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