The LORD Gives His People Strength

The LORD reigns as King forever. The LORD gives His people strength. The LORD blesses them with peace. PS. 29.10b-11

Dear Praying Friends,

We are so thankful to be writing you this morning from our quiet little abode in the States where we will be staying for two more weeks before we begin some traveling here in the south.  We arrived home just before CHRISTmas and were able to spend some beloved time with friends and with family…especially our two girls and their men.  It was fun to see our son-in-law Jonathan and our daughter, Madison, doing well with their first pregnancy and our second daughter, Sabra, become engaged on CHRISTmas day to a young man that we have all fallen in love with!  We are very blessed! We enjoying some rest and finding once again that the Joy of the LORD is our Strength. Thankful for His steadfastness in a mutual and sometimes chaotic world.

This month we are catching up on some translation projects.  Please pray as we work this month translating the book of Hebrews.  We hope to get it al least to the half way point before we begin our travels to touch base with our churches down south and visit with many of YOU!

As much as we love being home, as we begin to receive news about the EXCITING start to literacy in the KAJE tribe next door, it’s hard for our hearts not to long to be there, too.  We are so proud of the Goheen and the Myers families.  They have humble hearts who love the gospel of Jesus Christ, trust him, and love others. Many of you support and pray for them as well and they continue to just be such a blessing to us. They have worked so well with our Itutang church over the past few years and we are privileged to call them neighbors and friends.  Please pray for them as they begin literacy and teach over the next four months the FIRST KAJE READING classes EVER!  Praise the Lord!

Our home church in Itutang is doing well and they actually sent some words of thanks and some prayer requests to you.  You can see the video and the translation of their thanks here. it was good to spend a few weeks with the young men of our church at the conference in Madang just before we left.  There was SUCH a good response and some good time one on one with us and the elders of the church speaking heart to heart with our young men.  Please pray that the Lord will raise up a next generation of leaders who seek God and desire to live in obedience to Him. Speaking of the NEXT GENERATION…

We are excited to let you know that things are moving forward in the Ramu Valley School Project!  After many years of prayer in the Itutang church, we officially have a piece of beautiful waterfront property to build our school on!  This is a huge undertaking and we have no real precedence to follow, so we humbly ask that you would put us, the church, the NTM leadership, and this project before the Lord daily.  Please ask for wisdom, finances, and prepared students.  We have given over a decade to church development on the ground in the tribe and have seen the Lord do MORE than we could ask or think.  Now, we look forward to seeing what He will provide in the coming decade as we commit ourselves together with you and the churches of the Ramu Valley to Him and equip that next generation for His work of reaching the unreached in PNG.  We are thrilled (and nervous) about this opportunity, but know that with God ALL THINGS are possible.  Not just a cliché!

We will be building teams for fundraising, building & construction, teaching & administration, and practical skills and helps/discipleship. We hope to begin the building process January 2019 and enroll the first class January 2020, but there are some major milestones to hit before then! If you are interested in helping to make the Ramu Valley Academy a reality for the churches of the Ramu, please contact us at bill_housley@ntm.org or visit our project page with Ethnos360 here. Your help is needed both stateside and on the ground in PNG – for a month, or a year – whatever He might be nudging you to give. THANK YOU for your many faithful years of prayer and support.  We honestly could not and would not be here were it not for YOUR obedience to give and encourage us in this ministry.  We are thankful that we do not serve alone, that He walks with each of us and that our RAMU VALLEY TEAM includes YOU! THANK YOU!

By God’s Grace & For His Glory~

Bill and Kelley Housley

A Time For Thanks…

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Dear Friends,

As we mark a decade of the gospel in Itutang and the celebrated season of Thanksgiving, we have been taking time to read through journals and remember some of the highs and lows of the last ten years. Today’s remembrance comes with praise to an Almighty God and a Thank You – to YOU.  He heard your prayers and kept us in the tribe in 2009 when my allergies were threatening to kick us out.  Thank you for your faithfulness in upholding us body, mind, and soul.  We seriously couldn’t be here if you weren’t there.  THANK YOU.

Nov 25, 2009  Dear Prayer Warriors and Sending Churches,

Hello!  Bill here.  I want to thank you so much for your prayers.  The Lord has helped me, and I am doing a lot better.  My eyes got to the point to where I was rubbing them so much and they were almost completely swollen shut and very painful for several days last week. We are thankful for everyone’s prayer and help. Being in a remote location where you are exposed to so many different kinds of things, allergies can be a little scary.  I know a lot of people that have had to leave the tribe because of them and so I am so thankful the Lord has helped me through this and answered your many prayers on my behalf. Thank you. Please continue to pray for the church in here as well. They need so much yet and we are not anywhere near finished with the work in here.

As we prayed together this morning, we thanked the Lord that I was able to stay in 2009 and that the allergies I battle now are minimal compared to what I went through back then.  We also thanked Him for YOU.  So thankful to be part of the Body of Christ.

 By God’s Grace & For His Glory~

Bill and Kelley

Missionary Journeys & Joys…

Missionary Journeys and… Literacy Coming to a Brand New People Group!!! A More Detailed Update of our Last Two Weeks for Supporters!

“…Paul sent to Ephesus and called the elders of the church to come to him.”  Acts 20:17

Thank you for your constant prayers and encouragement to us. We have had a very FULL two weeks in the Ramu Valley and are so excited to report to you what the Lord has been doing! This is a longer report for our supporters who want to know what we are doing in more detail so no guilt if you don’t read on! 🙂   Thanks for being a part!

Conference Time Out

Two weeks ago, we had a lovely conference up in the highlands meeting together with other fellow missionaries serving here in the Central Area of PNG. The full-time support staff and all the new missionaries waiting on allocation did a fantastic job of hosting, encouraging, and making us all laugh, too.  The visiting church team from the US shared refreshing and convicting messages that we all benefited from very much. So thankful for the support teams that are spread around the country to facilitate the church planting works in the bush going strong.  They are many times the unsung heroes and often the backbone of the Church Development movement here in PNG. After conference and after a few short teaching modules back at the orientation centre in Madang, we headed home to Itutang for another visit.

Itutang & Our Sending Churches Touch Once Again

We woke up early and loaded several heavy boxes of Bible Curriculum onto the dolly and then loaded them into the 4-wheel Land Cruiser. Ben Gauntlett, one of our favorite support team drivers, loaded us up along with one of the leadership couples from NTM Germany and we were off.  Up the beautiful North Coast Road, past beautiful beaches and volcanoes, into Bogia township.  We sat on the public boat dock and waited for our ride.  The NTM helicopter made a perfect landing againstthe backdrop of the Pacific Ocean and we were off.  Up over Manam volcano and across a vast inhabited jungle and back to our little home in Itutang village.  We were greeted by Promise Vaughan, who works next to us with some bilinguals for the Tangguat ministry along her visiting missions pastor and his wife. They spent the next three days understanding the Inapang and Tangguat works and forming relationships with the people and us, hearing their hearts and administering sweet member care to our PNG-American village church team.  Thankful for churches who are willing to spend and be spent to visit their missionaries on the ground and gather a complete picture of the church and her needs and then give welcomed advice and input. We were able to connect with sweet believing friends again, feast together every night on the sweet Itutang hospitality, and hear the struggles and joys that continue to face our home church in Itutang.  We were encouraged by a new “elder in training” who shared God’s Word and by the mature elders who stood up after him and gave everyone even deeper insights and exhortations after the teaching of the Sunday passages.

Pray for the tribal church leaders, guys.  IMG_7888They are pastors who deal with messy churches.  They don’t get to write updates and post their results on social media.  They just quietly work where the Lord has placed them and patiently look towards heaven.  We are humbled and honored to be their co-workers. They will be the honored princes one day.  

When the King returns, all the rules change.

First Books in a New Language

The following week, the visitors were off – back to America – and Promise and I and two of our Itutang Literacy Supervisors headed to the neighboring people group to assist the missionary team there in the formatting and writing of their first literacy primers in this mother tongue!  Thankful for the Itutang supervisors, Ambo and Vinansus, who are bilingual and helped write some of the Reader material for the teams. Thankful also for Promise who came along and provided invaluable help and phonemic analysis input to the team there! The team itself has worked super hard and has done an immaculate job in their language learning, culture documentation, and literacy prep. The team has also had some really hard hits this year (deaths of parents at home, loss of a baby, medical medevacs) and we were encouraged by the way they (and their kids) are able to verbalize a new higher dependency and need to trust in Jesus.  One of the little girls on the team img_2420.jpgwrote a song that spoke about the loss of the much anticipated sibling and how in the end we “...just gotta trust in Jesus.  Such a sweet time with the Kaje team and they accomplished 6 of their 8 needed books in a very short few days.  Please be praying for the Goheens and Myers families as they continue on toward the presentation of the gospel message in this language. It was so fun to be representatives of three language groups working together and modeling the spirit of unity.  Before they even hear Christ – we hope we help them see Him.

Missionary Journeys

While Promise and I worked in the neighboring language group, Bill embarked on his own missionary journey to visit the 8 Inapang churches as well as the one in Tangguat.  Over all,  he walked more than 50 miles for the sake of meeting with Bible teachers and elders in each village church throughout the language group and offering encouragement and exhortation to them through the Word of God and a personal visit. He was encouraged by those he met with in each village and was reminded again that maturity is a messy process –  but a miracle and work of God when we remember where they came from just years ago and where they are today.

The Bible teachers and elders all met up with him again early Thursday morning.  This time they all hiked to him and met in the translation office.  He was able to distribute more teaching curriculum to the churches that aren’t writing their own lessons yet and also books of the translated portions that we have in the Inapang language.  He was also able to say goodbye one more time to them all as we head out the end of the year for a much anticipated time of rest at home in the US. After these meetings, Bill hiked once again over and found Promise and I.  Promise hiked back home with the Itutang guys after our literacy goals were met and Bill and I hiked back out to the station where Ben G was once again waiting with that blessed 4-wheel drive vehicle and we loaded in our sweaty, stinky bodies and took off for our 5-hour drive back down the coast to Madang.

No Rest For the Weary 🙂  

We arrived in Madang and the next day, we began PNG Field Leadership Team meetings.  Bill is involved as the Church Development Director and I take minutes so it is always a busy week. We are so thankful for the leadership team here at this time.  Such a joy to work and watch them process together.  One of the items on their busy agenda was our proposal for the Ramu Valley Academy project!  We have been thinking about this for many years and have been in process of passing this proposal through for the last year, now.  So, we were elated that the PNG team here have given final approval! We had been fasting and praying this week with our churches in America and in Itutang that if this is something the Lord wants to do that it would be passed this time around and if not, that he would shut it down for us.  We just wanted a little confirmation from Him as we step out into this next area of need for the Itutang church.  Our PNG team here is forward thinking and will try this with us and evaluate the effects on the local churches and we are SO thankful!!!  This vision started many years ago in Itutang and the details came together around the campfires of our Itutang church elders and as we brainstormed with them and now here we are!  We will have more on this once we talk with our leadership team in the US and others and will let you know how you can be a part very soon. Thanks for all who have prayed.  This was a huge blessing to our hearts this week.  As many of you know, this has been a rough year in our lives and the life of our church and we are thankful that in all that comes, He keeps giving the grace for the Itutang church and us to say, “Blessed be the name of our Lord.”   He.Is.Worth.It.

We can’t say THANK YOU enough.  We could never be here without you and we can’t wait to see some of you face to face next year.  We are beginning to think about our furlough plans and would love to add a visit with you to our list.  Just let us know via email if you’re interested!

By His Amazing Grace and For His Glory Alone,

Bill and Kelley

10 Years With the Gospel: ANNIVERSARY UPDATE

The ‘Wanbel’ Factor & Its Affect on the Gospel Reception in Remote & Unreached Places…Ten Years Later

But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.”   Romans 6:17-18

 

 fullsizeoutput_1615A Tale of Two Testimonies and a Decade to Prove It

Many of you will remember the day – exactly 10 years ago today- when the Story of God & Mankind culminated in the narrative of the crucifixion and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  On September 19, 2007, we wrote:

“The people sat and listened to the story of the cross today and then watched the short drama. As we broke into groups afterward, we were encouraged with what we heard.  It was a long day as we sat and listened and talked, but they are very much in awe of the fact that He was perfect and clean and yet he died…in fact without fighting back when he COULD have.  He had all power to do whatever he wanted and yet he WILLINGLY DIED FOR SINFUL UNDESERVING MEN!!!! 

That was an amazing day – and week.  We remember specifically hearing the testimonies of “Alambarə” and Gumentige in particular and rejoicing.  But, as we listened to testimonies, we listened with ears and hearts which knew from our culture study that Wanbel Factor was going to skew what we would be hearing initially and that the litmus test would be time…discipleship…and then more time. Today, ten years later, only one of these two men ever showed the fruits of belief. What happened?

What is the Wanbel Factor?

Social Harmony is a phenomenon of unity in PNG.  It is called in the local dialect ‘wanbel.’  This means literally ‘one belly’ or ‘one stomach’ and exposes one of the major themes of their culture, which is to live in agreement and for the village to “sit down together with cool stomachs.”  Other cargo cults beliefs can also play into this as some cultures believe that once a society finds the right words and actions to do with ‘wanbel’, they will find the literal road to western cargo and the margin between the living standard of the west and this third world culture will finally close. ‘Wanbel’ exists in cultures throughout PNG, although the implications and rituals will differ from culture to culture. Do you see some possible conflict of interest when the gospel is presented? Even reading this very modest definition of ‘wanbel’, the spiritual mind, although unfamiliar with PNG culture, begins to see the potential for “rice Christians” – people who are committing verbally to Christ for other underlying reasons. As Christians, we are never promised health, wealth, prosperity or ‘wanbel’ here on earth across the board. Luke 12:51 reminds us that Jesus himself asked, “Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth?  No, I tell you but rather division.”  The theme is throughout the entire Bible from beginning to end.  We see the burgeoning effects of sin on mankind culminate into a stream of constant divisions between those who repent in humility and those who rebel in self exertion. In many times and cultures, confessing with your mouth would result not only in division, but in instant persecution and possibility of death. But, what about wanbel cultures where the gospel is sometimes embraced without thoughtful consideration as a societal expectation?

The “Wanbel” Factor & Its Effects on the Gospel in Remote Unreached Places

So, how is the presentation of the gospel affected when dealing with the PNG ‘wanbel’ system which accepts the gospel as a whole society and what does the serious church planter  and missionary do about it?

First, we must know the languages and cultures in which we work. This understanding is essential.  We are bringing Christ’s very own good news to men. It is an important stewardship and calls us to predict, preach…and then disciple well. We must study culture well and understand that in many unreached and isolated societies where they have no formal religion prohibiting them from hearing the gospel, there usually has been a hopeless feeling of disconnect from the modern world and very little outside influence of any kind. When the missionary arrives and seemingly has life and material goods figured out and since there isn’t much else vying for the village’s attention, the missionary can often expect a village-wide turnout. Part of culture study is realizing that if the gospel is at that time truly believed and accepted by a majority of the village, it may be expected that ALL members of a wanbel society make a profession to this new allegiance together in hopes for true social harmony that will lead to the other cargo cult fulfillments. In this type of ‘wanbel’ society, it can also be predicted that any change, including the gospel, will most likely be embraced initially in full by the entire society with little to no persecution. This is very good as it provides the long-term church planter with an open area to work for many years.  This is also very bad because the purity of the universal church and the church’s growth throughout history has been brought about by such persecution.

Secondly, as church planters, we must pray for wisdom and be in it for the long haul. Time will tell.  That’s discipleship.  We must take the time to finish the work. We know from Scripture that God’s Word will not return void and he calls us to more than just preaching.  He calls to “make disciples of all nations” which requires that we spend time with people, hearing their testimonies and asking questions to make sure they understand the gospel well. And then, we wait.  While we wait, we do life with them. And while we do life, we give time for the Word to do its work – to divide the wheat from the tares.  We keep teaching and exhorting and praying.  This is a time for waiting on Christ.  Abiding in him and trusting him with the results. When we first presented the gospel, almost every adult in the village made a verbal profession of faith. Ten years later, in accordance with the parable of the sower, about 50% of these are still following, faithful or fruitful. Like the parable, many never had any change of heart or change of allegiance.  Some have even become cargo cult leaders who are actually persecuting and hostile towards the present day leadership of the village church once their cargo cult dreams were not realized. They followed the gospel like Judas who followed Christ while the going was good, but time tells the whole story.

In conclusion, as church planters working among the unreached and isolated, the gospel may be accepted well and without hesitation, which will require wisdom. When church planters are dealing with cultural implications on every universal level of life, they must think clearly.  Know the culture.  Know the worldview.  Be able to predict the response this particular culture will have to the gospel.  And, then stay to help them wade through the aftermath of the gospel impact on their culture.  Stay long after the “new” of the teaching has worn off and the confessions grow cold.  Stay courageously through the sicknesses, the deaths, and the persecution.  Help those who are walking in their new faith to keep their eyes fixed on that greater weight of glory and the hope that we have been promised.

Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 9.00.21 PMTen Years Faithful 

As we continue to pray for “Alambarə,” we rest in the fact that he has heard the truth – many times.  And we rejoice in what the Lord is doing in those who have believed and their ongoing burden for those who have not believed and those who still have never heard. Take a look back at some of the first confessions of Kletus Gumentige, who has been functioning as a church elder for 7 years.  Gumentige saw his sin and repented and then began to see the entire culture around him with clear spiritual eyes:

September 19, 2007 ~ Today as Bill talked with Gumentige (Kletus) and some of the guys today, he read in Isaiah where it says that all who fashion idols for worshipping are fools.  Gumentige said to Bill, “That’s us right there…fools.  Remember when we went over to the other village and you saw our custom where we blow the bamboo pipes for the spirits?  Well, we had a meeting before that and said…maybe if we show the white man our biggest custom, they’ll show us their customs and we can find the road to money.  That was so stupid!  Now, I am thinking that God let us think like that and used our bad thinking to put our sin right out in the open.”  

This is only the work of a good, and sovereign God and He alone is worthy of praise.  May we all see our own cultures with as clear a view today. Please pray for Gumetintige and the other church leadership.  Pray for us as we continue to work and serve the Inapang church and finish the translation.  Our Itutang elders will be coming out to the orientation campus next week to share with the new missionaries and teach a couple of modules.  Please pray for them and Promise as they travel out via canoe/road.  Thank you for your faithful prayer and support these many years.  We LOVE being your ambassadors and serving side by side with you for the glory of the Only One Who Is Worthy! 

By God’s Grace and For His Glory~

The Housleys

Still Urgent, Because He is Still Worth It

Dear Praying Friends,

Thirteen years ago, we had just moved into Itutang and had begun to settle when the death of a child in the village jolted us to think about urgency once again.  Read again an email journal entry by Bill from August 24, 2004, a reminder that the need for urgency isn’t dead. Today, there are still those who are waiting for someone to learn their language and tell them the gospel story…and that He was and still is WORTH IT.

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August 25, 2004 Email Journal Entry…

Last week a young baby in our village died.  One day the little girl was fine and then a few days later, she was gone.  About 9 months of life and care…gone in a moment.  Yes, there was mourning and grief here, but mostly stone cold emotions.  The people here deal with death on a constant basis.  There is no way to cover it up, ignore it, or act as if it doesn’t happen.  It is always there, lurking everywhere. As we were walking through the village yesterday to go for a swim, my daughter said, “Dad, we need to hurry up and teach the gospel before another baby dies.” What Sabra was referring to is a thought that we have always tried to keep before us…URGENCY.  But, as I meditated on what she had said, another thought came to my mind…Why should we be urgent in our ministries and in our lives?

 We are urgent first and foremost, NOT for the sake of dying people…but for the GLORY OF GOD. Lost dying people in Itutang on their way to a tormented eternity without Christ is simply our family’s outlet of our zeal to glorify God with the breath and life He has given us today.  Let us each loosen our grip of everything in our lives that quenches this urgency…I find here in Itutang it is the simple things that keep me from being urgent…and it is usually those small things that I a doing to make myself more comfortable. For five months I have lived in a tent, eating without screens, plagued with the local insect life. Now, we have finished the screening on our home and have created a “safe haven” to relax in. Is this REALLY better?  For health and sanity I have to say it is. But, now we have a new battle to fight…the ease of sliding back home and closing the screen door and spending “urgent” time being comfortable.  We are not called to be comfortable in this lifetime. We are called to be soldiers…in active duty!  Our prayer for us and for you is that EVRY DAY we would fight the desire to be comfortable and use what comforts God does bestow on our lives to further enable us and ready us to be effective in sharing our hope in God with others.

By God’s Grace & For His Glory~

The Housleys

What a difference a decade makes…

Ten years ago, on this day….On August 24, 2007 we were 26 days away from presenting the final lessons of our 4-month Creation to Christ teaching in the first village of Itutang.  The following email was sent to our prayer warriors ten years ago today:

PRAYING FOR NIMANKAR

Today they (the Itutang village) heard about how the Spirit of the Lord came down on Jesus as he was baptized.  One of the meekest guys in the village came up after and said…do you think that if we believe in Christ that his Spirit will help us too.  Since we are always on the lookout for questions that might be coming from a heart of animistic manipulation or cargo cult, Bill started into an explanation of how the Help of the Spirit wasn’t for personal gain, for wealth, for…

Nimankar stopped him and said, “Bill, I hear what you are saying, but that’s not what I am asking.  I have heard God’s law and what He expects and I can’t do it.  What I am asking is if I “hang on” His talk, will He help me?”

OK. Fast forward one month later and Nimankar became a Christian.  Now, fast forward ten years later and Nimankar’s name is one of the one’s who went up for eldership this week with no discussion.  This is the definition of faithfulness or as Eugene Pederson writes, “long obedience in the same direction.” We are thankful for those of your who were praying for Nimankar then and are still praying for the church today.  We are also thankful for the hours of time that Matthias Mueller spent with this man while they were in Itutang before their medical, which also happened exactly ten years ago today.  Matthias’ influence in Nimankar’s life had a eternal impact on this man. We love you all and love watching what a decade does to a village full of souls. But, the work is not done, there are still more waiting to hear and souls that slip every day into a Christless eternity.  He is worth it. So, our question is….WHO ARE YOU IMPACTING TODAY?  It may be the difference in eternal destinations.

To hear more from Nimankar, click here 

By God’s Grace & for His Glory~

The Housleys

The Word of God is Not Bound!

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Just a few bowls of food for Promise, us and our elders from the U.S…..and the Swenson family, who completed their bush orientation with the Itutang church

Dear Praying Friends,

Good Morning from PNG!  We count it a privilege to have so many of you faithfully praying and standing with us still. It has been quite the year and we are thankful that on the good days and the bad days, we have Jesus ~ the immutable constant in our lives.  Knowing that his plans, his character and his mercies never fail and that he is collecting workers and building his church exactly the way that He wants to build it always gives us hope. Bill is presently translating 2 Timothy and studying through it together with the new orientee families here.  This week’s passage begins with…

“But the Word of God is not bound! So, I am willing to endure anything if it will bring salvation and eternal glory in Christ Jesus to those God has chosen.”

What a great reminder as we read this together this morning to press on because He is truly Worthy – and no other reason. Some of you are asking for more details about how we and the other works around us are doing and we are thrilled for the vision that you continue to hold with us as this network builds. Here’s a quick update on the churches and future church plants around the Ramu and ways you can support with prayer:

Inapang:

Bill is on the phone with Anton as I write. The church is doing well – with all the normal struggles and heavies that come with living in community. They were encouraged by a visit by our co-worker, Daniel, recently. He was able to meet with many of the Bible teachers from the other 8 churches and was especially encouraged by the 5th church plant, which is about 3 hours away from us. The Itutang church is currently in the process of choosing more elders and deacons to help in the work and that has been quite a process and they could use your prayers for that. Please pray for the elders as they are carrying a lot of responsibility at the moment. They are no different from us – they get tired and need breaks and encouragement.  In fact, if any of you would feel led to write an email of encouragement to these men in English, we would love to pass it on to them when we visit again in the coming months. Just send it to bill_housley@ntm.org  Thank you!!!

Tangguat:

Promise is faithfully working on the translation project and although she has finished the draft of the book of Romans, there is still much checking and revising to do.  Please pray for her as there have been many distractions (both good and not so good) in the village and life in general.  Pray for stamina! She’s doing no easy job. From Promise, we have heard that the Itutang elders have continued to hold this work at levels that they hadn’t anticipated and they are still doing it amidst accusations that they aren’t doing enough. The elders have voiced concerns to Promise about the church disappearing altogether. It has been a continued challenge as the original teachers have disqualified themselves on different levels (either not teaching well or for sin issues), but the Lord is bringing up some key men who are newer believers to carry on with the work. There is a huge need for discipleship here. At a meeting this week on location at the Tangguat church, about 5 people showed up with a couple trickling in at the end. One of the cargo cult leaders also showed up and accused the Itutang elders of hiding information and the missionaries of not fulfilling their promises. This was discouraging for the elders, but they continue on with integrity. Anton called after this and reviewed with Bill how they had handled it and we are so thankful for the wisdom and love they still have for people who are so unthankful and full of false narratives. There are  people in two other Tangguat villages who want literacy and to hear the the Creation to Christ teaching, but have no one to teach them at the moment. Pray for men who know this language to be raised up and made ready to tell the life-giving story. Pray for the souls in these other two villages who are waiting.  Also continue to pray for encouragement for Promise and the ongoing translation process.

Iski:

This church is post-gospel and many of you have been following their updates already. God has been very good.  The church is alive with many believers. But, the nourishing work of discipling them through their real life day by day is just beginning.  Please pray for this team as they purpose to work together to disciple the Iski by walking through life and the rest of the NT with them.

Kaje:

Exciting days for this group! They are on the verge of finishing their orthography and beginning the literacy prep needed for developing their first set of books in the Kaje language! We just met with them tonight and are hoping that we and the Itutang literacy supervisors and another literacy consultant will be able to make a visit in the coming months!  The team has worked well and have been an excellent testimony.  We were able to talk with some men from the Kaje village this week and are encouraged by the relationships there as they talked so highly of Jon and Taylor and their wives.  The team is shooting for presenting the gospel in about a year’s time!  Pray for team unity, wisdom and stamina for the coming days as well as hearts who are prepared to hear truth very soon!

Housleys:

We are so thankful when we look at the work the Lord has done in the Valley in the last decade and we see clearly that the Word of God IS NOT BOUND!  IT WILL GO FORTH!  Hallelujah!  We are also super excited and thankful that we will be……grandparents soon!  This, of course, called for a change in our schedule for the coming year and we are looking forward to coming home and connecting with many of you that we haven’t seen since 2008-9 when we took a furlough trip through the States. Hoping to see many of you soon and encourage you and be encouraged by you as we share more face to face!

Thanks for standing with us in prayer as we work here.  We love being part of a team who encourages and pushes us back toward Christ and the strength that only comes from Him! We love being your ambassadors here in the Ramu Valley!

 By God’s Grace and For His Glory~

Bill and Kelley