2 Peter 1:3 His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
Thank you for your many prayers on behalf of the Inapang churches! We are writing today with such an encouraging update for you and your families and hope that you will join us in praising God for His kindnesses to His children around the world! Promise, the single woman who has been working among the Tangguat people next door is back in the tribe after a short furlough and was able to send out a brief report last week. She also has a family visiting who might be interested in joining her in the Tangguat work so they are in the village getting to know our Itutang elders and the Inapang churches that the Tangguat work has been working under. This is an excellent time for the family to hear their stories, their fears and frustrations, and understand the needs of the church and outreach better. It is also a good time to assess if this work is a fit for their family. We are thankful for an encouraging text we received from them as well, so we are including both Promise’s email and the new family’s text here so that you can know how your prayers are at work and how to keep praying. These are real lives. Real souls. Real hurts and struggles. And real victories through Christ alone. Thanks for being part of their salvation and sanctification through your prayers and giving.
Update from Promise:
Hi Bill and Kelley,
I think you would be encouraged if you were here in the village right now. So I want to take a few minutes to report on a few encouragements.
– All four literacy classes are going (simultaneously)! Last time that happened was 2014. I’m encouraged to hear that teachers are being faithful.
– The elders said they had not met for a while, but they did meet along with K. and I. this past Tuesday. They talked about “anointing” T. as elder and desire to do that soon.
– Teaching is going on in Mb village (V. is teaching Luke), Ongi (AA is teaching 2 Thess_
– M. continues to faithfully teach in G village and seems to have done that mostly without A.’s help the last few months.
– New Phase One going on with a small group in G village. They are at lesson 41 and meeting most weekdays. Eight Bible teachers taking turns teaching.
– a Bible conference will be held in Itutang next week. This is just for Itutang, but they decided they would let people from Mb. village stay and listen if they came. A. is going to select a few from G village to come as well.
-Finally had a good rain! The ground was dry and cracked when we arrived, and the new family visiting will hae plenty of water. Thank you for your faithfulness and being willing to do hard things because He is worthy. I’m blessed to be living with the results.
From a Text Sent out from the visiting family:
The church seems to be doing well. There are so many cultural things that I’m still learning about. From what I gather from talking to Promise and the elders, there are the usual hevis (problems) and such, but the elders seem solid. Today in church they addressed some people who had gone to a (false teaching and) “healing/demon exorcism” (in another village) yesterday. Anton preached on Acts 19 (seven sons of Sceva) and then Colossians 2. Although I could only understand the part s in Tok Pisin, I could tell he knows his Scripture.
As you can see, the church and its work are still going strong. The exciting thing for us in that second text is that once the elders became avid readers and studiers in their mother tongue, we taught them how to read and study in the national language as well. As you know, we are finishing up the NT translation still, and guess what?! We haven’t translated the book of Colossians yet! Anton confronted false teaching from a book that he has been studying in the national language on his own! So thankful for the gift of literacy and the way it is being used to read, study and CONFRONT FALSE TEACHING with the TRUTH OF SCRIPTURE!!!! Please continue to pray for the church elders in each of the Inapang churches that they will spend time in the Word, know God, and walk towards Him in ever increasing holiness letting their light shine in a dark place valley where there is still more work to be done. HE IS WORTH IT!!!!
We are enjoying our last month around our sweet family here and little Ansley Marie as well as our Louisville faith family. Our prayer when we came to live here for many months in the house all together as a family again was that the Lord would give us special times together and grow us closer as a family. He has been so kind and our kids have been so hospitable and flexible with us and our crazy schedules. Thanks for praying for our family. Now, we will head down to our Tennessee faith family next month to begin prep for the upcoming wedding of Sabra to Austin Hedrick. We met as a family and have decided that we will leave August 4th for PNG and then make a trip next year to finish off our furlough time and be with the family as they will all be going through some transitions. We decided as a family, we would all rather us be back together at that point. We are thankful for family who still believes in sacrificing as a family. As one of our daughters said recently, “It still hurts and that’s okay.” That’s where we all are at this point…we are real people with real emotions and are having to choose obedience again, even though it hurts because the King has left us with one job, He is coming back and He is worth It. Doesn’t mean we won’t need heaps of prayers over the next few months that our time would be fat and full of special memories and that when it comes time to kiss that sweet beautiful grandbaby and kiddos goodbye, that He would be our strength once again. Thankful for a Savior who loves us and knows our pain and for faith family that encourage us all along the way to keep our eyes and hearts focused. Please keep the Inapang, their new school project (RVA), and our family in your prayers. The work in them and us…it is not finished yet.
By God’s Grace and For His Glory~
Bill and Kelley
“…I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith in Him is being talked about all over the world. God knows how often I pray for you.” Romans 1:8-9
Dear Faithful Friends and Prayer Warriors,
Greetings from the homeland! We are excited to be home and enjoying the part Body of Christ who resides in the North American continent. It has been a breath of fresh air to see some of you face to face and to be able to worship side by side once again. Our hearts are full with your kindnesses and your love and prayers that we have already experienced in the last two months as we have travelled around the southeastern United States.
Overseas, the leadership in our local churches are growing in their spiritual walk and abilities to lead and shepherd. We were just able to FaceTime with one of our elders who made his way out to the mission centre in the coastal town of Madang. He told us of the marriage and family “mini conferences” they are doing in each village in our area. These meetings are meant to strengthen and encourage the young boys in the Lord. These young men will be the future leaders in the local community and church. It was good to hear this report and to hear of this elder’s love for the local churches that he oversees. He actually was able to see Bill’s parents via FaceTime as well and gave Jack a thank you because he raised Bill to be concerned for getting the gospel to others and that because Bill came and lived among them and broke the language barrier, he is living in truth today with hope of heaven. This was a good reminder as we are caught up in the comforts of stateside and friends and family that the stark need in PNG is an ongoing reality with many more tribes still existing in that dooming “never heard” category. Please continue in your faithful prayers for the churches of the Ramu Valley as they reach out.
The Inapang churches are continuing to grow as they study through God’s Word a book at a time. The Tangguat work has two potential families who are interested in joining Promise to help disciple and finish that work there. They have tender hearts of discipleship and desire to be a blessing to the local village church and to Promise. Please be praying for the Itutang elders, Promise and the two families as they spend time together in prayer seeking the Lord’s guidance in the team building process in the coming weeks.
Here stateside, our family has grown and now includes little Ansley Marie born to our daughter Madison and her husband Jonathan on March 11th. We are so thankful the Lord has allowed us be home during this very special time. Our family will grow again as we add Austin Hedrick into our family. He and Sabra will be married this summer. We have many kindnesses to be thankful for in this new season of life and our hearts are full to the brim and spilling over in joy. God is surely a gracious God who bestows undeserved blessings on His children.
There is more exciting news to share!!! Stay tuned later this week for another blog called “Introducing the Ramu Valley Academy.” We will be officilally kicking off the RVA project with you, our support team and look forward to partnering with you once again….’til the valley is reached for the King!
By God’s Grace & For His Glory~
Bill and Kelley Housley
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 firstname.lastname@example.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
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 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. They 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 wrote 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.
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