Grace and peace to you, friends and family. While it is tempting to wait until plans are done spiraling out of control before we write to you, I am reminded in Scripture that these are the moments when we truly need to trust our outcomes and plans to our Father. We need your prayers. In our October update we wrote of the Jesus Film Launch scheduled next Sunday in Sivauna, as well as our plans for some of our family to join Aaron in the village this week. Due to some new government restrictions to control the spread of Covid19, it was necessary to cancel those plans.
I have read carefully through government documents, consulted with our supervisors and shared as much information as possible with Aaron and the Mamusi Translation team through short text messages. It does seem ironic that I was aware of their restrictions well before they were, but my access to internet and other communication is something they simply don’t have in the village.
It seems like the Translation Training Course, which has gone really well so far, could still be completed under the new restrictions. Aaron is awaiting the final decision from the local ward member there. He will probably return to us on November 8th. But if the course needs to be finished now, he will return this week, November 3rd.
The Mamusi Translation Team is hopeful the Jesus Film Launch will take place at Christmastime. Thanks for waiting and praying with us about this.
Our disappointment is very real, but so is our hope and trust in our Father’s timing.
Another setback to our family this past week was Silas getting diagnosed with asthma. We are so grateful that we quickly had the medicine he needed to begin to improve. We have seen improvement throughout the week, though much slower than we would like. Please pray for Silas’ lungs.
Is it ironic that tomorrow begins a month that people from our culture typically focus on gratitude? Is it by chance that Silas would get this diagnosis when Covid19 is the worst it’s been here in PNG? Is it coincidental that Aaron was gone during this? Of course not. All of the restrictions, rules, upset plans, and illness have us taking a step back to refocus our perspectives and priorities. God’s love and attention to the details of our lives remains unchanged. I do not hope in an aloof God. Thanks for praying with us, with me, when I feel like we’ve been pushed down a hill in a barrel and are trying to climb out onto solid ground.
As I was praying for our home country this morning, the Lord challenged me to make my prayer more specific. Matthew’s Gospel clearly tells us what Jesus said “blessed” people are. So instead of praying for God to bless America, I am believing that His Bride in America will be blessed WHEN we are poor in spirit, meek, mourning, hungry and thirsty for righteousness, merciful, pure in heart, peacemakers, reviled, persecuted, teaching the whole truth, reconciled to our brothers, purging our selfish desires, trustworthy, generous, loving, forgiving, and sincerely praying, even for our enemies. Matthew 5 is certainly not the American dream, but we should never be bowing and worshiping at the altar of the American Dream. It’s empty and powerless. Our hope for our souls and for the souls of future generations lies in something too great to fathom, some One who can light a consuming fire in a drowning altar built for and to Him.
In the past 19 months, we have witnessed the Lord take a soggy, drowning Translation program and light a fire in it that can only be explained by His provision, His planning, His love, and His purpose. This most recent setbacks is another opportunity to experience His ultimate and loving sovereignty. Let’s pause together to thank Him for doing impossible things in each of our lives.
As each of us works through our circumstances and disappointments, may we ever be aware of the fullness of joy found only in the Living Water, the first and final Word. “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” -Matthew 7:24-27
Know the Word, Friends. Love the Author. Obey.