I really thought I would be sending you news and pictures of the completed fencing project but a few PNG cultural issues got in the way of our getting the last 40 hardwood posts we needed from the village of Ipiko. There was a death of an important land owner in the village. The “haus krai” – an extended wake and funeral – went on for several weeks. No work was done. Then, it also so happened that the man who died had owned the land where the trees for the posts were being cut. The logger that took my contract had to renegotiate with new family members and supply them with a lot of food for their extended haus krai in order to get permission to continue cutting. He finally came to see me last week, and we are supposed to get our final posts in two deliveries over the next two weeks. We have been having a lot of rain, as is expected this time of year, and I am not sure if these posts will be able to be properly set. I would appreciate your prayers for the project as I would very much like to see it wrapped up. We are SO CLOSE to the finish!
Trina has tremendously enjoyed having an everyday class with the women students this year. She has been so pleased with what they have been able to do. Here are her thoughts: “What a blessing it has been teaching the women students each day. They are really improving at writing lessons to teach to women and children. I let them choose several stories from the gospels for their first lessons so they could pick a story they were already familiar with. In the more recent weeks, they have been writing a series of lessons on the life of David. They are getting so much better at making life applications. For example, when they saw David’s initial angry response to Nabal’s rudeness, they were quick to tell me a good principle to teach from this story was the fact that when we are angry, we are likely to make poor decisions. I asked them for a Bible verse to support this idea and they gave me James 1:20, a verse they memorized when Wil was surveying the book of James with the entire class.”
We sent invitations to the graduation weekend to churches in the area. It is less than 5 months away! (That word “sent” may give you the wrong idea. There is no postal service our here. We find people traveling by boat to these villages and send the letters with them.) The graduation will be held on Saturday, November 12th, and an ordination service on Sunday, November 13th.
The students are doing well overall. Some came with a specific plan in mind of what they would do after graduation; some did not. I have challenged them all to make that a matter of prayer. They have grown in the Word and their understanding of the ways of God. They need to see His will for them through the Word. I covet your prayers for them too in the important decisions that face them next.
When we first came to this country, our money, time, and energy went into the property at Ihu Station. Though I now realize that land was not sufficient for a Bible School campus, I have always wanted to see a strong local church there. We started at Ihu Station and then God said, “Let that be for now”, and had us get this school going in Baimuru. Even though 4 years seems long to us, it is short to Him. It seems He is burdening one of our students to go to Ihu to work at building that ministry. After looking at it, it would make common sense to wait until one trained a man, and then sent him out into the work. That is the purpose of the school! I would be thrilled to see God lead in this way!!
I am including pictures from a recent baptismal service. The pictures show the two saved that I mentioned in the March letter, and two others saved since then: Naomi Murphy, the daughter of one of our students, who got saved in a time of family devotions, and Robert, a young man from Karurua, led to the Lord following a Sunday morning message!