Just Thankful…

“Give thanks to the LORD; his faithful love endures forever!”
2 Chronicles 20:21

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As we write this month, our hearts are full of thanks. We have had people write and encourage and pray for us as we transition back into life in PNG and we can feel it. This transition was a bit different for us and after getting some input at home, we are settling into a routine that will hopefully keep us more emotionally and physically fit in the coming years. It stinks getting old, but is sweet to see the Lord continue to walk with us and reveal more and more and to create more and more opportunities for dependence and obedience toward Him. We are thankful for the team here in Madang – both students, staff, and Itutang friends who have made it a joy to come back. Daily struggles arise – as one of the orientees reminded us this week speaking from Colossians- but thank God…He is faithful and forgives and never leaves us or forsakes us as He works to complete the work that He began in each of us. There is truly NONE like HIM. 
 
We are also thankful for the sacrificial gifts that we see many of you have made towards the school for the sake of training a strong new generation of believers to help us reach PNG. There was a total of $27,178.01 in donations received this month!! We are so thankful for the friends who are providing the matching grant that doubled all of those donations! So blessed! That leaves us about $179,000 left to raise before we hit our goal.  THANK YOU! Joshua and Amelia, our Itutang co-workers, came over to ask how it was going and we talked about how more people had given again this month and how we were getting close to the goal and Amelia’s eyes teared up and she said, “Tell them we said ‘Thank you for remembering the poor line (people) here.’  It is hard to give to people you don’t know, but God makes it so that we do things like this to help each other.”  Yes. Yes, He does. We are humbled thinking about how many of you are bearing this burden with us and praying and giving as we move forward. Bill is excited to be back here on the ground now and is gathering specific price lists of materials between translation hours.  Some things will need to be shipped from the U.S. and will take many months to get here, so pray that the rest of the funds will come in quickly so that we can get the ball rolling on this side. We have so many people ready to help and this, too, is a joy for us to see!
 
We want to ask for special prayer for all the new PNG missionaries and also for our co-workers here in Madang, Aaron and Lori Luse, who are functioning now in our former roles as Church Development Director and Orientation Coordinators training new missionaries. They have strong hearts for the church and the gospel and also still have school aged children at home. They are doing a fantastic job and we would appreciate your prayers for them for wisdom and strength as they carry a large burden together as a family to help the NTM-PNG team. Also, pray for the Centre Management Team, Garry and Sylvia Krobel, who are a huge blessing and are serving away from their four grown children who live in Canada. Mission life is so fulfilling and we all love our jobs very much, but we still need prayer to keep us content and focused when the pain begins to stab at our hearts.
 
By God’s Grace & For His Glory,
Bill and Kelley

Building a House & Building Up a Church

“Unless the LORD builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted.”  Ps.127:1

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Thank you for all the prayers on our behalf as we traveled home to the ITU village and worked to finish Promise’s house. The team from Promise’s home church were amazing and stepped right in without missing a beat. They worked hard, tried all the local cuisine, encouraged us as a team and connected with our village church – especially the young men there – in an impactful way.  We are so thankful for the Body of Christ…and for Promise’s new home next to ours. It’s nice to have her down near the church, the school, and the homes of some of our village church leadership. We are thankful for Bill Michaud here on the field who came in to begin the project a couple of months ago and for the team who finished it up this week. This is all a huge blessing! Thank you FBC!
 
Please be in prayer for the Tanguat outreach and strategy. The gospel was presented over there several years ago, but through many circumstances the discipleship process stalled shortly thereafter. As a result, the Tanguat church hasn’t distinguished itself yet from the community and is immature, which allows immediate felt needs and strong (sometimes unbelieving) voices who are attending the church to drive their desires. The believers in G village long to be working together as a Body of Christ, but until the church and community are distinguished and some maturity takes place, it will be slow going. The believers came over and had a chance to talk with us and share their concerns some through tears. Bill was able to refer to Promise’s documented history of the G village’s pattern of inability over the last couple of years to follow directions and submit to literacy routines, church discipline, and the Bible teachers at times and how that has resulted in a failed literacy program, a struggling church, and a community that is constantly battling heavies among themselves. We also admitted some of the fault that lies with us as the missionary team for the discipleship ending prematurely and laying an extra burden on the ITU elders and teachers. The believers acknowledged all of this and asked for help once again. 

While we were home on furlough, Promise invited two new families to join her in finishing the Tanguat work. We are so thankful for the Chens and Swenson families who will be joining Promise to engage the G village church in a deeper way and lead them on to maturity. Please pray for Promise, the Chen and the Swenson families as they work to encourage, exhort, and disciple even now as they work on allocating. Please continue to pray for the Tanguat believers. They are precious to us…men and women who are enduring hardship and verbal/physical persecution for the sake of bringing the Word of God in its fullness into their language group. So, we wait and give a little time and ask the Lord to be gracious to those who need exactly what the Chen and Swenson families intend to bring to this church. 

The new missionaries were supposed to come in the day we flew out, but the team decided with the church that since their equipment for their saw mill hadn’t arrived yet, it would be best to postpone and allow some time for the G village to soak in the fact that they are not running the timeline and decisions for this and that they would have to accept help from the larger Body if they want new missionaries to come and finish the task.  

By God’s Grace & For His Glory~
Bill and Kelley

Safely “Home” & Settled…and traveling once again

I am your guest – a traveler passing through, as my ancestors were before me.  Psalm 31.12

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your prayers and encouragement as we made the transition back to PNG and into our ministries here. WE ARRIVED SAFELY “HOME”!!!!  As I read in the book of Psalms this morning and moved through the 39th chapter, verse 12 stood out.  Our lives are fleeting, a vapor and “I am your guest – a traveler passing through.”  The reality of this is a great comfort to my heart as we live a life of transitions. It’s such a timely reminder for us to make this short life count and to remember the unrelentless JOY that will come for the Body of Christ in eternity. We are so thankful for uneventful flights and for the sweet welcome back here by our local national church friends. The day of our arrival, the new missionary families also began to arrive…5 new missionary families who will be training in the national culture and NTM-PNG Church Development process! We are blessed already and have enjoyed the families as we all transition to PNG time and culture together! Pray for these laborers who have obediently responded to the Great Commission to “GO!”
 
We are writing to ask you to pray for us as we travel again…this time, we will travel more interior back into the village of Itutang. The journey from America to Madang has included a Boeing MD-88, 757, 777, 737, Airbus A330, a Fokker 100, along with subway trains and shuttle buses and we ended up in an open back PMV bus (see photo) with some well loved and familiar faces. The normal route from here on to the village would normally be 4 hours up a pot hole ridden road that follows the coast all the way up the north to a town called Bogia and then 2 hours on the dirt 4WD road to a canoe point pick up and then 6 hours by canoe to the village. Besides the river being backed up with all the fallen trees and debris following some flooding, there is also a bridge out on the North Coast Rd. We’ve heard rumors that there is a place that only a 4WD Land cruiser can sneak by and so we are going to try to make it up that way and then do helicopter shuttles to get in from there – skipping the blocked river.

A team of “Five Guys” from California (who did not come bearing yummy burgers and fries) arrived shortly after we did and will be traveling into ITU with us to finish Promise’s new house.  This new house is being built next to our little house down by the church in the village. Please be praying for safety and health for this team as we take them into to work and meet the beautiful folks there that we are privileged to call brothers and sisters. The team has traveled far and they have already had to change their schedule once because of logistics here in PNG. Pray that they would be able to accomplish what they came to do.  
 
Pray for the Itutang church and its elders.  We are looking forward to meeting with them again and catching up on what the Lord is doing and hearing their joys and heartaches that we have missed the last 6 months. They have carried many burdens and struggles since we have been gone.  Please pray that we will be an encouragement to them.  We will be without internet or email for the next couple of weeks and are looking forward to concentrating on the people of Itutang. We are excited to share with them, too, about our time at home and how the churches of America are remembering them in prayer and giving.  Thank you!
 
Pray also for the church in the Tanguat language group as they process the help of two new missionary families coming and their future relationship with the Itutang church elders and Promise.The spiritual battle is very real. We are thrilled that assistance is coming for Promise and the Tanguat church and would ask that you pray for wisdom and energy for this new team.

Please  keep the Ramu Valley Academy (RVA) in your prayers as we ask the Lord to help us meet the financial goal so that we can begin shipping supplies.

Our hearts are torn straight through the middle as we leave behind such sweet joys at home and yet long to be right here, right now  – working and doing what God made us to do.  Please pray for our hearts to love more and more deeply the only ONE who is worth all this pain and to keep Him as our CENTER and SOUL ANCHOR as we take each thought captive.  
He is worthy.
 
By God’s Grace & For His Glory~
Bill and Kelley
 

PNG on the HORIZON

“I have no greater joy than to hear of my children walking in truth…” 3 Jn1.4


Dear Prayer Warriors,

It’s been a busy few weeks since we wrote you last! Our visit home has been one of many joys and encouargements!  We welcomed our first grand baby, Ansley Marie, into the family on March 11thand Mr. Austin Hedrick into the family on June 9thwhen he said “I do” to our Sabra. God has been so faithful and we give him honor for that.  We have also been able to get some rest and be restored through our interactions with so many of you from our faithful churches. It has been such an encouragement to sit under the teaching of God’s Word here in our own heart language and have a little time to seek His Face. Our plans changed a few months ago when we realized that our daughter Sabra would graduate from Boyce College in December, but wouldn’t be “walk” until the yearly May ceremony.  After a family meeting, we all decided to cut this furlough short and continue it next spring when we can be there for her graduation ceremony and also see that grandbaby girl at a different growth stage. We are constantly amazed at our daughters and their support and love for the gospel still. And so, with Ansley Marie’s little finger wrapped around our heart strings, we will head back to PNG on August 4th. It never hurt like this before.

We are excited about returning to our village with some new women’s health books that Kelley has translated while we were home and also some more of Bill’s New Testament translation to be checked!  We will also be returning to a newly formed Tanguat team who will be working with our church elders to finish the outreach and church planting work in the Tanguat language group. We are very excited about getting into the planning stages of the Ramu Valley Academy. Kelley has two curriculum developers that she is working with (one in the USA and one in PNG) and they have assessment testing ready and hopefully that will happen soon after we get back to see how the curriculum will need to be adapted to our PNG context! Please pray for the funds to complete Phase 1 of the RVA project.  When this month’s contributions are totaled we will have $76,741 of the $544,000 needed to get started. One seventh of the way since we started this year! Since we want to do this debt free, we are asking the Lord to raise up the remaining funds soon so that we can begin ordering the building materials and the tractor needed and have them shipped in time to begin the building project the end of this year.  Also, please be praying for the children who will attend. Pray for the Lord to ready them in body, mind and spirit for this amazing educational opportunity and that He would be glorified through them as they serve their country.
Thanks for all the love and fellowship and encouragement.  We are going back whole again and look forward to being your ambassadors once again for the ONE who is WORTHY!

By God’s Grace & For His Glory,
Bill and Kelley Housley

Pertaining to Life & Godliness

2 Peter 1:3  His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 

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Hello Friends!

Thank you for your many prayers on behalf of the Inapang churches!  We are writing today with such an encouraging update for you and your families and hope that you will join us in praising God for His kindnesses to His children around the world!  Promise, the single woman who has been working among the Tangguat people next door is back in the tribe after a short furlough and was able to send out a brief report last week.  She also has a family visiting who might be interested in joining her in the Tangguat work so they are in the village getting to know our Itutang elders and the Inapang churches that the Tangguat work has been working under.  This is an excellent time for the family to hear their stories, their fears and frustrations, and understand the needs of the church and outreach better.  It is also a good time to assess if this work is a fit for their family.  We are thankful for an encouraging text we received from them as well, so we are including both Promise’s email and the new family’s text here so that you can know how your prayers are at work and how to keep praying.  These are real lives.  Real souls.  Real hurts and struggles.  And real victories through Christ alone.  Thanks for being part of their salvation and sanctification through your prayers and giving.

Update from Promise:

Hi Bill and Kelley,

       I think you would be encouraged if you were here in the village right now. So I want to take a few minutes to report on a few encouragements.

 – All four literacy classes are going (simultaneously)! Last time that happened was 2014. I’m encouraged to hear that teachers are being faithful.

– The elders said they had not met for a while, but they did meet along with K. and I.  this past Tuesday. They talked about “anointing” T. as elder and desire to do that soon.

– Teaching is going on in Mb village (V. is teaching Luke), Ongi (AA is teaching 2 Thess_

– M. continues to faithfully teach in G village and seems to have done that mostly without A.’s help the last few months.

– New Phase One going on with a small group in G village. They are at lesson 41 and meeting most weekdays. Eight Bible teachers taking turns teaching.

– a Bible conference will be held in Itutang next week. This is just for Itutang, but they decided they would let people from Mb. village stay and listen if they came. A. is going to select a few from G village to come as well.  

-Finally had a good rain! The ground was dry and cracked when we arrived, and the new family visiting will hae plenty of water.  Thank you for your faithfulness and being willing to do hard things because He is worthy. I’m blessed to be living with the results.

Promise

 From a Text Sent out from the visiting family:

The church seems to be doing well.  There are so many cultural things that I’m still learning about.  From what I gather from talking to Promise and the elders, there are the usual hevis (problems) and such, but the elders seem solid.  Today in church they addressed some people who had gone to a (false teaching and) “healing/demon exorcism” (in another village) yesterday. Anton preached on Acts 19 (seven sons of Sceva) and then Colossians 2.  Although I could only understand the part s in Tok Pisin, I could tell he knows his Scripture.

As you can see, the church and its work are still going strong.  The exciting thing for us in that second text is that once the elders became avid readers and studiers in their mother tongue, we taught them how to read and study in the national language as well.  As you know, we are finishing up the NT translation still, and guess what?! We haven’t translated the book of Colossians yet! Anton confronted false teaching from a book that he has been studying in the national language on his own! So thankful for the gift of literacy and the way it is being used to read, study and CONFRONT FALSE TEACHING with the TRUTH OF SCRIPTURE!!!! Please continue to pray for the church elders in each of the Inapang churches that they will spend time in the Word, know God, and walk towards Him in ever increasing holiness letting their light shine in a dark place valley where there is still more work to be done.  HE IS WORTH IT!!!! 

We are enjoying our last month around our sweet family here and little Ansley Marie as well as our Louisville faith family.  Our prayer when we came to live here for many months in the house all together as a family again was that the Lord would give us special times together and grow us closer as a family.  He has been so kind and our kids have been so hospitable and flexible with us and our crazy schedules.  Thanks for praying for our family.  Now, we will head down to our Tennessee faith family next month to begin prep for the upcoming wedding of Sabra to Austin Hedrick.  We met as a family and have decided that we will leave August 4th for PNG and then make a trip next year to finish off our furlough time and be with the family as they will all be going through some transitions. We decided as a family, we would all rather us be back together at that point.  We are thankful for family who still believes in sacrificing as a family.  As one of our daughters said recently, “It still hurts and that’s okay.”  That’s where we all are at this point…we are real people with real emotions and are having to choose obedience again, even though it hurts because the King has left us with one job, He is coming back and He is worth It.  Doesn’t mean we won’t need heaps of prayers over the next few months that our time would be fat and full of special memories and that when it comes time to kiss that sweet beautiful grandbaby and kiddos goodbye, that He would be our strength once again. Thankful for a Savior who loves us and knows our pain and for faith family that encourage us all along the way to keep our eyes and hearts focused. Please keep the Inapang, their new school project (RVA), and our family in your prayers.  The work in them and us…it is not finished yet.

By God’s Grace and For His Glory~

Bill and Kelley

 

Introducing the Ramu Valley Academy

Hello Friends!
 
We hope this Resurrection Season has encouraged your hearts and enlivened your senses once again with the richness of the knowledge that CHRIST our Savior LIVES. Because of His Perfect Life, He was raised from the dead as first fruits and now, as Colossians reminds us…this is the secret…CHRIST IN US! Hallelujah!
 
We are writing today with a short update and information about a ministry that is growing out of the local church plants that you have participated in planting among our people groups in the Ramu Valley. As you well know, our team has been working at church development among the people groups of the Ramu Valley for almost a decade. This includes ongoing translation and discipleship and are looking forward to the day when we are able to place the entire New Testament, written and bound, into these believing hands. As they continue to grow and mature, the church leaders have raised a new concern regarding the education of their children. Their dream is to have a safe educational atmosphere where they could send some of their children to learn about Christ and be trained for church and community service. For the sake of the future church, we also believe that it is time for this to happen.
 
Since 2016, we have worked with our local village church leadership, national PNG teachers, NTM-PNG leadership as well as the stateside and international Ethnos360 leadership teams to come up with an exciting plan for moving forward. The Lord has already provided a beautiful piece of ocean side property set along the Pacific which provides more than ample room for the completion of the entire academy. Now, we are trusting Him to move hearts to be part of the team financially and in prayer support to allow us to begin Phase One of the RAMU VALLEY ACADEMY project beginning January 2019. Most of you know that Bill has a background in both construction and trim carpentry and he will be putting together the supplies and building teams made up of both western and national church volunteers to complete the structures. Once the building of phase one is completed, we will begin selecting students for the first seventh grade class in the spring of 2020. The calendar will follow the PNG calendar which is Australian-based.
 
This ramuvalleyacademy.com website is designed to help you understand this arm of our Inapang ministry a little better. We hope this will lead some of you to commit to praying faithfully for the building, students and teachers of RVA. We also have packets of information and a thumbdrive with files that can be copied to share. We would love to send you this informational packet if you think this is something that your local church or friends might be interested in being a part of. Just email us the mailing address to bill_housley@ntm.org and we will get a packet in the mail to you. If you have any questions or want to know more, we are happy to try to connect either via voice call or skype or in person!
 
THANK YOU for your faithful, faithful love and support. We often reflect and dream of the day when the King returns and all those whose lives have been touched with the good news on this side of eternity are realized and brought into glory forever together with Jesus! What a day that will be!
 
By God’s Grace and For His Glory~
Bill and Kelley Housley

 

The Growing Years…

“…I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith in Him is being talked about all over the world. God knows how often I pray for you.”   Romans 1:8-9

Dear Faithful Friends and Prayer Warriors,

Greetings from the homeland! We are excited to be home and enjoying the part Body of Christ who resides in the North American continent. It has been a breath of fresh air to see some of you face to face and to be able to worship side by side once again. Our hearts are full with your kindnesses and your love and prayers that we have already experienced in the last two months as we have travelled around the southeastern United States.

Overseas, the leadership in our local churches are growing in their spiritual walk and abilities to lead and shepherd. We were just able to FaceTime with one of our elders who made his way out to the mission centre in the coastal town of Madang. He told us of the marriage and family “mini conferences” they are doing in each village in our area.  These meetings are meant to strengthen and encourage the young boys in the Lord.  These young men will be the future leaders in the local community and church.  It was good to hear this report and to hear of this elder’s love for the local churches that he oversees.  He actually was able to see Bill’s parents via FaceTime as well and gave Jack a thank you because he raised Bill to be concerned for getting the gospel to others and that because Bill came and lived among them and broke the language barrier, he is living in truth today with hope of heaven. This was a good reminder as we are caught up in the comforts of stateside and friends and family that the stark need in PNG is an ongoing reality with many more tribes still existing in that dooming “never heard” category.  Please continue in your faithful prayers for the churches of the Ramu Valley as they reach out.

The Inapang churches are continuing to grow as they study through God’s Word a book at a time.  The Tangguat work has two potential families who are interested in joining Promise to help disciple and finish that work there. They have tender hearts of discipleship and desire to be a blessing to the local village church and to Promise. Please be praying for the Itutang elders, Promise and the two families as they spend time together in prayer seeking the Lord’s guidance in the team building process in the coming weeks.

Here stateside, our family has grown and now includes little Ansley Marie born to our daughter Madison and her husband Jonathan on March 11th.  We are so thankful the Lord has allowed us be home during this very special time.  Our family will grow again as we add Austin Hedrick into our family.  He and Sabra will be married this summer.  We have many kindnesses to be thankful for in this new season of life and our hearts are full to the brim and spilling over in joy.  God is surely a gracious God who bestows undeserved blessings on His children.

There is more exciting news to share!!! Stay tuned later this week for another blog called “Introducing the Ramu Valley Academy.”  We will be officilally kicking off the RVA project with you, our support team and look forward to partnering with you once again….’til the valley is reached for the King!

 

By God’s Grace & For His Glory~

Bill and Kelley Housley