To print or view in PDF click here >>>>> July 2017 Prayer Letter
Philippians 4:17b – “…but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.”
Christ’s calling to reach the world with the gospel requires two things: someone who is willing to go and someone who is willing to pray and financially send them. The reality of world wide missions today is that most countries require you to have a means to support yourself before they will give you a visa to minister there as a missionary. Adding to that for us, Papua New Guinea is the 21st most expensive place in the world to live as a foreigner. There is very little infrastructure throughout the country, and it has approximately 900 languages. That means we need many missionaries and much in the way of both prayer and financial resources due to the realities of living there. Someone recently said to me, “ So it isn’t like moving from Ohio to Kentucky?” I answered in the affirmative; “It is more like moving from Ohio to Antarctica.”
On our recent survey trip to Bougainville, a unique thing happened as Amy and I walked down the street. Several people came to us and asked if we were the missionaries they heard were coming to live in Arawa. We said we were and they asked this question, “Can you tell us how to become a Christian?” We saw 22 people in four days receive Christ as Savior! We were not even fully emphasizing witnessing as this trip was to look for land or a place to rent. That showed us that the people are hungry and looking for the truth as they’ve been void of the simplicity in Christ for so many years.
We came back to America seven months ago for two things: to raise additional support for the new area of work and to save for our transitional expenses into the new province. I think of those 22 souls last month who trusted Christ to give them eternal life and I ask myself, “Is it worth the sacrifice of leaving our children, a career, and a home for the opportunity to reach an Island Province with over 300,000 people who for the most part have never heard the Gospel?” Of course it is! Then I’m reminded about all those who also sacrifice dearly so we can reach Bougainville. Paul said, “Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.” Recently, a young girl in one of our supporting churches listened very intently to our presentation. As we were packing up she ran over to us, put forth her hand, and said, “I don’t have much but I hope this helps.” She had handed Amy “a dollar.” It caused Amy to tear up, because we know that, like the widow and her two mites, this young girl had just sown much in God’s eyes.
Several of our existing churches raised our monthly support and we gained six new churches as well as several individual partners in the last seven months. This brings our support to 85% of our expected need. Please continue to pray as we present to new and existing churches these next five months as well as for safety as we travel.
I mentioned last month about our desire to build instead of renting an expensive house in Arawa, Bougainville. It requires that I request and obtain approval from the Lands Department in Bougainville to acquire land. I spent this last month reading their laws regarding land to understand the process and be a wise steward of the sacrifices of others as we prepare to build. It appears that I may need to fly to Bougainville again to meet with lands officials to acquire property. If I can lock in on some property, I can then effectively plan and arrange for stateside construction teams to come help us build. Please pray all goes smoothly and that God opens a door for us with the officials. I honestly believe all of these difficulties are so God can allow us to meet the right people who in the future will allow us greater influence in Bougainville. Still, I covet any and all prayers for Amy and me, our children and the people of Bougainville.
And Finally Burton Bloopers…
Since arriving in America I have found a new drink that I enjoy while driving, it is cold brewed coffee or also known as a Cold Brew. Well recently, I was in a church and as I was behind the pulpit, I said, “Have you all tried one of those Cold Brews yet? I am loving them!” After speaking, someone came to me and mentioned that I might want to define the term Cold Brew because Beer is called Brew in America. Good point, Clarify, Clarify, Clarify when speaking.