Thank you to all who were praying! The conference August 25-27 was a great time of fellowship for believers of 6 churches including ourselves here in Wusuraambya.
The first group of 39 believers arrived on Wednesday afternoon. They represented 3 churches about 2 days walk from here. The next church that walked from about 10 hours away met a heavy downpour in the bush and had to turn back. The next day (Friday) half the group tried again and arrived on time for the second session of conference. The final group had elderly in the midst and had to delay their arrival, overnighting part way. They arrived at our house 6:30 Saturday morning and attended the remaining 3 sessions Saturday and Sunday. The ladies met Friday afternoon and the men Saturday afternoon. Sunday afternoon was a leadership meeting with all the church leaders and Sunday evening finished up with the verse-by-verse video rendition of the book of Matthew. Then 4:30 a.m. on Monday everyone left to return to their own villages.
In order to make sure all the ladies could attend conference, Cathy looked after the children herself………..all 75 of them! How would you feel after babysitting 75 kids six times in one weekend?
The conference was a VERY encouraging time, though extremely busy leading up to the conference with all the preparation needed. Then Monday morning at 6:45 a.m. the first literacy students arrived again and we were right back to work. BUT Monday after the literacy students were all gone in the late afternoon, both of us ate and then went straight to bed and slept 10-12 hours! 🙂 Pretty crazy but worth it.
The story of conference was the life of Joseph. Joseph’s life replicates Jesus’ life in over 100 different ways according to some commentators. The theme of conference was faithfulness. The believers were encouraged to persevere through trials and be faithful in the little things so that God could use them for great things. All the churches reported that there are many villages still without the Gospel. Pray for more laborers who would take the message to the furthest reaches of each tribal area.
Thanks for praying!
Serving together in Christ,
Andrew & Cathy
Greetings from the Gouds in PNG!
August has been an eventful month for us and for the Wusuraambya Bible Church. Seventeen church members walked the two-day hike to a neighbouring tribe where they attended an annual believers’ conference. The conference began on a Friday and finished on the Sunday. Three NTM missionaries from the Wantakia tribe (near us) were the main conference speakers and did a terrific job. Also one Aziana believer taught the last session on Sunday. After returning to Wusuraambya, men who had attended the conference each represented one of the conference speakers and taught the local believers everything they heard during the conference. In this way the whole church was encouraged.
In the picture above we are posed with those who are wanting to accompany us on a walk for ALS in September. Our brother-in-law Dave Godin is a victim of ALS for which there is currently no cure. The “Godin Gang” will be representing Dave this year in a walk to raise support for ALS research and since we are so far away we asked the local church if they would like to walk with us here in PNG on September 24th when others will be walking in London. They were very excited to do this and be a part in this way. You can click on the picture above or go to this link: http://www.alsevents.ca/PNGteam to find out more details.
Our niece, Kira Fondse, has been here most of this month helping out in a lot of ways such as cooking, baking, cutting and trimming flash cards for the new literacy program, formatting literacy books, helping with Sunday School, and during the last week in the tribe, teaching music to 70 students in the local government school. She did a wonderful job!
The Wusuraambya people love Kira because she can pronounce their language and even likes the food they eat!
The Wusuraambya people are getting excited about the new books that we’ve been working on. Here’s a glimpse:
We are really looking forward to teaching literacy again with the new books but first we have to re-write the teacher’s manual for the new course.
There’s lots more to talk about but we’ll keep it “short” for now as we know you are all busy and nobody has time for long emails!
We would appreciate your prayer for suitable people to help with Bible translation and also the checking of the last literacy primers. We hear that Jesi is on his way back from Port Moresby. Pray that he can settle peacefully back into his village and church in Wusuraambya.
Thanks for your continued prayer and financial support.
Andrew & Cathy Goud
Praise God He can even use our mistakes to accomplish His purposes. Last night when we received the urgent call about Kena in the wee hours of the morning, Cathy immediately emailed our church in Holland to request prayer. Since for them it was already morning they sent the request through their prayer chain. And when they started praying….. are you ready for this? SIL Aviation (Wycliffe in PNG) made a mistake and landed on our airstrip probably minutes later, instead of the one on the other side of our mountain ridge that they were supposed to land on. As a result Kena was medivaced to town on that plane and was sent straight to the hospital where she received the help she needed to stop the bleeding. She would not likely have survived the night had this “mistake” not occurred at that time. This is yet another reminder that when we pray in faith, God does listen and act on those prayers.
The Prayer of Faith (James 5:13-20 NIV)
“Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.”
We received a call at 2 a.m. that Kena has given birth to their fourth child yesterday. Afterwards however, she has been bleeding and the doctor in the tribe was unable to stop the bleeding. Then weather and time of day prevented the plane from evacuating her to the nearest hospital. Therefore we request urgent prayer for Kena, and also for Willis and the children.
Kena is the lead teacher for the Sunday school and ladies ministry in the tribe as well as heading up the literacy program, leading the local women’s group, providing medical help where needed, along with being a wife and mother of four beautiful children. She is also our adopted daughter, and her children are like grandchildren to us.
Willis is a shepherd to the flock of Wusuraambya believers. He is a prayer warrior, a Bible teacher, an evangelist, and a servant to many. He has been involved in every outreach since (and including) 2005. He has been beaten publicly and privately because of his faith and service to the Lord.
Satan has been unsuccessful at stopping Willis and Kena through other people. Is Kena’s uncontrolled bleeding just another way that Satan is trying to interfere with what God is doing in Wusuraambya? But Jesus said, “on this rock I will build my church and the gates of hades will not overcome it.” (Matthew 16:18) Pray that God will completely heal Kena, and by doing so, defeat Satan’s efforts in Wusuraambya.
Thank you for praying!
Your brother and sister in Christ,
Andrew & Cathy Goud
Thank you once again for your faithful prayer and financial support in 2014. Just before the end of the year we received news that Dad Goud had collapsed with cardiac arrest and was in ICU. Cathy had been Skyping with Mom Goud over the weekend and knew Dad was having trouble breathing. When we heard that he was in ICU Monday morning, and not knowing whether he would survive, we felt that it was important for me to fly home immediately.
Normally between Christmas and New Year’s we see very few planes in the Wusuraambya valley. But when I called MAF (Missionary Aviation Fellowship) Monday morning, they told me that a plane was coming into the area shortly. The only question would be whether there would be space for me. As it was however, some of the passengers didn’t show up so within 1-1/2 hours of making the decision for me to go, I was on the way to Goroka. That afternoon I went on the internet with my cousin Sylvia Krobel who is a missionary at our field HQ, and together we were able to find tickets at a reasonable cost, leaving the next morning. I would have arrived in London, Ontario New Year’s Eve had the plane not had mechanical problems in Los Angeles. As it was I was delayed by a day and arrived in London New Years day afternoon.
Dad is still in ICU after nearly two weeks and expected to be in hospital for at least two more months. He is communicating much better than the first days. His breathing tube is being removed right now. Please pray that he would be able to breath without the help of machines now.
What I didn’t expect was to be able to see Heidi, Ben and Dan while here in Canada this visit. When Ben and Dan heard about their grandfather collapsing, and about me coming, they both hopped on planes and came to join me here for 9 days. That was a very nice surprise. Heidi was already here when I arrived, with plans to return to school a few days later. So we had several days altogether before Heidi flew out.
In the meantime Cathy and Josh are still in Wusuraambya. Josh will be flying out for school on the 13th and I should be arriving back in PNG on the 16th. I hope to be able to fly back into the tribe on the 19th if I can find a plane going that way.
Please be praying for the Wusuraambya church right now, especially for the leaders. They have been through a number of difficult trials lately. They had been planning an outreach to a village on the south border of our language area when one of the primary Bible teachers suddenly left for town. Josek was being ridiculed because he wasn’t working to help his clan members with school fees, etc.. So he has gone to find work in town to help with those costs. Willis was in shock when he heard that Josek had left so suddenly, as were we. He’s not sure he can do this outreach alone along with his other responsibilities.
Its hard to face trials like these, yet the apostle James tells us, “whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.” (NLT James 1:2-4) We know this to be true from personal experience, yet its never easy in the midst of these trials.
Thanks again for praying for us and the Wusuraambya church,
Andrew & Cathy
Thanks for praying!
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39
Thank you for your faithful prayers these last weeks.
We have received word of Sirah’s passing. She has completed the race and is now rejoicing with the Lord. She has been a beautiful testimony of God’s grace and will be missed for a long time to come.
Please continue to pray for Sirah’s family and friends who will have to find a way to transport her body from the hospital to Wusuraambya, a complicated journey of several hours by road followed by a 35 minute flight to the tribe.
A few months ago while Sirah was helping Cathy translate Luke 4:40 she noticed how every person who Jesus laid his hands on was healed, and she thought about how good it would be to have been there at that time and to be healed of this “thing” growing in her stomach. Well, Sirah has been healed, but not in the manner that she expected. Let’s rejoice with her!
Andrew & Cathy
We received word from the doctor that Sirah’s condition has continued to decline. Here is what he wrote us yesterday:
I am sorry to say that Sirah seems to be getting worse today. She had seemed stable for a few days but I think she may be close to heaven now. Her White Blood Cell Count jumped up to 34,000 and her hemoglobin dropped again to 7.5 gm. She is getting blood this evening. I think she probably has more dead bowel in her abdomen. Short of a miracle I think she may not make it through the weekend. I am very sorry that things turned out so dismally medically. I had prayer with her father and the watchmeri. Sirah is still awake and alert. Thanks for all your prayers. ”
Please pray for Sirah as she prepares to meet the Lord in glory. Pray for Daasilin who has been by her side for the last weeks. She went with Sirah expecting her to have the operation and return in a couple of weeks. She would never have expected this outcome.
Pray for Sirah’s father Elias who is also by her side these last days. Pray the Sirah’s testimony would impact him deeply and cause him to turn to the Lord for salvation.
Pray for Sirah’s mother who is still in Wusuraambya and will likely not see her daughter again this side of heaven.
We are so thankful for the time we’ve had with Sirah and the wonderful testimony she has been of God’s love.
Thanks once again for praying!
Andrew, Cathy, Heidi, Ben, Dan and Josh Goud
Thank you all for continuing to pray for Sirah. Praise God for the people he has brought alongside to care for Sirah’s needs.
The surgeon did operate again last week to attempt to resolve the internal bleeding issue but by the time he had removed five feet of dead bowel Sirah’s state was too unstable to continue with the operation. Also after five units of blood the supply was depleted and we now wait for the blood bank to be resupplied and for Sirah to regain enough strength to withstand yet another major operation. Please pray for strength for Sirah and for donors with the right blood type.
In the meantime Heidi was offered some part-time work this week. In fact in one morning she was contacted by four different places offering work! She is thrilled to be working finally and thankful for what God has been teaching through these last weeks.
Thanks again for praying with us. God is listening! 🙂
Andrew, Cathy, Heidi, Ben, Dan and Josh Goud
Dear Praying Friends:
Thanks for continuing to pray for Sirah. While there has been some improvement over the past week she continues to bleed internally and her doctor would like to do more surgery to try to stop the bleeding. He is asking for her family’s permission to operate again and also for blood donors.
On a happier note, Heidi has been promised part-time work pending a security check that is in progress. Please continue to pray for other employment opportunities that would enable her to return to Bible school in August.
Thanks once again for praying with us.
Andrew, Cathy, Heidi, Ben, Dan and Josh
Good news from Papua New Guinea! The surgeon reported this morning that Sirah is improving once again and if she continues to do as well as she is right now she could be released from hospital sometime soon. She does have a condition known as “esophageal varices,” and also some other complications which could continue to give her some trouble in the future. We do however know that God is in control and nothing is too hard for God to fix. Thanks for praying for Sirah and her doctors during these last weeks. Please continue to pray that she would grow stronger in the days to come and be completely healed of these continuing ailments.
Andrew, Cathy, Heidi, Ben, Dan and Josh Goud
Missionary friends in Papua New Guinea stopped in to check on Sirah yesterday. What our friends reported about their encounter with Sirah reminds me of the passage from Philippians 1:21-26
“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your joy in Christ Jesus will overflow on account of me.”
Sirah’s condition is critical. She needs more surgery to stop internal bleeding but is too weak to endure another major operation right now. Pray for God’s intervention. But while you are praying be encouraged by the following exerpts from the conversation between Sirah and our missionary friends yesterday:
“After receiving your prayer update last night we felt it was important for us to stop at Kudjip on our way and spend some time perhaps encouraging and praying with Sirah. The truth is they ended up encouraging me!!!”
“Sirah is in a lot of pain and when asked what I could share with you and Andrew she said to ask you to pray for her as she has blood coming out in her stool and is also vomiting blood. I relayed that hundreds, possibly even thousands of family in Christ Jesus have been praying and that you both have been faithful to share her story with others so that many have been praying for her, she is not alone.”
“Sirah said that she is thinking a lot about Jesus and remembering that He suffered great pain on the cross so her pain is small and nothing. She started to beam as she talked about Bible story after Bible story and recalling the greatness of our mighty God.”
“We storied about the temple in the desert and the tabernacle and Holy of Holies…she just BEAMED as she jumped in to carry on the story of how the curtain was torn at the crucifixion of Christ and that meant that we can go directly to God and not through anyone else.”
“…. it made my heart BEAM to see the precious smile on her face and to hear her share from her heart all the many details ….about who God is!”
“…..she (Sirah) is afraid but TRUSTING the Lord through this.”
“She shared with Dr.Jim’s wife that she is burdened greatly for this work as there are few that have helped and are desiring to help and that burdens her heart.”
“PRAISE HIM!!! She is a beautiful fruit of your labors! May your hearts be encouraged by the testimony that she has been to the Doctors and staff and fellow patients and to me personally!! They shared verses that encouraged them. John 14:14 “If you ask anything in my name, I will do it.”, 2 Peter 5:7 “Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” , and she said to tell you that she wants to give you the verse 1 Corinthians 16:24 “My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.”
We know that whatever happens to Sirah, she will continue to praise God for eternity. But we would love to see her smiling face when we return to Papua New Guinea. Please pray for complete healing and that she would continue to be a light wherever she goes. ——————————————————————————————————————–
Dear Friends, many of you know that Sirah had her spleen surgically removed just before we left PNG last week. At first the operation appeared to be successful but earlier this week she took a turn for the worse, losing a fair amount of blood. Then yesterday the doctor reported that she was doing better again and expected to be released next week, but today she started bleeding again. We just received this prayer request from her doctor: “Dear Friends, I regret to inform you that Sirah had another bleeding spell last night probably from her esophageal varices. We had to give her two more units of blood. Please have your folks pray for her and for wisdom and skill for me to know what to do. We may have to do more surgery for this. Also have your people pray here and at home against any spiritual warfare that may be involved. thanks, JIM” Thank you all for praying for Sirah. We know that God is in control and he has not forgotten about Sirah or turned his back on her.
Another matter for prayer is Jesi’s hand. Just as we were leaving for Canada Jesi slipped with a knife and partially severed three fingers on his left hand, two of which still have no feeling or movement after being stitched by a local nurse. We depend heavily on both Jesi and Sirah for translation help, and they are also our very close friends. Pray for healing and pray that God will strengthen their faith in him even through these difficult circumstances.
Finally we ask for prayer for our daughter Heidi. She has been diligently knocking on doors throughout the city trying desperately to find summer employment. Pray for the right job to help pay for her education.
“ And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,l whom have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NIV)
We just chatted with our Wusuraambya friends, Kena and Willis. Kena shared how they had gone to the house of mourning for Daaren. Daaren’s father Sailas has been sharing freely with others that his son is now happy in the presence of his Lord. He has been chanting songs of joy instead of the traditional mourning songs of despair. This has been a huge testimony to those who have not trusted Christ as their Saviour yet.
We also heard that another young Wusuraambyan man who works another shift at the same company where Daaren worked, almost touched where Daaren touched causing the accident, only hours before. He could have died and gone to a Christless eternity. Thankfully Daaren was ready to meet his Saviour. Please join your Wusuraambyan brothers and sisters in Christ as they pray for this young man, Dan, as well as the other unbelievers, particularly Daaren’s brothers that they would come to Christ through Daaren’s death. God does not waste opportunities to draw people to Himself. He has each of our lives mapped out, and He has our final day marked on His calendar. Let’s make each day count for Him.
Thanks for praying for Sirah and for the surgeons this morning. Here is the surgeon’s own words tonight: “The Lord did indeed help us today with her surgery. Thanks for your prayers and those of your supporters. The spleen was very huge and had some enormous blood vessels supplying it. It took us a while as we carefully had to suture each of these. She did not loose too much blood but since she was low to start with and lost about a unit we gave her two packs of blood. She is stable post operatively and has an acceptable blood count…….”
Isn’t it great when God says “Yes” to our prayers? The surgeon would like Sirah to stay at least a week before beginning her journey home again to ensure that she doesn’t rupture anything so soon after surgery. Please continue to pray for complete healing.
Thanks again for praying. God is listening!
Andrew & Cathy