Christmas 2009 in Wusuraambya

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Believers Return from the Islands

Winson back from the Islands

Winson back from the Islands

We’ve been celebrating the return of several believers from the island region last month, whose story was a testimony to everyone here. They went to work in the oil palm industry but we were quite concerned for their spiritual growth and wellbeing. While believers at this end were praying that God would bring them back to their fellowship, God was working through circumstances at their end to draw them back. Here is their story:

When the believers arrived in the islands they discovered that there really wasn’t enough work for everyone, especially not for all ages. Some of them couldn’t find work at all and others received only a couple of paycheques in all the months that they were there. Without work, and then catching the tropical illnesses like malaria, they began wondering why they were staying there. One commented, “What are we doing? The other believers are getting good teaching at church in Wusuraambya and here we are without the fellowship of other believers getting sick and without any benefit?” So they bought some tickets and boarded a ship back to the mainland. While on the ship however, they began wondering, “What will we do once we get to Lae? And how are we going to get back to the tribe?” While pondering that, one said, “God will take care of the situation.” And then they met a man on the ship who had a vehicle waiting in Lae and he just happened to be heading in the direction that our believers were going. So he offered them a ride which took them as far as they could travel by road before walking the rest of the way home to Wusuraambya. When they arrived in the tribe they were very excited at how God had taken care of them on the way and how He had answered the believers’ prayers about bringing them back. It was an exciting Wednesday night at church!
Another thing we are rejoicing in is that Jesi started teaching in church again last week. Ever since he was being pushed to marry a girl and people bad-talked about him he has not being teaching. But he’s back and as dynamic as ever!
We just finished an initial draft of Romans 7-8 and 12-16 the other day. The next step is to record those chapters with the goal of making them as natural as possible in the language while still maintaining accuracy. Cathy has begun work on Titus as well.
The kids have been enjoying volleyball, computer games, videos and other activities during their school break. They’ve also been digging at the back of our house to move the hill further from the house in hopes of reducing some of our mould problems. Since they began the project both Heidi and Cathy are feeling better. We also had the Banmans visiting for week which was fun for the kids and encouragement to the believers.
Thanks to all of you who have made contributions to Heidi’s surgery and all the associated costs for flights, accomodations, medical costs, etc. And thanks for your continuing prayers.

If you ever want to give specifically to the printing and literacy costs here in the tribe, there is actually a separate account in Durham set aside for that purpose. Its called the “Wusuraambya Printing Fund”. When you send funds to the Durham office you can request that your gift be deposited to that fund so it will go towards printing Scriptures in the Wusuraambya language as well as literacy books and readers.

Gary Piovesan back after 15 Years

Gary Piovesan visits after 14 years away

Gary Piovesan visits after 14 years away

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This weekend we had a visit from our former co-worker, Gary Piovesan, who left the field in 1995. After 19 years of ministry in Papua New Guinea it had been depressing to see how little impact the Gospel had had on the Wusuraambya people back then. So when he visited the believers this weekend and listened to the many testimonies of God’s grace in Wusuraambya it was very encouraging for him. He spoke (in the Wusuraambya language after 14 years!) in church on Sunday, and again on Monday at a “mumu” (feast), encouraging the believers. It was a very special time.

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TRANSLATION CHECK ROMANS AND RUTH…….

Today we finished another translation check of 4 more chapters of Romans and the book of Ruth. Ruth is Cathy’s 1st translation project and checked out very well. Her next project will be Titus.

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Last week I (Andrew) was also able to check Jesi and Josek’s progress with the book of Exodus. They are making good headway too.

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JESI AND MARRIAGE EXCHANGE…
Another way that God has been answering prayer lately is in Jesi’s life. Jesi was having a hard time these past weeks because there was a lot of cultural pressure for him to marry a certain girl whom he did not feel God was leading him to marry. He also did not want to be married right now so that he could focus completely on the translation work as well as the Bible teaching. During this past week I visited the tribe and spoke to the believers about marriage from both the Biblical and the cultural points of view. Using the example of Isaac, I pointed out that an arranged marriage can be a happy occasion when God is consulted.  Thus we CAN follow God’s plan within the context of Wusuraambya culture, but the important thing is to truly wait upon God for the right person and the right time. In the end the believers all agreed that it would be wrong to force Jesi to marry this girl right now. Jesi was very happy and relieved when this was finally resolved.

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BACK TO THE TRIBE……

The kids finished their school year yesterday and are very happy to be off for the “summer” break. We’ll be flying back to the tribe next week and staying until the last week of July when school starts again. As of today Heidi is a SENIOR! In only ONE year she will be leaving the country she grew up in and going to start a new life in Canada.

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UPDATE ON HEIDI’S JAW SURGERY……
We mentioned in our last letter that Heidi would be having jaw surgery later this year. This has been a great adventure in faith. A few months ago this appeared to be a great impossibility. God has shown Himself strong in such a wonderful way. Firstly, our medical insurance will cover the cost of the surgery. Secondly, Cathy and Heidi have been offered free accomodation while they are in Australia. Thirdly, God has begun to provide funds towards the flight expenses as well as other expenses which will be incurred while they are there. We want to say THANK YOU to those of you whom God has nudged to be a part of seeing this need met in our lives. These miracles have been a faith-strengthening experience. Why do we ever doubt God?