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Burton Family – December 2017

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II Corinthians 1:3c – “…Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…”

As Amy and I now prepare for our return in this month to Papua New Guinea and the new work in Bougainville, we can’t help but reflect back over the last year and on all that God has done. God tremendously blessed us in providing support as well as safety, health, and His care for our family. Looking back, we traveled over 45,000 miles with no accidents (or traffic tickets). We had one small bump on the back of our vehicle and I was pulled over twice, both times being graciously warned by our amazing law enforcement officers. We flew on 28 different aircraft through 5 countries with only a single noteworthy incident – an unexpected landing due to a failed hydraulic line causing a two-day delay. We were in 75 church meetings across America of which 18 were new churches to present the work in Bougainville. Of those 18 churches, 13 have now partnered with us. And, we still have 3 more we will visit before leaving from Los Angeles in the coming weeks. Six supporting churches raised our support and more than offset the one church who dropped our support and the two churches that had to lower our support. One church took us on for support and I have yet to personally meet them. (Thank you!)  We now have a total of 50 supporting churches and are at 97% of needed support as we leave back to the work God has called us to.

Update, Update, Update…

There was to have been a Board meeting in December of the group that holds the title on the land in Arawa that we hope to obtain. Hoping for good news, I managed to follow up with one of the Board members only to find out that they delayed their meeting until January. As the saying goes in Papua New Guinea, “You Americans have watches and no time, while we Papua New Guineans have no watches and plenty of time!” Please continue to pray for us as we wait for God to open up a place for us to build a proper church building in Arawa.

Arusa, the new pastor back in our church in Wipim, contacted me this month and informed me that his father had passed away. Many of you might remember from past letters that Arusa’s father was a leader in the United Church of Papua New Guinea. Arusa had been praying for his father and both mothers for years. Just before our departure to America, Arusa once again personally witnessed to his father and heard him pray and ask Christ to save him from his sins. Because Arusa’s father was a village chief, they will have a large “Haus Cry” – a gathering to weep and mourn, much like we see in Acts 9:39. Yet, Arusa said he is rejoicing that he will see his earthly father again one day. Arusa mentioned that he has prepared a theme for 2018 which is “A Heart’s Desire” from Romans 10:1. Arusa’s desire is to see his Wipi people reached with the gospel. He mentioned that there have been several more salvations in Wipim and the church is preparing for baptisms this month. What a joy to know that the work in Wipim does not need Doug and Amy Burton and that God prepared and placed a godly man to seek the welfare of his people for Christ and bearing fruit to your account because of your sacrifices to reach into the Uttermost.

Arusa did have one prayer request for his wife Ewelia. She has health problems and needs to fly into the capitol city of Port Moresby to see a proper doctor to help her. Ewelia graduated from Bible School as our best student before we left and, no doubt, Arusa’s heart is burdened for his help meet. Please keep Arusa and Ewelia in your prayers as he will need to be away from the work and they are unsure of what costs may be involved in helping her get healthier. No doubt Arusa is trusting by faith in God for His will to be done.

And Finally, Brethren …

Before we go into Bougainville, we must go into Port Moresby and arrange to get our container out of customs. We also will need to go into Wipim to retrieve our much-needed household belongings from there and transport them to Bougainville. Please hold us up in prayer for the many flights we will take, trips up and down the road, as well as the barge transportation needed to get all of our possessions into Bougainville. What a joy it is serving together with you all.

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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