“He made you holy by means of Christ Jesus, just as he did for all people everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.” 1 Corinthians 1:2
Dear Prayer Warriors,
Happy New Year! We pray that each of you had a blessed time of reflection and rest over the holidays. We certainly did! Most of you know that Kelley had a strange virus that was causing excruciating muscle pain every night and then disappearing in the morning during the month of December. We still don’t know what it was, but after 14 days, it disappeared. Thanks for praying her through that. The last painful episode was after we arrived in Itutang for CHRISTmas! So thankful for all of your PRAYERS for our family and ministry here!
CHRISTmas Day with the ITUTANG Church
Our trip into Itutang was such a needed refreshment for our souls. It was so good to meet with the church elders and the believers and to sing in our little village church together again. (Kelley will be posting some pics and video on fb) We spent CHRISTmas morning with the church at a special service they had planned and then we were able to hike over to visit the Swensons and the Tanguat church about 2 hours away. We were able to hit their afternoon CHRISTmas service there and enjoyed being with them. Our RVA coworkers, the Kitchens, spent their holiday break in Tanguat for bush orientation so we were able to catch up with them as well. It was good timing as there were some “heavies” floating around the village and church and we were able to meet together with the Swensons and the Bible teachers there and work through some of the complications together. Please keep praying for the Tanguat church as they wait on the Swensons and the Chens to get through their language study and begin full on discipleship with the men there. So thankful for these two families and for Promise who after putting many, many hours into literacy and translation is taking a well-deserved rest at home with family!
Back in ITUTANG
Guys, we can’t even explain how much we enjoyed sitting under the teaching of our Itutang elders this time. Their teaching is truly coming from hearts that are spending time in study of the Word and that are in love with Jesus and have their hope fixed in their belief that He rewards those who seek Him (Heb. 11:6). Our souls were fed and our bodies got much needed rest and we were cared for and encouraged by the Body of Christ there. Other happenings while we were there…This year Kelley and the Itutang literacy supervisors produced a complete revision of the literacy program. The first program was written by our team back in 2006 and was targeting unbelieving adults. This program targeted the children who are growing up in our churches. The new stories are educational and spiritually enriching and were written by the literacy teachers there. Kelley tried it out on this 13 year old who had already been through the program and she read right through the first primer without hesitation. 🙂 Also, the guys were able to meet and finish drafting the book of Hebrews! Bill is excited to get back into his early morning translation schedule as we settle into our permanent place for a few years. THANK YOU FOR THE PART YOU HAVE PLAYED IN BRINGING THE GOSPEL & TRANSLATION TO THIS PLACE! We are coming out encouraged in our plans to help them educate and disciple this next generation.
Ramu Valley Academy
Now, we are back in Madang at the school site and are moving to the TEACHER HOUSE very soon….hopefully before Kelley’s birthday this Sunday! When we picked up the e2 orientation hat again unexpectedly this past year, we put down the work on the house as we mentioned in our last email update. When we counted up the actual working days on the calendar, we found that today as I write, we are on day #82. It was encouraging to see what work has been done in 82 days. J Please keep praying that we will be able to focus full time with the Kitchens family on RVA and that our teams planned for this year will get all their paperwork in and be able to come. We are excited to see how He provides once again for 2020. The SCHOOL BUILDING for the first four classrooms has the posts in and is ready and waiting for construction with all supplies in a nice neat pile. First, however, we will work with some of the community here to put a SECURITY FENCE around the fairly large area that we will use for student houses. We will also clear a place for the village churches to come and make some gardens for the students so they will have food next year.
So, things are moving along. Not as fast as we’d hoped, but we have learned that His timing is never off and we are resting and counting it all JOY. J
(just a screenshot, not a video 🙂
Our PEANUT Gallery
I know you didn’t sign up on these email updates to hear our personal family updates and grandparent ravings about our little peanut, but we are thankful for our kids today who grew up in Itutang village and who loved these people as much as we did. This visit was during rainy season and so while being without a fridge and cold water wasn’t a big deal, the cool evenings made the cold showers were a bear this time. As I turned on the water and held my breath the last night in there, I thought of my girls and the Moore boys on our team who also grew up there. They grew up happy. They never complained about life in the bush. Our team purposefully said no to some nice things and restricted ourselves in other areas to keep our homes from being tiny sanctuaries where we could escape the people outside who we came to serve and their world of dirt and heat and all things hard. We wanted to continue to “be” in the Itutang world on purpose and wanted our kids to learn how to live for something besides themselves. Our team kids never complained. We asked for prayer for them and you prayed and we saw the fruit of it in our family. Then, they all grew up and they all went back to passport countries and they are all in love with Jesus and loving people in sacrificial ways. Now, Maddie has a little one of her own and she and here husband are teaching her the gospel in real life – through good days and bad days and days that you never want to re-live. The same gospel that Anton clings to when he loses a child and the same gospel that Nguaintam clings to when she is berated by an unbelieving brother and told that she is sick because of her belief in God. The same gospel that YOU are hanging on to for the struggles in your life today. Guys, the gospel is our strength and power and gives us vision and purpose for this very day. For this month. For this year 2020. Thanks for sticking with us through a long road and hard work and for continuing with us as we serve the next generation here in PNG. Pray that RVA will produce men and women of God who catch the vision for the Great Commission and use their education and gifts to join us in FINISHING the TASK. We love this job…and all of you! Happy 2020!
By God’s Grace and For His Glory~