“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.”
BUILDING the Ramu Valley Academy ~ An Update
Hello again from the RVA team! It has been a while since we wrote a long update, but please don’t misunderstand our silence for a lull in the plans for RVA or for our family. We have been beautifully busy in a blessed kind of way! Let’s get caught up!
We are thankful to announce again that the funds for the Phase 1 buildings of the RVA project have been raised thanks to the matching grant that we were blessed with last fall. Thank you to everyone who has given so generously. We know that there are many good charities that you could’ve given towards but you chose to make a difference in the lives of the kids of the Ramu Valley and we are THANKFUL!!!! They have no idea what the Lord is doing on their behalf at the moment! What a loving Father to provide for his needy children through his other children who he has blessed with so much! It must please Him very much. So THANK YOU! Thank you for DOING SOMETHING about a real need in the universal Body of Christ!
As most of you know, as soon as the funds were promised and met the Phase 1 goal, we began to order some of the supplies that would need to come on a container from overseas and we are anxiously waiting its arrival. While we waited, we began building the workshop and a small guest room above that work shop (see picture above). This build took from January 15th – February 20th and will be the staging area for all other builds that will happen over the next 2-3 years. We are thrilled to have completed this workshop within budget and with a water well, a guest room, a water tank and power! Praises to a God who brought needed help from NTM, from Australia and from the national church next door to be an encouragement and to show his love through them to us. What a beautiful testimony! Thanks to all who stopped by to encourage, talk, and work with us!
Once we finished the workshop, we were still waiting on the materials on the container from the US for the first school building. So, we took the rest of the furlough that we skipped out of last year. 🙂 This put us home for two months (March-May) and allows us to hit three birthdays, Sabra’s college graduation and her husband, Austin’s, graduation from seminary… and Mother’s Day! So, we are currently writing from America where we are getting plenty of granddaughter snuggles and enjoying seeing our family on a more regular basis. The girls are both doing well in their marriages and lives and this gives us great joy. Our parents are all still faithfully serving the King as they walk with us towards the finish line. We all want to hear him say, “Well done” and we are undeservedly blessed.
Please continue to pray for our church elders and believers there in the Ramu Valley and for Promise Vaughan as she faithfully works at connecting believers back to the Word and to each other as the Body of Christ. This is hard, long work and we are thankful for those who are praying for wisdom for each day’s worries. Anton and his family are doing well after the loss of his adopted 4 year old son last December. He has been able to move around and encourage the churches again and is looking to adopt another son in the coming year. Right now another matter for prayer is a big “hevi” with Promise’s main translation helper. She is a very sweet and godly woman and is married to a very unbelieving and promiscuous man. I think only the Lord truly sees the struggles this faithful woman has been through. Please pray for her and for the Itutang church and Promise as they seek to encourage and help her and her children.
SUMMER PLANS..and TEAMS FROM THE U.S.ofA.!
After Austin’s graduation, we will hit the international road again and head back home to PNG. We cherish the time with our family and friends here, but we are blessed to have been given a joy and passion for the work the Lord has so kindly given us with RVA. So, it is with both tears and excitement that we will transition from “home” to “home” as we continue our sojourn here on earth. Once on the ground in PNG, we will be busy gathering materials and supplies (and hopefully receiving our container!) and making preparations for our first work team. We have FIVE teams of different sizes and from different states getting ready with passports and visas as we speak. These teams will be rolling in one after another from May to September. Please pray for these guys and gals who are coming from Middle TN, East TN, California, Georgia, Kentucky and Indiana. We are again SO blessed. Pray especially for our co-workers who will be joining us full-time as RVA staff this summer. More about their journey and how you can help in our next update. So, we have much work ahead of us to do and many hands will make it lighter for sure. There will still be more space for YOU to help this coming fall or in the spring or summer of 2020. He left all of us only one job…”Make disciple of ALL nations” and all of us are supposed to be DOING that someway, somehow. So, if you know someone who isn’t sure what they are DOING to reach the nations and wants to know HOW to be more involved in either GOING or SENDING, please contact us and help them get in touch with the Great Commission in a more intimate way this year!
- Pray for the individuals and teams coming to serve this summer – visas, safety traveling and on the job, health, and for attitudes of service and JOY in their lives from seeing the needs that can be met through what the Lord has blessed them with.
- Pray for The Kitchens family who are joining us full time this summer as they are raising their support and transitioning their family of 6 into a brand new culture and life abroad.
- Pray for Wisdom as we buy supplies and build. We are building as low maintenance as possible which is sometimes more costly, but we are thankful for all the excellent expert advice we are gathering along the way.
- Pray for the first students of RVA, that the Lord would prepare them in heart and soul for what is ahead and start now giving them a passion for the Harvest Work in their backyard.
- Pray for us as we begin to weave and design the curriculum we have to meet the remedial needs and “catch up” our students to a seventh grade standard. (HUGE PRAYER REQUEST)
- Pray for Meetings this summer and fall with provincial government and educational personnel to get our school certified as its own entity and to comply with national government standards.
Friends, we couldn’t be DOING this here without you all SENDING us from there. THANK YOU. Please continue to ask the Lord for grace and mercy for us as we walk forward where he leads. We want more than anything to see men and women of the Ramu to be equipped and empowered to work alongside us interdependently to see JESUS CHRIST and HIS SAVING POWER ALONE proclaimed from one side of PNG to the other. He is Worth it!
By His Grace and For His Glory,
Bill and Kelley