Jul 6, 2016

July Update (Kendra)

Greetings to all our dearly beloved!

Because of Jesus we are still living on the little Island of New Britian in PNG amongst the Bulu people.

He never gives up on souls- including ours, and He won't let us give up on these people whom He loves

either!

I want to recount to you some of the sorrows, joys, and bits of life from the last few months.

The middle of May we were blessed to have Tyler's brother Scott with his little boy Reed, and our dear

friend Burton come to visit for a few weeks. Traveling with them came our friend Joyful, who is still

here, and will be here till the middle of August.

What a sweet blessing! To have fellow soldiers to war with, brothers and sisters to share, pray, sing and

serve with has been such an encouragement to our hearts. We feel so grateful to our Father, and in awe

of His perfect timing. During our weeks with the guys, Joyful and I were kept quite busy keeping

everyone fed and clothed. Tyler, Scott, and Burton had a wonderful time walking around the village

talking and sharing with many souls. Under our house was full quite a few nights for the times of

preaching and singing.

We were all blessed to see the Lord stirring some hungry hearts to seek for their Creator.

We also had quite a few opportunities to serve the community with medical emergencies.

I have clarified to the community that I am not a doctor or a nurse, but as medical help is far away, and

hard to get, they keep coming to us for help.

One of our close neighbors cut his leg quite deeply, and was losing a lot of blood. Several of us spent

some hours with him and his family, working to get the bleeding under control. This particular man has

been near death on a number of occasions because of fights he's been involved in, and has some

physical disabilities from cut tendons and muscles as a result.

He came to one of the meetings at our home, & shared later that the words that were spoken “sutim bel

bilong mi” or, cut straight to his heart. He and his wife expressed a desire to live better. Pray that they

may respond to the Spirit's wooing, and seek after God with their whole hearts.

After his bleeding was under control, Tyler, Scott, and Burton headed off for a time of sharing house to

house. Before they arrived back that night, several boys showed up, asking for help for a woman in

labor with her twelfth child. I sent the little messengers off to find Tyler and bring him back to take care

of the boys, then Joyful and I packed what we would need for the birth.

As soon as the guys got back, we headed off to the birth.

It was a beautiful, calm and moonlit night as we walked the jungle paths to the family’s home.

Arriving around 7pm, we set up as best we could and tried to prepare our hearts and minds for a birth

far from human help. The mother had been in labor for many hours, and was getting exhausted. Joyful

and I prayed over her and settled in to watch, wait, and relieve her in whatever way we could.

She had given birth to all her babies quickly and unassisted, and had lost a little girl when she fell out

on her head, damaging the little neck severely.

My heart yearned over the little one within her, asking God to help us be part of bringing life to this

dear little soul.

The labor stretched on into the night, with the mama growing more and more exhausted, and no

apparent progress. We, along with the woman, her husband, and several neighbor ladies sat under the

house with a smoky little fire, waiting and sometimes dozing.

I felt led to pray against any evil powers that were present, and later found out that one of the woman

who spent the night sitting with us for the labor is one of the village “witch doctors”. I had no idea, but

God did! He is so good.

At some point during the night, Joyful and I sat down to pray together and led those present in calling

on the Lord for deliverance, and the Lord brought to mind a position I could put the mother in to help

the baby change positions if it was not properly aligned. I had the mother get into this awkward

position and we supported her for an agonizing hour as we prayed the Lord would help the baby move.

With relief the mother finally laid down again to rest.

I told the friends and family gathered around that if the baby was not born by 5 am, we would need to

help her get on the local public transport flatbed truck which leaves early to go to the hospital in town

(a very bone-jarring three to four hours from the village).

Around 4 am Joyful and I lay down to rest, and Joyful prayed that the Lord would cause the baby to be

born before 5 am in order to spare the poor exhausted mother from such a long painful journey.

Around four thirty a friend woke me up, saying the mama was ready to deliver.

I grabbed my gloves and caught the big baby boy outside as the mama squatted in the dirt. He was very

stressed after such a long hard labor, and we had a hard time getting him to breath, but after a few

minutes of praying and working on him, he took a lungful of air and announced his presence.

What joy!!!

Several hours later when Mama and baby were doing well resting (under the house on a rough mat on

the dirt), Joyful and I headed home to wash and sleep. Our hearts were filled with praise to God for His

great deliverance. When we got back to the house we found out that Burton had a dream during the

night in which he felt that we should put the woman in the same position that I had put her in. In his

dream he felt the baby would be able to be born if I put her in that position. What confirmation of the

Lord's leading!

Later the family brought a stalk of bananas and some turtle meat to show their thankfulness.

What a blessing to be able to be part of their home for such a time.

Some of the various other medical needs we've been called to help with have been machete cuts, a

broken arm, several people with pneumonia, some stomach problems, colds, mumps, polio, food

poisoning & malaria, amongst others.

One little baby was very ill with what seemed to be pneumonia. She had been sick for about a week

and was progressively getting worse, so the family brought her by boat from the farthest village, and

they were planning on taking her to the doctor in Kimbe the next day. But because she was so ill, and

they wouldn’t be able to bring her in to town till the next day, her mama brought her to our place. I was

very concerned for her as she was unable to stay awake, but seemed to be really out of it, and was

having a very hard time getting enough oxygen.

Joyful kept our home and boys cared for as I spent several hours trying to get her taken care of.

I did what I felt was helpful for her body and prayed. I called Tyler (who was in town), and we all

prayed over her little life, rebuking the devil who we know wants to destroy. Late that afternoon the

family brought her back home, with instructions to come get me if she seemed to get worse. The next

day I figured they brought her to town. But two days later I saw a woman who lives close to the

Grandma of the baby, and asked her how she was. She said she went home after visiting us, slept that

night, and was fine the next day. I knew God had touched her with how sick she was when we saw her.

Isn’t He so good?

Later a papa brought his little girl who was sick with what appeared to be a malaria fever. He brought

her down to our house where we recommended papaya tea and citrus to help her body fight off the

malaria, and to take her to a clinic to get tested and treated. Before they left we laid hands on her and

prayed over her, and Tyler felt led to rebuke the sickness in the name of Jesus.

Several hours later Joyful and I were walking up the trail to try to help a man who had a badly cut

hand. Escorting us were about 20 little fellows who wanted to see the excitement. On our way we

passed this same little girl (balancing a pot of food on her head) with her mama, walking down the trail.

We asked how she was feeling, and they assured us she felt just fine. Her mama explained that after

they got back from visiting us, she had come back home and told her mom that we had prayed to Jesus,

and she was better. Praise the Lord! As we stood by the side of the trail talking to them, I noticed

several mothers with their little ones sitting by a house near the trail. All of them had brought sick

children to our home during the last week, so I checked on them to see how they were doing. All the

Mothers said that soon after coming to our home, the little ones had recovered. They all told me I was a

great nurse, and I answered, “Mi no wanpela nurse, tasol Bikpela, em i gutpela Docta!” - I'm not a

nurse, but God is a good Doctor!

Joyful and I had full hearts as we walked away. We had done the little we could do to help the body, but

in several cases I had been quite concerned about their symptoms and had recommended they get

medical help as soon as they could. But we had prayed over each of them, and God had abundantly

answered. One of the blessings of the many sick who come, is that we have lots of opportunities to lay

our hands on these little ones and bless them, and pray that they would be seekers and lovers of God.

May the next generation be fervent in spirit, bringing glory to their Creator.

While Scott & Burton were visiting, many of our neighbors brought food to help host them. The guys

and Joyful got to try a wide variety of various items of our diet here such as shark, turtle (including

intestines), clams, oysters, snake, roasted grub worms, sea cucumber, and lots of fish.

We recently bought beef in town, and Keen asked for seconds “Mi laik moa trosel (turtle)!”.

One day the boys and I were reading the story of a girl raised in South America. She had informed her

mother one day that she had eaten rat soup for breakfast at the neighbors. The boys were all making

comments about how gross that sounded, until Keen piped up “Mi bai kai kai that!” (I'll eat that

sometime!).

We continue to have snake problems- Tyler recently killed the eighth large constrictor in our chicken

pen. This one killed four chickens before they started squacking and woke us up. We are starting to

wonder if there is such a thing as a snake proof chicken coop, and if it will work to raise our own eggs.

They are just like the devil- they wrap the chickens so slowly that they don't always wake up to realize

what's happening before it's too late. They also love the dark and flee from the light.

One night Tyler and Berean headed out to the outhouse before bed, and found a fat snake in our toilet.

Poor Berean is too nervous to go out by himself now, and I must admit to checking the area thoroughly

before entering!

Joyful has been very brave in all her new jungle experiences such as riding the truck, killing a

cockroach that was crawling on her face as she slept, cooking our food over the fire, etc! She has

developed nice callouses from wringing out clothes too. What a blessing she's been. We've had such

fun fellowshipping and working side by side. We have caught up on all the mending, planted more

garden, organized and cleaned long neglected corners, and she has often taken over so I can rest or

write. What a blessing. I feel so refreshed, and much less overwhelmed. Often when people come for

help she has kept our home running and the boys going so that I can help them without everything

falling apart.

We are continually thankful for the Lord's help and protection in our lives. He is so good. We had

another hold-up on the truck we normally take to town. Tyler was led to go to town on Friday, so he

did. The next day, the truck was held up by about twenty men as they drove through the neighboring

tribal area on the way into town and our friend the drivers arm was broken in the struggle. There was a

lot of money stolen from the passengers also. I am grateful that the Lord again protected us from

another hold up. We would appreciate prayer for the situation, as it seems the violence between the two

tribes has increased in the last few months. The police escorted the Bulu truck through Bola territory

for a while, and are attempting to catch the men who held up the truck this time.

The bible study, and church service held every week at our house has continued to be a blessing.

Sometimes we have a lot of people, sometimes a few, but the Lord seems to be working in several

hearts. One couple who come quite often have a teenage son that they are concerned for. He is starting

to mess with a lot of sin, and is rebellious. They asked for prayer at the meeting several weeks ago,

after leaving him grounded at their house for the morning. We all prayed together earnestly for him.

That afternoon they headed back home, only to find he had left the house, and his brothers didn’t know

where he had gone.

They sat down and prayed that the Lord would visit him with some hard things in his life, in order that

he may know the power of God, and turn to him. Late that afternoon several teenagers came to get

them with urgency , saying that their son was unconscious and having some sort of a seizure. He was

unresponsive, but jerking around violently, and no one could hold him down. Both his parents were

completely at peace, and praised the Lord for working so quickly and powerfully.

His mother stayed home to pray, and his dad went to find his son. When he got to the house where his

son lay, he found people really worried, and some were working witchcraft on him. His Papa was not

happy about that and laid his hands on his son, and prayed over him. Soon after, his son was calm, and

slept peacefully- all that night, all the next day, and all the next night. When he woke up the next

morning, he got ready and headed off to school. Later in the day his Mama sat down with him to talk.

He already knew the Christians had prayed for him and then this happened to him within hours- that

whole part of the community knew, as some of the kids had spread the news that we all had prayed

Sunday morning for him, and that afternoon he had this strange experience. So he was sober. His Mom

told him “Bikpela i no pilai” (God is not messing around), and that His power was real. She gently

exhorted him to change his ways and seek the Lord. He listened meekly. She and her husband are

greatly encouraged, and a great fear of God fell on many people through this situation.We all are

rejoicing in God, and would appreciate prayer for this young man, that he may seek the Lord with his

whole heart!

While Scott and Burton were here, there was one man in particular who came under deep conviction

for his sin during the preaching. He was a seeker of God in his youth, but has wandered far from God,

and has walked in much sin and left many broken hearts in his wake. Ever since we came here we have

had a special burden for this man- who is about Tyler's age. Also, everyone who has come to visit us

has had a special love and burden upon them for him, without us even expressing our heart and prayers

for him. So we feel God has his hand upon him. He has had some deep soul searching conversations

with Tyler, Scott, and Burton, and has seemed so close to repentance. Please pray that whatever is

holding him back would be broken, and he would surrender completely to Jesus.

We feel a deep battle for his soul is being waged, and the pull is strong.

The brevity of life is so real and stark here. There has been yet another death in the village, of a middle

aged man from health problems. He was not a seeker of God that we know of. Tyler, Judah, and Josiah

were on the truck going to town when they heard the news. The truck stopped at the clinic a few miles

from the house and picked up the man's body to bring it to the morgue in town. Many wailing relatives

came along, and Tyler said that it was a very sobering ride.

The next few weeks were full of weeping and wailing as all the relatives came to mourn at our next

door neighbors house. Several nights in a row they stayed up all night wailing and screaming, and some

singing. Some cry while other groups sit nearby singing beautiful four part harmony and playing guitar.

We are sobered by the many lost souls yet surrounding us. May we labor while it is yet day.

Sometime during the last month Tyler and I were each feeling under attack spiritually. We talked and

prayed before drifting off to sleep. During the night Tyler dreamed a very dark dream. But in the dream

he fought the darkness by kneeling down and singing a song loudly, and all the darkness left. When he

woke up he remembered the song and taught it to us for our morning prayer time. I was so encouraged

by the reminder that we are in a spiritual battle. The devil doesn’t want us here, and we must fight with

praise, as God led the Israelites to do, as Paul and Peter and Silas did, and as so many Christians after

them have. Our victory lies in praising God with our whole hearts and trusting in the Arms that are

Everlasting and will never fail us. Let us stand back and see the salvation of the Lord our God.