First of all we want to wish you all the Lord’s richest blessings in 2013. God has given us a new year to use for his glory. May He find us faithful in the work He has given each of us to do. May you find joy and peace each new day as you shine for Him.
We thoroughly enjoyed having Dan and Josh home for their school break. We of course missed having Heidi and Ben with us. The weather was sunny most days, quite unexpected for Wusuraambya at Christmas time. We were able to hike out to the water fall as well as the water hole. The boys also enjoyed playing volleyball with the Wusuraambyans. The boys worked on the road and small bridges so that it would be easier for us to get around on our ATV. Celebrating Christ’s birth as a family was wonderful. Without His coming our lives would lack meaning and purpose.
Wusuraambyan Christmas Conference
The believers decided to have a Christmas Conference. They met each day from Christmas Day through to the following Sunday. The theme was the prophesies about Christ in the Old Testament and how they were fulfilled in Christ. They also talked about how the authors of the Epistles looked back at the life of Christ. Willis, Josek and Andrew all took turns teaching. The conference was well attended. On Christmas Day the Sunday school children sang songs, recited memory verses and listened attentively as Emelin their teacher taught the Christmas story from Luke 2 while I put the flannel graph pictures up. It was a wonderful day of celebration.
On December 30 we as a church all hiked down to the water hole. Four believers were baptized. It was a day of rejoicing for Willis, Enuyaas, Kenyol and Jesi (four brothers) as they saw their little sister Devuraak get baptized. Her husband Iso joined her. Tolai ( husband of the powerful witch doctor Wuvaringak who was saved and baptized earlier) and his daughter Satuwe also gave testimony of salvation through Christ’s finished work on the cross and were baptized. Pray for these young believers that they will grow in their love for their Saviour and stand strong as they face temptations.
Jesi, Andrew’s translation helper has faced some family and personal struggles. He took some time off to work through things. We were hoping that by the new year he would be ready to come back to work, while happily he did later in January. It is really nice to see the joy of the Lord once again evident in Jesi’s life. My translation helpers Jenilaa and Emelin have also left the tribe for a while. After several years of working with these girls, they are able to give a passage back to me from memory after I read it to them. To train new girls for checking translation is a big job. Please pray that these girls will come back soon. Also pray for the girls I am now training. They are excited about helping with translation checking. (The list of books needing to be checked by trained translation consultants is growing quite long. We were hoping to have quite a few of them ready for checking in May. Losing our help for a while did slow us down a bit, a disappointment to us but no surprise to God. The books that are nearly ready for the final consultant check include the rest of Romans, Ephesians, 1 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Jude, and Jonah. 1 Corinthians is in its first draft and also being worked on. )
Believers moving to town
After all the troubles shipping the coffee beans last year there is very little money available for school fees, bride prices, and other personal needs. As a result many Wusuraambyans are going to town to find work, and also many others are going to town to go to school. We’ve counted at least 30 believers who have left the tribe during the last months leaving a noticeable empty space in the church building on Sundays.
Please pray for the believers in the various towns, that they would not be drawn away from the Lord by the pleasures of this world. Pray that they would faithfully read God’s Word and pray, and that they would find fellowship with other believers. Please pray that Daanol, a young man from our village, would have a chance to teach his mom chronologically through the Bible and that she would come to trust Christ as her Saviour. Daanol’s cousin Bene(my helper in our home and literacy teacher), has also gone to town. Pray that she and Daanol would encourage each other in their faith. Both are young believers.
Dan’s future plans
Dan will be graduating from high school May 29. He is therefore busy applying to a number of schools to further his education. Pray for clear direction for him, and that he would have peace about whatever door the Lord opens for him. Please continue to pray for Dan and Josh for encouragement in the dorm and at school. Their academic load is fairly heavy.
Thanks you for being our faithful prayer warriors. Thank you for faithfully giving for our ministry here.
Let’s trust God together for HIS WORK here in Wusuraambya.
Love in Christ,
Andrew, Cathy, Dan and Josh Goud
Coffee is the main source of income in the Highlands tribes, but with the increasing costs of fuel and flights little or nothing goes to the grower these days. In contrast, work in the oil palm of West New Britain Province is lucrative and a big attraction to anyone who is motivated to earn a living.
While we can’t blame anyone for wanting to meet the needs of their families we ask you to pray for those who are no longer worshipping with us in Wusuraambya because they are out there working in the oil palm. Pray that they will find fellowship with believers where they are now living. Pray for their health. There is a great deal of malaria and other tropical sickness at sea level where they are now working.
Since it is mostly (though not all) men who have gone to work in the oil palm it is much harder to find capable people for checking translation with Andrew now. Please pray diligently that some of the better translation helpers such as Gemos and Winson would be led to come back and continue working with us as we translate God’s Word into their language.
Another situation that we’d like to bring before you for prayer is Jesi and the arranged marriage which he would much prefer to avoid. His clan arranged with another clan in the Church for him to marry their daughter/sister. But we’re not sure the girl is saved, and Jesi has no intimate feelings toward her. In fact he really doesn’t want to be married until he’s done much more of the New Testament Translation. But there is great cultural pressure for him to marry and other believers are now looking at his refusal to marry her as a poor testimony. He’s even been asked not to teach for a couple of months and this is really hurtful to him. Pray diligently that Jesi would not follow the cultural norm of running away from his “shame” and staying away for months or years before ever returning. He is seeking God’s strength and wisdom in the situation and trusting that God will show him what to do.
Finally, please pray for us as we prepare for another translation check on May 27-29 (this month). We will be checking Romans chapters 3-6 and Ruth 1-4 Lord willing.
Thanks for your part in the ministry to the Wusuraambya people of Papua New Guinea.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, pray constantly, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Please be praying for the Wusuraambya believers who have gone off to work in West New Britain Province in the oil palm.