One of November’s great blessings was a salvation 10 years in the making! Our first year in Baimuru, I was blessed to lead Sam, at that time our new dinghy skipper, to Christ. Sam’s wife was very involved in the United church, a popular coastal church, representing a combination of several mainline denominations. Sadly, it is now just a religious group, seeking to obtain heaven through baptism, membership, and good works. For at least 5 years, Trudi continued attending the United Church while Sam became a faithful member of Baimuru Baptist; we only saw Trudi occasionally. She might be in attendance if we had a special speaker, or a delicious guest – like a roasted pig! Perhaps because of changes she saw in Sam’s life, Trudi started showing up more Sunday mornings, then afternoon services – and eventually she was at Baimuru Baptist for most services during the past two years, even attending the Saturday ladies’ class. She heard the gospel many times and ways. The idea that the only “good works” God had interest in were those of His Son kept chiseling away at her security. A month ago, after a simple outing to catch crab, Trudi experienced great pain in both hips and shoulders. Sam even took her over to Kapuna Hospital, but no one had a good answer for her. For two weeks she was house bound, having trouble even walking. During that time, she had a dream involving her death. As she sat thinking about her life, and its end, she became convicted of some very specific sins involving her temper and her mouth. She no longer thought of herself as a “good, religious woman.” She was concerned about her eternity, and decided the next time pastor gave an invitation for salvation, she would respond. (Yes, I know that seems odd – why not call for Pastor? But, not to worry!) God saw to it that at the very next service she attended, which was a Wednesday night, Pastor Danny preached on hell, and gave an invitation! Danny’s wife took Trudi through the Scriptures, but it was truly the picking of a ripe fruit! Trina invited Trudi over after the next Ladies’ class to hear her story, and was so blessed by the testimony of God’s care and longsuffering in preparing this woman to respond to the gospel!
2 Peter 3:9
“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
A pleasant November surprise was the opportunity to have missionary Jason Russell and his crew as guests for a few days! As Baimuru is not on the way to anywhere, we don’t often have company from out of the area. Baptist well-drillers was doing a project for Kapuna Hospital, a bush medical facility about an hour away from us via dinghy. The fellowship was so refreshing and enlightening. It was great to be able to discuss challenging areas of ministry and share God’s victories. Jason taught Sunday School and preached in the morning service. Two young men, Ismal and Selek, received Christ! One of Jason’s workers, also one of his Bible school graduates, preached Sunday evening. Many responded to Jared’s invitation to come and pray for strength to continue serving God in spite of discouragement.
This brings me to a prayer request we have for a young woman I will identify as “R”. R has faithfully attended Baimuru Baptist since childhood. She made a profession of faith before Trina and I even arrived in Baimuru. She has sung in choir, swept and decorated the church Sunday mornings, and been a Sunday School helper when needed. R is now 21, and the last two years has displayed a growing interest in the world. This past year she has been a worker in a Chinese trade store. 6 days a week. She is associating with an ungodly crowd and the exposure revealed what was in her heart. On the Sunday missionary Jason Russell preached, she responded to a salvation invitation, staying back after the morning message to visit with a counsellor. When Trina spoke with her, it was clear a great battle is going on in her heart and mind. Like most people, R would like an assurance that she is at peace with God and has a secured home in heaven, but the Holy Spirit is convicting her she is NOT in this position, and needs to repent of her ungodly ways, and truly come to the Saviour. She has tears, but still has a desire to hold the world in one hand and Jesus in the other. “If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John 2:15) Trina made it clear to her that she is not “safe” spiritually, and we are greatly concerned for her. She concluded her discussion with Trina saying she needed to “think”, and stayed in the church building about a half hour doing just that. Please, please pray that while the Father is drawing, R will surrender!
Lastly, please keep each of our students in prayer as they return home during the 8 week holiday, having now completed their first year of studies. They will face temptations and pressures from lost family members and their communities. They will not receive the same shepherding they receive here. Obviously, this is an important part of their growth. They will face the need to live and respond differently, biblically! Some have taken tracts and Bibles to evangelize in their home areas. We all have a responsibility to uphold them before the throne: Aii, Judas and Lynne, Miki, Patrisa, Rau and Nola. Thank you for your precious support of this ministry!
Presenting the Person of Christ,
Wil and Trina
Sam and trudi
Missionary JaSON RUSSELL
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We thank you for your prayers and support toward reaching the people of Papua New Guinea with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.