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2013 Prayer Letters

December 2013

Landslide

Sometimes we are amazed at how God takes such good care of us! Kirsten and I drove to another province to pick up a sawmill for another missionary. On the way there we got stuck at a landslide.  The road equipment and police had left for the day and there were hundreds of vehicles trying to get through the narrow muddy pathway.  There were people everywhere and alcohol was flowing freely.  People were surrounding us and it was getting a little wild. Then, God sent Selena  to our truck.  She was from our area before she married and remembers going to mom’s aid station as a little girl.  She stuck with us and got us through in 2 ½ hours.  She had her husband’s bothers sitting in the back of the truck to ward off thieves (we watched helplessly as others were robbed) and she warded off several demanding drunks.  She said “If they hurt me my man will kill them, so I’m not scared!”   And, she wasn’t!  Most of the vehicles had to stay there overnight and we were praising God that we got through that day. We told her would be back in 2 days.

Two days later Selena was waiting for us.  She had a spot saved and with her help (and the help of her husband’s family) she put us past a couple hundred vehicles. We ended up getting to be the last truck in the first group of vehicles that had been let through in 24 hours. It only took us 2 ½ hours that day, too.  Most everyone there had slept there for at least one night.  We were praising God, once again, that He had allowed us to get through and back to our kids, who were still in Pangia. The story was amazing to us as we could see God’s guidance and protection throughout the entire trip.

However, the story doesn’t end there! The next week we heard from some other missionaries that another landslide had occurred in that same spot. We had gone through early Friday afternoon.  The landslide occurred sometime on Friday.  I don’t know why we are ever surprised at the amazing things God does for us!  Please pray for the area as we were able to finish our supply of tracts during the two stops. Pray that God will use the tracts, as well as the landslide, to lead some to Him.

 School Registration

This month also started the full preparations for the school.  Mom (Dee) had taken a group of students up through the 4th grade, as their teacher. We knew we didn’t have the time to teach in the school since Kirsten is busy with our own home and kids and I’m busy with the other ministries. But, we prayed about it and felt that God wanted us to continue the school.  In order to do this we needed to change the setup of the school. We are switching our curriculum to make it easier and are getting teachers trained and the classrooms all set up.  We registered students this month and did the diagnostic testing for placement.  It will definitely stretch our time and energies but we know that with God all things are possible!

 

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November 2013

Two deaths

I had been witnessing to Jeffrey, our local mechanic. One of the times we were working together he realized his need of salvation and accepted Christ as his Savior.  We were rejoicing about that.  But now we are rejoicing even more.  There’s been a bad flu that has been going around our area and a lot of people have gotten sick (our family included).  Jeffrey didn’t end up getting better and died after being sick for 2 weeks. We are so thankful that he is rejoicing with God at this moment.  The second death was of Thomas Anda.  We have met with him multiple times and he was working with us regarding the Pangia haus sik while Dr. Kay was here.  He was able to give me a clear testimony of salvation.  So, even though Thomas’ body was brought back on a bumpy, muddy, pot hole filled road he, himself, is actually walking on streets of gold!

 Two baptisms

We had a meeting that ended with a baptism service at the Polu River.  There were 3 people saved during the meeting and 8 people who were baptized. One of them was a young man who got saved after coming to youth class and has been coming to church faithfully.  Another was Timothy, the young man who, a couple of months ago, we mentioned needed prayer because he had gotten so far from God.  This last month he has been drawing closer to God. It is even showing on the outside - he pulled up his saggy pants, cut his “gangster” hair, and has started smiling again! What a blessing it was to hear him give his testimony at the river.  We aren’t willing to see any get away from God and are excited when we see someone who has gone astray come back.  Thank you for your prayers!

 

Two fellowships

We held the 2nd Pastors Fellowship this month.  These two day meetings are already proving to be invaluable! This month we discussed soulwinning, the importance of tracts, some Baptist history, and church constitutions.  Most of them have a church constitutions but many aren’t really sure what all is contained within. There have been some strange ideas and misinformation floating around. We are trying to help the pastors know their responsibilities, rights, and boundaries. Knowing these things can give confidence in the ministry!

 Update:

The book sewer is finally up and running.  The electrician came out to Pangia and put the wires back into the control box, the way it is supposed to be, and we started it right up! We’ve gotten over 100 song books all sewn up and are now putting on the covers.  They are ready to start distributing! 

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October 2013

Spiritual Healing

Last month the tent was set up in Mt. Hagen and a group of doctors came, from the States, to give free medical attention to whoever would like to come. It was hosted through Temple Baptist Church.  Thousands upon thousands came that week.  We sent 24,000 gospel tracts  to the church and all were distributed.  The gospel was also given repeatedly, through preaching and personal work. By the end of the week 100 people had accepted Christ as their Savior! We know that God works through gospel tracts so we are praying that the tracts that were given out will continue to bring lost souls to Christ.

 

Spiritual Song

We have been printing the song book this month.  The printing is completed and a good part of the assembly as well.  The book sewer motor has been purchased and shipped (from Australia) and will be ready for pick-up next week. Once we have that we will be binding these hymnals and putting on the covers.  We should be able to start distributing them this next month. Please continue to pray that any remaining “kinks” will be found and sorted out by the end of the year. We plan to start printing the Bible in January and need everything running smoothly!

 

Spiritual Giant

We were saddened to say goodbye to my dad and mom, Dennis and Dee Wells, last month when they returned to the States.  They have done a tremendous job here, in New Guinea, for 22 years.  We are so blessed to have been able to work with them these last few years.   He will continue in the ministry at our home church, Treasure Valley Baptist. Please pray for both transitions.  For us, as we continue the work without him, and for them, as they adjust to ministering again in the States. His wisdom and experience will be greatly missed!

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September 2013

Pastors Fellowship

We had a Pastors Fellowship this month for the pastors of the Wiru tribe.  I preached in the mornings and dad preached in the evenings. This is something that dad had done, monthly, for years while in Palipini, but it just hasn’t been done since the ministry moved to Pangia 6 years ago.  I watched as the pastors devoured every word dad said and I knew that this was something that needed to continue. We will start having the pastors come for a fellowship every other month. The next one is November 21-22.  I believe that this will help them grow and will help encourage them in their ministries. It is a time where the older pastors can be an encouragement to the younger pastors as well as mentor them.  It is a time for them to bring their troubles and questions and we can look in the Bible to see what God says. Many of the older pastors have already been through some of the experiences that the younger pastors are dealing with.

 

2014 National Pastors Conference

During the pastors fellowship we also met regarding the 2014 National Pastors Conference.  This will be held in September of next year, in Mendi.  This meeting is open to all Baptist pastors, and their wives, in the country.  Any missionaries who are close enough come as well.  It is a lot of work to prepare for this meeting and I am on the committee that is doing this.  We have already had several meetings and there will be many more over this next year. During the conference Kirsten and I will each do morning sessions, teaching on the family (men and women taught separately).  We will be preparing  and praying for it during this next year.  We would ask that you would pray for this meeting, too! Some of the subjects we will be teaching on will be very difficult for them to hear (husband/wife, parent/child, etc.). We are praying that God will prepare their hearts throughout this year so that they will be ready and willing to hear what God says about these subjects.

 

Youth

Last month we brought up our burden for the youth.  One young lady, Eunice, who had been out of class for 6 months, has recently started coming again.  Her brother, Timothy, is still out but is showing signs of softening.  Both are pastors’ kids and their dad has been heartbroken over this! This month we had a sports day and several activities. We’ve leveled out the ground for a basketball court and the kids are coming each afternoon to play.  Several who are coming to play each day have started to come to youth class on Sundays. Please continue to pray for these kids!

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August 2013

This month, rather than give an actual report of what happened this last month, I would like to share a burden that has been on my heart.  I have been praying about it and working towards helping the problem but am asking you to join with me in prayer over this.

                A little over a year ago we started noticing a change in our youth. We finally realized where this change was coming from. Music had inundated our area.  The kids could buy a memory card, already packed full of rock music, for $2.50US.  They were playing the music through their phone – a new item that now everyone seems to have. The youth were listening to this music and we could see a definite attitude change.  We started trying to combat this problem by offering an alternative.  We received permission from a number of Christians, whose CD’s we have, to allow us to put their music onto these memory cards. We would erase the contents of every memory card brought to us and fill it with good, Godly music. This seemed a good start and it did seem to help.

                However, we have a new issue that has come up within the last 6 months.  TVs  and DVD players have been brought back to our area. In town anyone can buy pirated DVD’s for very cheap (about $5 for a DVD filled with movies). These have been brought back to our area and the people are hooked! They are watching everything that they can get their hands on.  The youth are no exception. They are watching things that are demonic as well as things that are practically pornographic.  The youth have been affected and we can tell. The numbers of those coming to Sunday School have dropped to an average of 30. The school plays DVDs for those who stay behind and families are staying home to watch as well. Even Amber’s Junior Church kids have admitted to watching things that are pornographic and either coming late to church, or not at all.

                These movies have opened the eyes of the people to a whole world that they had not been aware of. The floodgates have been opened. We really thought we had a few more years before we started seeing the problems we have been seeing (imitating gang activities, rape, etc.). It grieves our hearts to hear and see what is going on with the young people. And, it has given us an ever greater zeal to reach the youth. We are asking God for guidance with this.

                Please join in and pray with us for the youth. Only God can fix these problems and we serve a mighty God! We know that He is faithful and we can trust Him.

 

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July 2013

Mendi

The Southern Highlands Pastors Conference earlier this month , in Mendi, was excellent! Not because of the great preaching, although we did have that.  Not because of the great numbers, although we had over 80 pastors present. What made this conference so good was the excellent spirit of unity amongst the pastors.  It was not a false unity or an ecumenical type of unity.  It was truly a group of pastors who needed help and wanted to help each other.  It was a blessing to be a part of it.

 

Mission Home

Our supply run each month brings us to Mt. Hagen, where we sleep at the Mt. Hagen Missionary Home.  It has two flats/apartments for missionaries to rent. They are getting pretty run down – they were built 30-40 years ago and were last worked on over 20 years ago. Since we are on the missionary home board we are more closely involved with the home.  I made cabinets for the kitchen in Flat A and then brought the family in and we worked to remodel the first flat. It took longer than hoped (due to water leaks and rot) but we are happy to report that it is done.

 

The home does not have a manager at the moment and the acting manager was on leave.  We combined the remodel effort with overseeing the management of the mission home.  Besides setting up an inventory system and doing cleaning tutorials the overall work went well.

 

John

While in Hagen, working at the Missionary Home, I had gotten to spend some time with John. I witnessed to him and he responded well. He knew he was lost and needed to be saved – he just wasn’t ready to do it! Sunday morning I called him and asked him to come to my brother, Brad’s, church with us. He said he would meet me there (usually, this is just code for “no”). He actually showed up!  Twice, while Brad was preaching, John leaned over and told me he needed to get saved.  He accepted Christ as his Savior afterwards. We are praying that he will start going to church and will grow in his Christian life.

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June 2013

 

Book Sewer

The book sewer (to do stitch binding for the Bibles we will be printing) arrived in PNG, finally! It actually arrived in March but because of issues with duty we were finally able to pick it up late this month.  We aren’t supposed to have to pay big duty on the printing equipment but someone, in the customs department, decided that the book “sewer” must not be printing equipment.  It must, obviously, be related to “sewing”! We tried to explain it all, but since this is the first equipment of this kind to come into the country there was no precedent. We lost the battle and ended up having to pay a little over 50% duty/wharf fees by the time it was all finished. We were very disappointed, but are thankful to finally have it in the print shop! We are now working on some “power” issues so please pray for these to be fixed soon!

 Tracts

The print shop has been going full tilt.  We got 40,000 tracts printed and prepared and took them to Lae (when we picked up the book sewer) for the church there. We also got 20,000 tracts ready and took them to a church when we were in Mendi. And, finally, we got 40,000 more tracts ready and boxed up to go to the Southern Highlands Baptist Pastors Conference July 1-4th. A great thing happened with that.  We needed to print 12,000 more tracts on Saturday in preparation for me leaving for the conference on Monday. The power was off all day. That is very normal for us! But, amazingly, the power was on at the print shop! The kids came and helped all day and we got those tracts done! It was dark before we left the print shop. Only enough power was coming in to run the equipment needed to do the tracts. Most of the lights wouldn’t even come on! When we looked out we could see only 1 other light, in all of Pangia. We thank God for the power so that we could finish getting the tracts ready to hand out to all the pastors at the conference! It was nothing short of miraculous!

 

Updates:

  1. The work in Yunguli continues and more have accepted Christ.  Agnes and Ei both got saved!
  2. We started another semester of Bible School this month.  This semester I am teaching Nehemiah and Soul Winning.
  3. Trevor is now teaching the Religious Instruction Class at the grade school (Kirsten was doing it before). He is doing a great job!
  4. Amber has now been pain free for 2 months. The medicine worked and it appears whatever the problem was, it is now gone.  Thank you so much for your prayers for her!

 

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May 2013

Joe

Even here, in PNG, we have drug related violence.  One of our church members, Joe, was in the middle of it this month.  Joe’s dad had died, leaving him, and his brother, his property.  They, of course, started having problems regarding “property lines”.  When it was all said and done Joe’s brother-in-law, a marijuana dealer, had decapitated Joe’s brother, a marijuana addict. Joe is afraid to leave his house line for fear of retribution (even though he didn’t actually kill his brother).  During this hardest trial of his life Joe has not been able to come to church.  Please pray for Joe and that he will be safe from attack – both physically and spiritually.  This is the time he needs his church family the most and this is the time he is furthest away from it all. 

 

Youth Magazine

This month we printed and distributed the first issue of our new youth magazine. We call it STAND (Strengthening, Teaching, And Never Doubting). Amber and Trevor are the co-editors and have done a great job! We have articles covering such topics as Bible characters, technology, creation, health and safety, Bible reading, the wisdom of Proverbs, and other topics that interest the youth here.  We’ve had good feedback and we pray that this will go out into all the areas beyond our reach so that more youth will receive the gospel. This 24-page magazine will be sent out monthly.

 

Updates

  1. There were two saved in Yunguli this month! This new fellowship is only 3 months old.  I’ve been asked, at each church service for the last 3 weeks, when they can become a church. They are excited to move forward! And we are excited to see their zeal and desire to go forward!
  2. Youth camp for 2013 has been cancelled.  We will have camp in January , 2014. Pangia had a typhoid epidemic and the school was closed.  Now, the break that had been scheduled in July (when we had planned to have camp) has been cancelled to make up for the lost time.
  3. We have been printing tracts by the thousands (we are at 130,000 to date) and are working to get them to the churches in the surrounding areas. Please pray for God to bless these seeds that are being sown throughout the country!

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April 2013

 

The Safest Place To Be

We had just finished the Bible study when the commotion started.  The Bible study was at Topika and Lara’s house in the village of Pondi.  We were momentarily stunned when a man burst through the door waving his machete wildly! The door flew off 2 of the hinges and flew back at him, forcing him to step back out.  I quickly blocked him from entering the door again while he continued to wave his machete at me, demanding that I send Lara out to him so that he could kill her.  I worked to calm him down and pleaded with the nearby men to help since my family was inside the house. He finally left.  We stayed a bit longer, talking with those inside and praising God for His protection. When it was all said and done, two girls received Christ as their Savior that night. The safest, and most rewarding, place to be is where God has told you to be.  We are thankful for God’s protection and for the two who saw their need of salvation.

 

Yunguli/Pangia

The new church start in Yunguli is doing well.  We’ve been going on Sundays and Wednesdays, trading with Pastor Sam.  When he preaches in Yunguli I preach in Pangia, and visa versa.  We’ve had some of our youth coming out with us as well – knocking on doors beforehand and singing songs.  It’s been a great encouragement to the people and it has been good for the growth of our youth group.  One of our young men, Max, was saved after the services in Pangia a couple of weeks ago.  It’s a blessing to see God working!

 

Praise!

We don’t normally mention personal problems in our prayer letters but Amber’s health has been a big issue in our home for the last 2 months.  She’s had daily abdominal pain and was not able to keep her dinner down most evenings.  We have been taking her to the Nazarene hospital, in Kudjip, about 4 hours away.  We tried various medicines and had multiple tests done (including a scope done down her throat).  The doctors told us, privately, that if this didn’t work we would need to take her to Australia or the States – they had reached the end of their resources here, in PNG.  We are so thankful that this last medicine we’ve been trying seems to be doing the trick.  She is still having some pain but it has reduced so drastically that we feel confident she will be feeling well soon.  We appreciate so much all of the prayers that have been put up on her behalf.  Thank you! And, we praise God that we are seeing improvement and that our daughter should soon be pain free!

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March 2013

Sela

We sat with Sela in the haus sik, poring through our medical books, trying to figure out what was wrong with her.  For months she had been able to eat almost no food, and keep it down, and she had withered to skin and bones.  We finally got her to drink some pork broth and she kept it down.  We were encouraged and brought more the next day. Sadly, the Pangia haus sik had sent her to Mt. Hagen hospital.  There, she received only a glucose IV, and no encouragement to eat. Shortly afterwards she died.  Her prayer had been to see a church started in her village of Yunguli.  One of our youth boys, Kaiape, had gotten saved here, in 2008, and started doing a Bible study in his village, Yunguli, on Wednesdays.  This is where Sela first heard the gospel. After Kaiape went to Moresby to further his education Sela began walking to our church in Pangia.  She desperately wanted to see her husband and village come to Christ.  Sadly, with her death, it seemed her desire would wither as well.  However, dad and I preached the funeral on a Sunday, in Yunguli, and two women received Christ as their Savior (one was the Lutheran minister’s wife!). Pastor Sam and I have started trading off going to preach in Yunguli on Sundays and Wednesdays.  One man has received Christ since, as well as one young lady on Easter Sunday.  God has used  Sela’s death to open the door to bring the gospel to the village of Yunguli.

 

Bush Knives and Stones

We had some troubles with our local high school at the beginning of the month.  A huge fight broke out (started by some drunks).  We could hear the commotion from our house!  Bush knives were slashing and stones were flying through the air.  One young man died after being struck in the head with a bush knife (a machete).  We heard that Mr. Mario, the vice headmaster, had been injured so Trevor and I drove over to the school to try to help him out.  A big rain came, which dispersed all the non-students, and I was able to talk with the students for a few minutes, telling them that violence and retaliation was not the answer! We worked hard to keep our youth group kids out of the following fights (since our youth represent families on both sides of the fight) and are thankful to report only one minor injury to one of our dorm boys. Talks regarding compensation went well and it appears everything has been smoothed over, for now. We are so thankful for all of you who prayed for this situation as it was occurring.  We firmly believe your prayers kept the situation from becoming any worse.

 

Youth Camp Update

Last month we asked for prayer regarding our upcoming Youth Camp, in April.  Because of scheduling changes for the school (to make up for time off during the fight and talks) we have had to postpone camp.  We are now planning to have it during the 2nd term school break in July.   This will also allow young people from other areas to come since that term break should coincide with theirs. Please continue to keep this in prayer.  We will update in a month or so, once the dates are confirmed.

 

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December/January 2013

Meeting in Sara

The meeting in Sara, with Bro. Bryan Girard, was a spiritual success! There were 7 who accepted Christ as their Savior during this meeting. We had an ordination service for one of his preacher boys as well. Thank you for praying for this meeting!

We enjoyed being a part of the Girard's ministry but were thankful to be able to get back to our own ministry. What was supposed to be 2 to 2 1/2 weeks ended up being 6 weeks! The boat never returned (and still hasn't!) so we needed to fly out. We got the last flights of the year, on a mission plane, which took us to Hoskins. We stayed another week in Hoskins before a flight was available to Lae (which is where our truck was parked). We flew out on Christmas Morning, got in the truck in Lae, and started driving. We finally got back to Pangia on the 26th.

Visitors from NY

This month we had a group from New York come visit for two weeks (David and daughter, Heather, Beyea; Justin and Kayleigh Dye; and Seth Garland). They were a blessing, helping wherever was needed. They got some preaching opportunities, worked in the print shop, helped with repairs on the vehicles, and visited the haus sik.

 

Meeting in Powaii

We had a great meeting in Powaii. Nine souls were saved during this meeting! We had the men from NY preach. God really blessed! 


Court case thrown out

After many, many delays we finally had the court case regarding the lady who was gardening behind out house. It is government ground and she's just been a squatter for many years. She was suing us for her loss of garden space (even though we gave her several years notice so she would have time to move her garden and even told her we had no problem with her finishing out what she had already planted). The judge threw out the case and told her she was wasting everyone's time. We thank you for the prayers put up on our behalf regarding this case. We are glad to have it finished!

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