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
This morning began with preparing an earth oven with food for over 100 people. After all the sweet potatoes, taro, squash, etc., was peeled and loaded into the earth oven (a big hole in the ground with hot coals and red-hot stones) the believers went to the river to wash. They then gathered in the church building where we sang and prayed and explained what would be happening once we got to the river.
At the river there was more singing, followed by prayer and then some teaching about what baptism is and isn’t. Baptism doesn’t wash away our sins. We don’t receive God’s Spirit through baptism. It’s not to join the “church” (the body of Christ). Baptism is a testimony, a statement of what Christ has done for us: he died for us, was buried for us, and was raised from the dead to new life. So the dunking into the water is the picture of the death and burial of Christ, and rising out of the water is a picture of the resurrection.
After reading various Scriptures and explaining the meaning of baptism, the new believers each gave their testimony, each a clear and unique testimony of God’s grace. One of the five was a powerful witch doctor, now to be a powerful witness for Christ.
Among others, Jethro (Andrew’s former language and translation helper – and now witch doctor) and his wife both had tears in their eyes as they heard these testimonies and witnessed these baptisms.
Thank you for praying for these five. Please also be praying for at least four others who hope to be baptized while our former co-workers Terry and Rosie Banman are here next week. Pray also for the upcoming wedding of Josek and Goma (scheduled for this coming Sunday – New Years day).
Serving together in Christ,
Andrew & Cathy Goud