Christian Courting in a non-Christian Culture


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October 7, 2011

Dear friends,

Happy Thanksgiving!! Hope you’re having some wonderful family time as you thank God for all He has given you. This Thanksgiving we are thanking God for each of you who so faithfully stand with us through your prayers and giving. We appreciate each one of you!

Highlands Conference

When the boys finished their first term of school, we attended our annual Highlands Conference as a family. The messages were very convicting and challenging. We enjoyed delicious food and wonderful fellowship. We came away very much encouraged. Since Ben is now a senior, he shared his testimony along with two other seniors whose parents work in the Highlands Region. Boys Home for School Break Andrew and I have been enjoying having our boys home in Wusuraambya for their school break. We would have liked to have seen the sun a bit more, but are thankful for the hours of sun we did have in between the rain and clouds. We have played games and watched movies, gone on walks and played lots of volleyball. Each afternoon a group of young people has been coming to play volleyball so we have been able to get some good rallies going back and forth. Monday, October 10, the boys fly back to school. Please pray for Ben, Dan and Josh that they would hunger after God, and please pray for their dorm parents Chris and Peggy Bittner, for wisdom in the daily running of the dorm.


Heidi is enjoying her second year at Redeemer University. Last weekend she was able to go to Michigan with a friend and was able to connect with two of her classmates from Numonohi Christian Academy in PNG. This weekend she is going to have Thanksgiving dinner with Andrew’s family. Heidi has seen God’s wonderful loving hand in numerous ways in the last weeks.

Believers Attend Bible Conference

Last weekend about 60 Wusuraambya believers walked to the neighbouring tribe for a Bible conference. It was neat to hear how the young men stayed right with the women and children, helping carry the children, and also helping the women and children across a swift flowing river. They had a wonderful time of rejoicing in the Lord together. They heard messages from God’s Word; one message which really spoke to them was about the old and new natures struggling within us. The speaker described the struggle as a rugby match where the old nature and new nature are trying to tackle each other back and forth. Satan will not rest. The battle is intense but we are on the winning side.

When the Wusuraambyans were asked to share a special number in music they all stood up and it seemed like there were more people standing than sitting. They sang their hearts out. Everyone came back encouraged. It is fun for them to meet other believers from different tribes in this area. They were concerned that the hike back would be long and difficult, but they ask God for strength and they said their trip felt much shorter than they expected; they thanked God for answered prayer.

When they arrived home, they were faced with trials immediately. One young mom, Naasulin, came home to an empty house. A thief had broken in and stolen almost everything. The house next to her was also broken into. Willis and Kena had food stolen from their garden as well as firewood. They realized that they had a choice to make, to let their joy in the Lord continue or be very upset about what was missing. Satan wanted them to be defeated by this they recognized. Please pray for Naasulin that God would encourage her heart in a special way, especially since her husband is in town and she is here alone with four young children.

Josek and Goma Getting Married

These last weeks, Andrew and I have been meeting once a week with Josek and Goma. We discuss different aspects of marriage with the four of us and then let the two of them discuss the same things alone. We want them to build a strong marriage right from the start. Both Josek and Goma are really enjoying these sessions, and are enjoying getting to know each other better. (This marriage has been arranged by the parents therefore they do not know each other well). One of the things we talked about was that they both need to follow God with all their heart. If one of them follows God wholeheartedly moving ahead spiritually like an arrow, and the other flounders and follows God only some times, moving ahead like a winding river, it will be hard to be united in their marriage. That spoke to both of them. We have seen growth in Goma. She is now reading God’s Word and seems to hunger after God. Please pray for this young couple as they grow in their relationship with each other and with God. Going over these marriage questions has been good for Andrew and I too. Next month we will be married 20 years. It is good to reflect on the commitment we made to one another, considering how we need to grow, and stopping to cherish one another afresh.

Andrew Translating 1 Corinthians

The translation of 1Corinthians is going slowly right now. We have been having trouble with a lot of equipment and this has been very time consuming for Andrew. Our generator and printer have been the latest things to give us trouble. Please pray for Andrew for wisdom and encouragement as he tries to fix things. Perhaps we need to replace some of the equipment.

Cathy Checking Translation

I have been working on checking the translation of Ephesians. When my translation helper comes we make very good progress. Unfortunately she has not been able to come regularly. I have realized that I need to ask someone else who would be able to come more regularly. Please pray for wisdom as I decide who to ask to help me. Not everyone is able to give back in detail what they hear, especially in difficult chapters like we find in the epistles.


We thank God that Jesi continues to come very faithfully to help Andrew with translation. Jesi’s computer is one of the pieces of equipment that has been given us trouble. It gets discouraging when Jesi loses the translation he has been working on. We know that God is in control and that He will not give us more than we can bear. Please pray that we will keep our eyes on Him in the midst of the challenges we have been facing. What we see as interruptions are lessons that God has chosen to give us. May we learn what God is trying to teach us.

We appreciate your prayers for us.

Thankfully in Jesus,

Andrew, Cathy and sons

Believers gone to work, Jesi’s Marriage Struggles, Translation check….

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.