Back in PNG, but not “home” yet…

“I am a sojourner on this earth…” Ps.119:19

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Sobega Center in the Goroka Valley, Central Area

Thanks to all of you who prayed and encouraged us as we headed back to PNG after a visit home with our friends and family in the US.  It was one of the smoothest trips we have ever made back and we are super thankful for that.  We landed in the Goroka Valley last Sunday and Monday kicked off a week of meetings. This week, we are here at our Sobega Centre catching up on some work and making our translation work schedule out. And then, we actually will be out of country again for 10 days representing PNG at some international meetings in Southeast Asia. Please pray for safe travels and for Bill as he interacts with the global team there.  So thankful to be part of a larger mission team and for the information that we hope to glean while we are there. A BONUS! We will get to meet up with another missionary family from one of our sending churches at home during our travels.  This is a rare opportunity that we are super thankful for.   The Lord is good! We LOVE the beautiful Sobega centre…AND we are happy for these upcoming opportunities and the ones the Lord already provided over the summer to visit different tribal churches and be an encouragement in those…BUT we haven’t been home to Madang or Itutang since May and we are missing it more that you could imagine at this point. Please pray for content hearts as we wait a little longer before heading to the bush.

So we are “home”….already, but not yet…in more ways than one.  🙂

What is “home” anyway?!  We are really taking this sojourner thing seriously these days.  🙂 After the Asia meetings, we will FINALLY be able to spend some time in our bush “home” – the one in the village that forever changed who we are on this earth.  It will be the middle of rainy season with lots of water and little food as we return, but we are SO excited to be with this little tribal faith family again.  Some things that we are praying for while we are “home” in the bush over Christmas:

  • That we will be an encouragement to the believers and the elders and deacons who have taken some hard hits over the past few months in regards to their stand and their faith. As we all know, leading is often hard on the soul and we want to encourage them in the work the Lord has given them.  We always love the life-on-life time with these beloved ones when we are together again.  They always exhort us, too, by their simple lives of trust and their amazing views and hope in heaven.  When we start complaining about moving around and not being “home”, we always think that we need to be a little more like them when it comes to keeping a true view of the reality of this life.  We don’t get to be here long.  🙂
  • That we will be an encouragement to the Tangguat church as it is facing some struggles and needs some support and input.
  • For the BIBLE TEACHER CONFERENCE that will happen in December.  This conference will be an opportunity for us to work with the Bible teachers and elders/deacons in the 8 Inapang churches and in the Tangguat church as well.  Please be in prayer that this is a time of unity where the Holy Spirit works in hearts and a time when the Word of God and Prayer reign.  Please remember these leaders as they come together to study and learn and encourage one another.
    • The conference is three days with these main topics:
      • A Review of the Gospel – Eternity to Eternity
      • A Review of the Calling of Elders & Deacons – Buk 1 Timoti 3:1-7 Buk 1 Timoti 3:8-13 Buk Aposelə 20:17-38 and
      • Our lives lived under Christ – Buk Jems 4:1-10, Buk Song 51:1-19, Buk 1 Tesolonaika 2:1-12, Buk Hibru 11:1-6
      • Marriage and Parenting Review
    • There is much to plan for.  The villagers will be providing food& housing, cooking, and hosting.  Please pray for these interactions that through them others who may be visiting or the lost still in our community would be drawn to the Savior!

THANK YOU FOR PRAYING!  We lost a very dear prayer warrior a couple of weeks ago, one who didn’t let being in his 80s stop him from visiting the people in ITUTANG whom he had been faithfully praying for.  As we felt this great loss,  it reminded us again of the necessity of having a team behind you who is really interceding for the spiritual battle that is going on in every tribal church.  They need your prayers and so do we.  Thank you for being part of the Inapang and Ramu Valley ministries.

By God’s Grace and For His Glory~

The Housleys

A Time to Read…

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” Eccl.3.1

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Well, there is a time for everything under the sun as the wise King Solomon teaches.  And, our lives are no different.

A Time to Rest The Lord Blessed us with an amazing and providential rest from our ministry labors for a few months through a short stateside visit.  We have been able to take a mental break of sorts and to spend time with our girls, our family, and some of YOU, our faith family.  He knows that we are but dust and knows when to make us stop… and breathe.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.

A Time to Work The Lord Blessed us with a stent of physical labor fixing up a house that our son-in-law and daughter will now move in to.  What a blessing to sweat and work hard physically and finish  project like this.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.

A Time to Laugh The Lord Blessed us in the middle of physical labor with spiritual and emotional refreshment through your love and friendships.  Thanks to all of you who came alongside of us and allowed us to work in your homes with you and who came and helped with our projects too.  Laughter is surely sweet medicine from above and we experienced much of it during this short visit home.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.

A Time to Cry The Lord Blessed us with some sweet times of vulnerability where tears punctuate our conversation and reveal our ministry struggles and longings for our brothers and sisters in PNG.  People are messy.  The Church is messy.  We are messy.  We are thankful for people in our faith family who aren’t afraid to be messy with us. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

A Time to Wait The Lord Blessed us with a period of Waiting…and even threw in a Women’s Retreat at one of our supporting churches on “Waiting” to make sure we got the point.  🙂 One thing that we have been waiting on since April is the arrival of our translation books.  These books have the translation that has been done and checked up to this point and is bound in book form.  We have been excitedly waiting for the books to arrive so that we can set a date for a conference for the 9 Inapang and Tangguat churches.  We were thrilled today to open a picture (above) sent by our co-worker, Promise, who was there when the 30 some odd BOXES of books finally arrived by helicopter to the village!  THANK YOU LORD!!!!  This means in our little corner of the world….it is A TIME TO READ and be encouraged with these written words of God in the Inapang language! Please pray as we wait for the completion of this project.  Pray that we will not grow weary in doing good and that the last 40% that needs to be drafted will be done in a timely manner and will be used by many to know Jesus more!  We are also waiting for the Lord to give us direction on a plan for a secondary education centre for the Inapang and Ramu Valley works.  Please join us in asking God to show us how he wants us to invest in the second generation of believers in these tribal churches.Blessed be the name of the Lord.

A Time for Action The Lord has Blessed us with an opportunity to sit under David Platt during a recent chapel service and although the great Commission and the nations and the Inapang people group are our constant heartbeat, it was nice for the Lord to provide a little “kick in the seat” as we look at leaving family and friends and comforts again to go back home to PNG.  What a phenomenal time in the Word (1Cor.15).  I was asked yesterday about going back and if it would be hard and replied, “If the resurrection were not real, it would be hard.”  One of my life mentors and friends, Jodi Ware, gently corrected me and said, “If the Resurrection were not real, it would be impossible.  It will still be hard.”  What a blessing to be surrounded by men & women who  think rightly about the brevity of our lives and can encourage us to embrace the hard things of life with JOY as we set our minds on things above. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

A Time for Thanks The Lord has Blessed us with so many of you on our team who inspire us to be more like Christ.  Thank you for your lives of integrity, your others-centered views of life, your passion for the gospel and your appreciation and love for the all-sanctifying blood of Jesus Christ.  Pray for us that our attitude will be as we sung last night at prayer meeting….”All I have is Christ, Jesus be my Life!” Blessed be the name of the Lord.

By God’s Grace and For His Glory~

The Housleys