Before we talk about October, we want to wrap up September with you. We are praising God for working, moving, and speaking among the high schoolers of Ukarumpa during their four day camp, called Encounter. It took place at our training center in Ukarumpa (where our family had our initial training in country and where Papua New Guineans travel to for ongoing training in Bible translation, linguistics, scripture engagement, literacy, etc.). As Term 1 of school wrapped up (remember, they started in July), a team of adults, including Aaron and I, poured into these students for four days so they could have an experience “away” from home, giving the Lord and others space to speak into their hearts. We saw lives transformed, renewed, and even born again! The Holy Spirit blew away our greatest expectations. Praise Him with us for reminding these kids that He sees them, loves them, and has intentional plans for each of them. Our world makes it a very confusing, lonely, and desperate place to be if you’re a teen. Evie was there and loved it. Abel, in countless ways, held down our “fort” during our absence. Aaron was able to spend nights, and parts of the mornings and afternoons at home so they were never left for too long. Some of our friends helped make sure that the kids had a fun weekend. We’re so grateful for this amazing community we live in.
Last week included a significant change in laws pertaining to travel in country. Our aviation and HR departments have done all they can to ensure that Aaron will still leave for Sivauna on the 7th of October (today!). This is a huge answer to prayer that was resolved before we even had a chance to ask you to pray. May this encourage you to pray for us whenever we come to your mind. Translators Training Course 2 will continue to give in depth and ongoing training required to accurately translate Scripture, and it will begin 11 November.
Steven Ttopo’ogo won’t be joining Aaron due to a sudden death in his family. Thanks for praying with us over his family during this heavy loss. He is the eldest of his siblings and carries a great responsibility of caring for and guiding his family during times like this.
Please pray this month, that as they are studying, the Spirit will speak to each student and observer according to His will and that Aaron will only be speaking and answering questions as the Lord guides.We are so grateful that there is no American Holy Spirit or Papua New Guinean Holy Spirit that have to come to agreement about theology and doctrine. Praise God there is One we pray to and One who works, speaks, intercedes, provides, and guides.
We had mentioned in an earlier blog that Aaron would also be teaching a songwriting workshop during TTC 2. Due to a number of issues, the course won’t be happening at this time. We are pleased that the community felt the freedom to weigh all the factors at having so many guests in the village at one time and therefore decided to postpone. An expression in the trade language here, “yumi wanbel,” means that we have “one stomach” or are in unity about a decision or idea. We are “wanbel” with the Translation Committee about this decision, especially now that Steven will not be there, and look forward to how God will use this particular course at a later date.
At the end of TTC2, the Translation Committee will host the celebration and launch of the Jesus Film there in Sivauna! The current plan is for this to be the 6th of November. The committee and others will be very busy planning those details, so thanks for praying with us over their preparation this month. Rebekah and the younger three kids, along with a couple of visitors, are hoping to join the village to celebrate with them on this big day. It will be an exciting day!
Why only the younger three? That’s a great question. It is really difficult to pull older kids away from their school and peers once they enter the secondary campus (grades 6-12) here in Ukarumpa. We, as parents who have been called to serve the Mamusi community, don’t love it, but it’s just the way it is right now. The rules regarding travel have changed many times, so it’s increasingly harder to predict our timeline of being gone. We could try to force the issue, or we could let our kids have their way. We’re doing the latter at this particular time. Our very loving and capable friends, the Craigs, are hosting our three older children during our absence. This will double their current number of dependents, but we each have deep and full peace about the two weeks our family will be divided. We are wanbel. This will happen in November, but thanks for praying with us over all the preparatory details and planning. I’ve never packed for a village trip without Aaron, especially while the kids are all in school with external requirements and pressures pulling at them. We’ve never packed for the kids to stay in someone else’s home here in Ukarumpa during school. This will be a challenge. Thanks for carrying our load to the Father with us through prayer.
Speaking of kids and school. Enjoy these school pictures (some more than others, ha!) from a gifted teacher and photographer here at Ukarumpa International School.
We are so grateful for your choice to partner with our Wycliffe Ministry as we serve the Bibleless in Papua New Guinea. Please pray with us that God will call and direct more people to serve in Papua New Guinea. We are in need of translators, educators, medical professionals, managers, counselors, pilots, auto and aircraft mechanics, IT specialists, construction/maintenance personnel, and many more. It takes a variety of servants to give Papua New Guineans access and skills to engaging with Scripture, while adequately serving the families who are here to do just that.
Grace upon grace, friends. We are praying each of you are representing our loving and mighty Father we serve well.