Jun 1, 2018
My flesh and my heart fails, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Ps 73:26, WEB)
Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service toward me. (Phil 2:30, KJV)
We are preparing to return to the USA in about 2 months time from now. On the surface Kendra is run down from our high-stress rigorous living/ministry situation here in Papua New Guinea and we are not fit to continue in this setting right now. At this point she is recovering from a recent bout with malaria and also dealing with some heart problems that have developed. I have been reminded of the story of Epaphroditus (scripture quoted above). Deeper than the surface is the mind of God, His sovereignty, His will that has been foreknown from eternity past. We are learning to rejoice in His operation and how He does His work and how He chooses to station us and use us. He has had us pouring out everything (physically, spiritually, and emotionally) over the past years while we have lived among the Bulu tribe reaching them with the light of Christ. Now He is giving peace for us to rest and await His leading on the next steps.
Jesus once said: “I will build My church”. He has been doing that ever since and He has been doing that in Bulu. It did not start with us and it does not end with us. We are rejoicing in the opportunity that we have had thus far to be a tool in His hand in His building project here on the island. But we sense that this is going to be a major shift for us as we return to the USA. We are not sure exactly what that means but as we return and recover we trust that the will of the Lord will be made plain to us. We feel that we still have a place in the Bulu work but do not think that we will be moving back to live amongst them in the same way that we have been doing. The Lord knows.
We were thinking that we may be here another 2 years or so and that then the Lord may move us out but with the recent situation being that we are not able to minister here at this time, we are sensing that the Lord is allowing it and that He is in it all. He knows what He is doing. It has been a great lesson in faith to trust the Lord with the care and future of the little spark of life that has sprung up here.
I anticipate the next 2 months to be quite active and challenging. We have rented a house about 3.5 hrs from our village near the airport. Kendra will be staying there most of the time while she regains strength for travelling. I am planning to be back and forth to the village to pack, sort through things, minister to people, and possibly finish some projects that we have been planning. My brother Scott and his daughter Hosanna and Laura Erickson are preparing to come next month to help us.
Major prayer Needs:
- Wisdom to know what the Lord has for us to do practically.
o Possibility of finishing a well drilling project and building a chapel for the church.
o What to do with our things and our house (we can easily cause offenses and jealousies if
we are not careful).
- Strength for Kendra and the whole family.
- I need grace as I will be shouldering the brunt of things.
- Wisdom in communication and transition with the people (they will naturally take things hard).
- Doors to open and wisdom and grace to settle back into USA culture (especially with Kendra in a weaker condition right now).
- Also we sense that the devil is not happy and he still has plans to interfere with the work here in these next 2 months.