Hello from the swamps, and let me add I am pleasantly surprised there is still enough random internet service in Baimuru to enable me to get a letter out to you! I am sure that a few of you anticipated us taking a furlough following this past November’s graduation. Here is our thinking. God has not chosen to put missionary partners alongside Trina and me here in Baimuru. We want to leave confident that the ministry and property can be properly cared for during an extended absence. Since their November graduation, Pastor Danny and Nedy have joined us as staff here in the Bible Institute. Pastor Danny is the shepherd of Baimuru Baptist Church. They are overseeing the work detail, and I hope to use Danny more and more in the classroom. I have also asked our unmarried graduate Richard to intern with the church and Bible Institute full time, at least until God provides him a wife. In our area, a single man is often looked upon as a “youth” regardless of his age. The development of staff would be one essential in our taking a furlough.
Also, you were praying with us about the enrollment of new students. Well, God abundantly provided 8 new students, sending four new families to Baimuru Baptist Bible Institute! With the housing and garden space needed for both staff and students, we are full with 30 people living on the property! We have had four weeks of school so far, and although my outlook may be a bit too optimistic, I see the possibility of 4 NEW CHURCHES being started in unreached villages along the southern coast through these dear couples. This is what God called me here to do, train workers and plant churches, and I am thrilled to be able to do it!
Our other graduates are sending me exciting reports from their places of ministry. Pastor Murphy (Harevavo) and Pastor Maisa (Huruta) are both involved in building church meeting places. Just this month Maisa’s church sent him into the city to sell sago and raise money for roofing tin. He sent us a text saying he had purchased the tin sheets and roof cap and is ready to bring these supplies back to the village! Brother Ricky has moved into Ihu Station. The structure we erected three years ago as provision for a church planter has been completely stolen or destroyed. All that remains is the cement pad where the water tank sat, and a little cement block where some steps rested. Brother Rick and family are living in a village about a 40 minute walk from the Ihu property. An Ihu family we worked with three years ago opened their home for Rick to preach and teach the Word beginning his first Sunday there!
Here is one prayer request. Pray that we can see a GREAT BIG GOD move men’s hearts and barges to carry our fuel to us! I had just enough fuel for the dinghy to move Ricky’s family to Ihu Station. That’s it. It is not that I cannot afford to buy fuel. I have five barrels purchased and sitting in Port Moresby. I just have not been able to arrange transport for them to Baimuru. Several preaching events and outreaches are coming up in our area around Easter. I would like to send the students to an Easter meeting at Koravaki Baptist Church, and two of our graduates have asked me to come and preach Easter weekend, but I am “out of gas” literally! Pray. This is God’s work, and I expect to see another miraculous answer to another seemingly impossible situation!
Thank you for your faithful, generous support and continued prayers!