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Burton Family – June 2017


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II Timothy 1:9b – “not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace…”

Amy and I traveled into Papua New Guinea this month on a short survey trip to look for both land and a house in Bougainville. On our way, though, I got to fly into Wipim briefly as an unexpected blessing. What I saw there exceeded my expectations. Without a doubt, God is doing a work in Wipim through Pastor Arusa, his leadership team, and the continuing work amongst the Wipi tribe. Previously I spoke to Arusa via text and gave those reports through the prayer letter but to see the results first hand was even better than how Arusa described it. As you have supported us through prayer and finances, God has born fruit to your account – not through us, but according to His own purpose and grace. Know that your investment is not in vain. Soon your reward in heaven will be seen as you meet those who’ve been won to Christ in Wipim and who have served Him there. Please continue to prayer for Pastor Arusa, his leaders and the work in Wipim as it grows.

Update on Bougainville Trip…

Last month, we asked you to pray that God would give us direction on where in Bougainville to establish a ministry. We are now confident that He would have us to start working in the center of Bougainville in a town called Arawa. Arawa was at the epicenter of the conflict with Papua New Guinea that started in 1988, ending with a peace treaty in 2001. No doubt there will be many challenges because of the hurt associated with that civil war. That said, after much prayer, Amy and I believe with all our hearts that God will open a effectual door of opportunity to us for His own purpose in Arawa.

We have put in a request to the Lands Department in Bougainville for up to 20 hectares (49 acres) of land in Arawa Town. We want to establish a church, a parsonage, a Bible school with dormitories, and a literacy center with a library for general use. These are large goals, but not too large for God and the people of God who sacrifice much to reach those in the uttermost parts of the world.

With the conflict in Bougainville, education of students stopped for over 10 years and there is said to be a lost generation who were not educated. So, education is a big thing to a Bougainvillean. We pray that Amy’s educational background will open doors for us to reach them with the gospel as she teaches them to read. We also want to provide them with their first library with many Godly books as the predominate reading material.

We looked for a place to rent but found the cost too high for an expat (someone away from their own country). The locals raise the prices up for foreigners like us, regardless of why we’re there. It is so high that we believe it would be more advantageous for us to build a house (parsonage) on the church property similar to their local houses in Arawa. Eventually, we will provide that parsonage to the pastor who will one day lead the work in Arawa. The fact is that we either could rent a house in Arawa for a year at $30,000 USD or we could invest that amount into building a house, which would meet our needs for housing now and for the future pastor when we turn the work over. We desire to be good stewards so we ask for your prayers as we seek God’s help in preparation for all of this. Also, we are praying for anyone who has building skills to consider visiting Bougainville to help us in 2018. We will keep you posted on progress as we press forward.

Thank you for your faithful prayers and investment in our family and ministry.

The Burtons – Doug, Amy, Abby, Drew and Beth – Hebrews 12:2


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