Photo creds: Haleigh Schaeffer, Etched in Time Photography
Dear Prayer Warriors,
Just writing a short update to tell you all of some encouraging news from this past week and pass along some points of prayer. Thank you for always being there to take us, our family, and the Inapang Ministries before the throne.
First of all, we had a good trip into ITUTANG which is always an encouragement and a much needed rest for the soul. The helicopter was already taking Bill and a few other consultants into a neighboring language group and they were able to drop Kelley off with Haleigh, one of our interns, into Itutang for a couple of days. We slept the best that we have in months! We took in a new set of literacy supplies for the new classes that they are beginning with the younger kids. We’ll include a little bulleted update for literacy there for those of you who specifically support that ministry:
- Not only has the gospel itself been spread to 9 outlying villages, the literacy teacher teams also have effectively taught more than 70 classes throughout the language group and we are so very proud of them. Our advisor, Markus, who faithfully gave oversight to all of these literacy programs has now transitioned and is serving on the local government school board and is a helpful liaison between the programs. Please pray for Markus, Ambo, and Vinansus as they join us for some literacy meetings that will be held here at the Madang Centre.
- Most adults throughout our language group in 9 villages have had the opportunity to attend literacy classes. We are switching gears now and dealing mostly with children and trying to be creative about how to bridge them from our 5 step program into the government schools. Our classes are recognized by the provincial government now and the children can test into either grade 4 or 5 depending on their ages and scores. They have the first and second step classes beginning again and we listened to their plan that will allow them to be ready for steps 3, 4, and 5 as the children graduate through these classes!
- After 9 literacy and gospel outreaches and one cross cultural outreach, the Itutang leaders have been just a little worn out. When they finished the adults and reached the younger children, they took a break from literacy for a bit and we have been waiting to see if they pick up the ball on their own and begin to teach literacy effectively to the children on their own. So I was thrilled to be in Itutang and see one of our church elders had put together a small teaching team and began leading them in teaching literacy to the children. Praise!
- Please be praying about the ongoing educational needs of the second generation. We have a strong desire to work with one of our believing PNG friends in Goroka to establish a small school in the village and to one day see a Christian high school available to our Ramu Valley churches here in Madang town. So much potential. Please pray for wisdom for us as we wait on the Lord!
In Itutang Village…
While we were in Itutang, we met with the teachers, the church elders, and some of the women and were so encouraged again by their faith. There are many changes going on in their lives that bring stress and uncertainty right now and yet to hear them verbally commit themselves to the Lord again and again was honey for our hearts. I watched one lady as she spoke about how God’s Word keeps giving her strength as she walks through this hard life and keeps her focused on heaven. I kept thinking, “What a privilege it is to know this sister! I hope I am able to be there to hear the Master as he takes her into His Everlasting Arms and says to her, ‘Well Done, my faithful daughter!’”
We also visited a family who has been struggling for the past year as the father has been pulled under by some of their life circumstances. We were able to talk and listen and encourage and would ask you to be praying for them as well. We heard testimonies of what the Lord is doing and prayer requests as they see Satan attacking within and without. We told them we would be writing and asking you all to continue in faithful prayer for them as they live on their tribal clan ground, but now as sojourners – looking to a new family and a new ground that will be their eternal home. It is always such a blessing to spend time with these folks and we are thankful for the digicel service now that lets us keep in touch even when we are away working at the training centre in Madang.
Tangguat – Promise came in as we flew out and now has her parents visiting and they will probably be heading back out of country by the time this is posted. Pray for Promise as she continues to live in Itutang alone under the supervision of the tribal church elders there. Thankful for her parents’ visit and for her heart and stamina to serve alongside the church there as she works on the Tangguat translation. Pray for Tim Lanier as well as he makes a visit into the tribe following their time stateside.
In the Ramu Valley neighborhood…
Thanks to those of you who pray for and support these missionary families working with the Itutang church!
is a couple of weeks from their halfway mark – heading towards the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Deliverer . Everyone in the village is still coming and attending quietly and listening well to the Creation to Christ teaching. Please pray that many will hear and BELIEVE! Pray for the Iski team as well as the days of teaching every day for 4 months is a stressful and busy time for juggling families and the daily needs of ministry. Thankful that they are willing to be there so that souls might have hope!!!! To sign up for weekly emails and see what God is doing in this people group write to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
is finishing up all the tasks that come with completing language study: discourse analysis, phonemic analysis, orthography, cultural write ups, grammar write ups etc etc. Once these are done, the Itutang literacy team and the NTM literacy consultants will be working with them to get their program up and running…the precursor for reading God’s Word! There is a lot to do, but they are taking it step by step and doing a great job of getting things done right and in order. They continue to be a blessing to the Itutang church as they call, talk, and hike to visit with the Itutang church leaders. To sign up for email on what the Lord is doing in Kaje, write to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Back at the centre….
getting busy in our lives. 🙂 As you know, the mission field is always short of help, but we have felt this keenly in the last few months. Our Madang Centre co-workers, the Rodges, who went home with a brain tumor are doing well spiritually and emotionally and are receiving radiation and chemo, but would appreciate your prayers as they move through this process. We miss them both dearly. We still have 6 families and 2 interns in the field orientation training here in Madang and they are all doing great, but have been through a week or two of sickness that spread through the centre and would appreciate your prayers as they get back into the swing of things and complete an overnight hike to stay in a bush house this week. They also have their half way evaluations this week. We are so proud of how hard they have worked and with the way we see them leaning on Christ to balance their sweet families and their sweet PNG Friends who are teaching them language and culture! We have been especially blessed with how this little group has embraced the national church next door and how the church has embraced them and their children during this program.
In our hearts…
This has been a long and hard year for us in many ways. We have been at some of our lowest points in life and yet have seen God’s grace in deeper ways than ever before as well. So thankful for our two girls and our son-in-law who are a constant encouragement to us an keep pushing us on toward the goal every day through texts and phone calls. We are blessed. Thanks for those of you who write and encourage us personally and for those of you who pray so regularly for us. We honestly FEEL your prayers at work in our lives and know that some days can only be explained by the sheer Grace and mercy of God, the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives and the miraculous team that we have had standing behind us for the last 12 years. So thankful that we are not here alone!
By God’s Grace and For His Glory~
Bill and Kelley Housley