the beautiful Spokane area Oct 19th to attend our son David's wedding. We will stay at Cindy's mothers place till we leave. The 100's of details have been whittled down to just a few and soon we will be on the plane. We called Jonah our National Pastor and supervisor in PNG yesterday and they are hurrying to prepare for our arrival. We are so excited we can hardly think!
Well, its getting real close to our departure date! We would like you to pray for our Work Permit required for our Visas into PNG. They have not been approved yet and from past experience it has always been a long process.
We also have been packing up the stuff we are shipping and trying to get it out by this weekend. Many people have asked us what they could donate to help us with our supplies so we have put up a supplies list here on the web site. If you have something to donate call or email us, we really appreciate your help.
We are Busy Busy Busy! Preparing for David's and Danielle's wedding, shopping for plane tickets, health insurance, updating our wills, transferring our checking accounts, getting those last dental, doctors and eyes exams done, and preparing the farm for our departure.
Our monthly pledges are at 90% ,plus we have received numerous donations for our plane tickets and getting started cost. We thank the Lord for your generosity! We have a few more thousand to raise for our vehicle unless we find a truck real cheap. GOD IS ABLE ! Thank you so much for your support! We truly are encouraged at the commitments towards the ministry in Papua New Guinea. May God Bless you!
TIME HAS FLOWN ! Summer has slipped past us with a whirlwind and we are getting ready to make the last preparations to leave in October for Papua New Guinea. We have accumulated many things for our shipment and our garage is starting to look like a thrift store with our stuff piling up for the Big move.
We want to arrive in PNG before the Bible School graduation in December and prepare for the New Year ahead. The Christians there are preparing the ground for building their first Regional office building and our housing. As usual, we will hit the ground running when we arrive because we are excited to start the leadership intensives in the islands region. It is almost impossible for our pastors and leaders to travel to the mainland for training and much needed encouragement. Our last trip really confirmed what the Lord had already placed in our hearts. We would also like to do some evangelism and training in the prisons, health centers, and settlements. Please pray for our pastors and leaders. We would like to encourage each of our pastors to start mentoring and seeking future leaders in their congregations. 2 Tim 2:2 And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
We are excited that David has truly found Miss Wonderful and their wedding is going to be October 21st. He and Danielle will be moving to the farm and continue their Bible School via correspondence from Deer Park. Our plans are to leave sometime early in the week after the wedding.
Melissa is back at Life Pacific College in San Dimas Calif. Kristal has a job with the Spokane School District as a teachers aid. A Big Praise for that!! Natasha is working at World Vision and living in Edgewood and Joshua is going into 2nd grade. We had the BEST summer with him. Andy, our nephew, will continue to live on the farm and help with the animals and farming. (DO you want any cats?) Our goal is to find homes for the cats and take her to the vet for an Operation. Shhhhhhhh, don’t tell momma cat!
We continue to see the Lord work in our kid’s lives. They all have jobs, vehicles and a place to live. Most of all they are stable in the Lord. We Praise the Lord for his goodness to us!!!! This year we added one more field of hay to our farming which means more work. As a farmer says, “ You work, then you stop and repair the machinery and then you work some more. “ This year was no different just more time on the tractor!
Our hearts are already in PNG. We are anxious, but excited about all that God is doing! Our monthly pledges are at 50% and our start up cost are at 2%. We know many of you have wanted to be part of the work in PNG but have forgotten to send in your pledge slips. Well, We do appreciate you getting them in by the second week in September. Your involvement will not start until October. A BIG THANK YOU!!! II Corinthians has blessed me this week.
II Cor. 9:7-12 Each of you must make up your own mind about how much to give. But don't feel sorry that you must give and don't feel that you are forced to give. God loves people who love to give. 8 God can bless you with everything you need, and you will always have more than enough to do all kinds of good things for others. 9 The Scriptures say, "God freely gives his gifts to the poor, and always does right." 10 God gives seed to farmers and provides everyone with food. He will increase what you have, so that you can give even more to those in need. 11 You will be blessed in every way, and you will be able to keep on being generous. Then many people will thank God when we deliver your gift. CEV
We NEED your prayers during these last weeks of preparations! Please pray specifically for our hearts as we say good-by to our kids and our GRANDSON! If you have emails, please send us your email address so we can update you on our progress.
God Bless You!
Well, we have good news! Our son David will be getting married in October 22nd. Of course, we will be sticking around and will be leaving for PNG soon after the wedding. His bride to be is named Danielle and she is a sweetheart! She is just perfect for David. We would like you to pray for our preparations for the wedding and returning to PNG. Also as you have heard "a picture is worth a thousand words", we would like you to view our Prayer guide for our ministry and pray for the Pastors, Teachers and Students. We will keep this up to date so you can pray often.
Summer is going by fast. We have been busy with farm work, farm work, fixing antiquated machinery and farm work. Did I say working on the farm? Today we had a huge rain storm so we went to town to look for tractor parts, I guess that is under farm work. We have enjoyed the farm amongst all the work. We have also enjoyed the kids being here this summer all but Natasha are back home. She keeps busy with her work at World Vision. But we do have our grandson for the Summer!!!! What a JOY! We are trying to appreciate every moment with our family because we know that we are being called to work in a distant land soon. That will be the hardest part saying GOOD BY AGAIN! The Lord will cover us with his comforting arm and our kids too. Please pray for us in regards to our hearts! Thanks. Tonight did seem normal with 9 to feed. Our 9 by 13 pan of meatloaf was gone in a blink. I am sure when they smell the brownies they will be gone too. Keith is still blessed working from home for Biblesoft. He seems to be pretty focused amongst all of the distractions. (I wouldn't be able to get anything done if I were him) but he manages to work. Thanks again for praying for us and thanks too for the pledge slips that you have sent in. It is so great to know that we are going as your hands extended. WE are always amazed who wants to be part of this ministry. We are still behind schedule with the pledges. It makes us a little anxious, but we have to remember, people are like us and always wait until they are reminded again to do what we intended to do a long time ago. I am reminded of the believers who sent gifts to other believers to help with the work in areas that the people couldn't go themselves and how the church was touched by their prayers and gifts. Things have not changed! Jesus is same Yesterday, Today, and Forever! Well, tomorrow is Sunday have a great day!
Here is a picture of the house we would like to build -> House Plan
The cost is approximately $30,000 and the house is in kit form that is partially pre-fabed and shipped to the jobsite. We just have to build it!
We arrived home today at 10pm after 38 hours of traveling and waiting in airports! I’m going to make sure we have a stop over night next time! I’m getting too old for this marathon traveling! Well God is Good! We have had a wonderful time in PNG and as usual God went before us preparing the way. We were able to accomplish everything we needed to do. We ministered to our pastors, established our housing and the national leaders shared with us their vision for the future of the Gospel in the New Guinea Islands. Please pray for us as we make plans to return this fall
We met today with our national leaders Jonah the Regional Supervisor, Joe Tobung the New Ireland Provincial Supervisor and John Puai the East New Britain Provincial Supervisor. The purpose of the meeting was to plan out our ministry here in PNG and work out our housing and building projects. Cindy and I will be assisting them in developing a strong leadership-training program for the New Guinea Islands Region. First, I will be strengthening our Foursquare 1-year Bible School program. The Lord placed on Jonah’s, Joe’s and our hearts separately, a vision of a “Teacher-Training” and “Pastor Mentor” program to implement “Pastors Training Pastors”. This would happen by implementing a Pastors Continuing Education program by establishing Training Centers in each Province. Even though we live in different parts of the world (US, East New Britain, New Ireland) God spoke to us the exact same vision and as we shared with each other we saw the Hand of God. They started the Bible School up again last year and graduated 5 students and they have 4 students now this year. The plans are to build classrooms and dormitories for 10-20 students. When we arrive this fall we will be living in a house provided by one of our good friends Comet. He is a deacon at the Ralabong church and works for the Government. He recently built a house in town and we will be staying there till we build a house/office complex in the village of Balada. There is also a possibility we may stay in a bush house while our house is being constructed on the property. The third possibility is to stay at the Bible College in a pastors house. We will see what they have arranged for us. We are leaning towards the house in town but we will be flexible if that doesn’t work out. This Balada property was purchased for this purpose when we were in PNG in 2002. It is next to the road and has access to power and phone lines. They have already cleared the land and built a church on the property. They are hiring surveyors to establish road access and will submit a plot plan this month. They are pushing forward as fast as they can by donating trees for lumber (hand cut with a chainsaw and an Alaskan mill). Depending on our fund raising Lord willing we will begin building a house on the top floor and offices on the bottom floor. It ideal plan would be a duplex on top so we can house other missionaries that come on a short-term basis (1 month to 1 year) to assist us.
We went back to the hospital wardroom to visit Lydia after her surgery
and they moved her to a different room. One of the ladies we prayed for was
still there and told us the lady who had the cellulites was healed just after
we left and went home the next morning! Praise God! Dr. Obregon checked out
Lydia and she was recovering just fine.
Our 3 day Pastors seminar went really well with roughly 60 pastors and leaders in attendance. It was great to see all our pastors and friends! They all stayed at the Village of Birar at our Bible School property. Dr Obregon spoke the first night on the importance of Men loving their Wives and being an example to their congregations, which was very encouraging to the pastors. We said goodbye to the Obregons on the 19th and did two sessions a day till the 20th and preached on Sunday. The theme was “Paying close attention to your walk, and digging our wells deep” taken from the life of Abraham. I preached in Pigen and it all came back better than before! They all said “Tok pison belong yu em i 99%!” It has been raining almost every day with thunderstorms. I took one of our pastors back to Birar after dark and the road was completely covered in water! Lightning was striking all around us as we drove through the jungle on the most horrendous road you can imagine! At one point the water was so deep it covered the headlights!
We went to Pidgin Island today on a boat with the guesthouse manager. We went snorkeling and fishing which gave Lori a chance to see the village life of our local people. As we were traveling we saw a school of 50 or more dolphins that swam up to the boat and chased us, jumping out of the water in front of the boat! Wow what a sight! You could reach right out and touch them! Later we saw a large flock of birds, which indicated that there was a school of Tuna under them. We raced over to them and my fishing pole started whizzing off line, Fish ON! This sucker was big! I fought it for 45 minutes (actually the fish just did what it wanted and went where it wanted and I just held on!) The way it was fighting indicated it was a huge shark! The sharks (either a Tiger or Great White) follow the Tuna. Consequently as soon as the shark saw the boat it took off and snapped the 60lb line. I don’t think I wanted to see just how big that shark was!
We arrived at the Rabaul airport at 5:20 pm on the 16th and found a crowd of our friends waiting for us greeting us with lays and many hugs. We all went to our guest house and talked with everyone till 10pm. We met our friends Victor and Lori Obregon at the airport the next day who were on their last two days of a mission trip with NW Church. They spent the previous two weeks in Port Moresby serving on a medical team. Victor is a Dr. and Lori is a nurse and they served with Pastor Bill Page in his medical outreach to the settlements. Victor came to Rabaul and served with us on a previous mission trip but his wife had not seen Rabaul yet. Tomorrow night we start our 3-day pastors seminar so we spent the day showing them around. Jonah had fixed up our old Isuzu pickup just so we could have transportation while we were here. It is rusting away into oblivion and the backrest of the front seat has come completely off. We had to prop it up with sticks to keep it from dropping into the back seat. But thank you Jesus that it still ran! Well most of the time. We did have to change the clutch slip cylinder after the clutch went out on us.
We also went to the hospital and prayed for Jonah’s wife Lydia who was going to have a Hysterectomy surgery the next day. Victor is a OBGYN so he wanted to see her. Before the trip, God impressed on Lori the names of two people to pray for and encourage. She found the first person in Port Moresby but the second persons name was Lydia! When Lydia heard this she was greatly encouraged. Cindy and Lori prayed for her and of course, Cindy had to pray for everyone in the room! The hospital wardroom was large and there were at least 6 more patients in the room and they all wanted us to pray for them. We just went from one person to the next and laid our hands on them and prayed. Many were having surgery and one had severe cellulites, win her badly swelled up leg. Cindy always prays for as many people as possible whenever she visits the hospital and then add Dr. Victor and Nurse Lori and we have a prayer meeting!
The Lord provided for the last part of our airfare today! He is never late but seldom early! The flight takes us to LA, then New Zealand, then to Brisbane Australia, then to Port Moresby PNG and finally to Rabaul.
Well, we leave for PNG May 14th for our scouting trip and we will return May 31st. We are excited about meeting all our friends again! We have talked to Jonah Horis and Joe Tobung on the phone and we will be meeting with them and the other pastors in East New Britain and New Ireland. The purpose of the trip is to plan with the national leaders our return and prepare for our housing needs. Cindy is busy packing and I just finished a small slide show for the web site (see “Photo Gallery” on the left panel). While I was looking through the pictures we I saw our Bible School students and Pastor friends and I just about cried. We have gone though so much together, some have been driven from their homes, had their churches burnt down, others have been beaten, and others have been driven from their villages yet God has had the victory! The Kingdom of God advances, their churches have grown and many of the persecutors have been saved! As you watch the slide show please pray for the people and Pastors in the New Guinea Islands.
The Lord is Faithful and so are his people! We were finding it difficult to come up with the rest of the airfare for our May trip in a timely manner. We don’t have a credit card but applied for one knowing we might need one for emergencies on (especially in a third word country). It won’t come for another week or two and every day we wait the price of the tickets get more expensive! We started thinking, “How can we do this?” Cindy says You go, I’ll stay! Yah right! I just spent a month without her while she was in Sir Lanka and I wasn’t about to let her get more than 30 miles away from me! Also we are going to scout out housing for us and meet with the leaders to get us up to speed with their vision and I have a 110% chance of being wrong when it comes to housing. Cindy’s input is extremely important in these matters. We finally prayed and just gave it to the Lord so He can show himself strong. The next day we finally were able to book the tickets with half down and we could charge the balance when the credit card came but this does not set well with me. God got us out of debt to free us to do His will and I don’t believe getting into debt enables us to go. Well… We received a phone call yesterday from a friend and they said that they are sending us enough money to purchase the rest of the tickets! Praise God! He is able to do abundantly more then we can ever imagine!
Boy this week we have been through the ringer. It seems the spiritual warfare was as thick as peanut butter. I’ve been cranky; Arguing with Cindy, the workload is stacking higher and higher. We were having difficulties booking let alone paying for tickets for our May trip and I have to preach in prison on Saturday morning! It seems the severity of spiritual warfare is equal to the importance of something you are about to do for the Kingdom of God. I believe I quit prison ministry 4 or 5 times this week; it’s too hard; it’s too inconvenient; I have too much to do to prepare for PNG… Well Cindy and I show up at 7am at the prison and out of the 40 who attended, 30 accepted Christ! After we returned home I collapsed on the couch and wept for an hour. They are so hungry, and Christ is so mighty to save! Jesus spoke to me again as he does every time this happens and asked if I would be willing to run the gantlet again? The answer is always the same. Yes Lord! But ignore my complaining, because I know that there are more people willing to come to Christ than there are people willing to share Christ.
Last night I talked with Jonah (a PNG national) who is our Islands Regional Supervisor. It was good to hear from our friends form PNG. He is as excited as we are for our return! We talked about our up and coming May scouting trip and he shared with us news of all our friends. The pastors are doing well; they just finished their Islands Regional UFW (United Foursquare Women) conference and Lydia his wife was elected as the Regional UFW Director. They graduated 5 students from the Bible School in December which is a great accomplishment seeing they did not have but a Bush Shell for a dormitory. Also this was the first Bible School graduating class that was administrated and trained from start to finish by National Leaders. This is our number one goal as Foursquare Missionaries is to help the National Church to be strong and self-sustaining. My job will be to strengthen the curriculum to have Teachers manuals and student handouts for each class and allow it to be reproduced at a low cost. That means purchasing books and materials locally. Also this means that we need a simple form of administration that includes affordable tuition and locally sponsored scholarships. We also want to set up a regular series of Pastor continuing education taught by National Pastors. I will be training Pastors and leaders on how to asses the local Pastors training needs, how to develop curriculum, and effective delivery. So in a nutshell, I’m working my self out of a job.
Well, we are in the thick of preparation for our departure for New Guinea. We have to get our medical checkups and tons of paper work for our Visas. We will be going on a short trip to Kokopo (New Guinea) in May to check out our housing options and details for our arrival in September. Our church has graciously offered to buy one of our tickets so we can afford to go. We are anxious to see our friends again and make preparations.