Our first applications for work permits to enter PNG, were submitted in March 2017. In August 2017, we were told that these applications were lost somewhere at the Department of Labour. We had a second application ready in country, so we sent these to our agent for resubmission. The last 8 months we have waited eagerly for news, but none has come. We have placed increasing pressure on our agent in PNG for feedback with the result that he was forced to admit that he never submitted our applications. We are back to step 1 in the work permit application process, but with reliable agents this time.
God is in full control and uses even dishonest people to accomplish his will. The last few months back in SA were not part of our plan, but God has used them to prepare us for the field. God has blessed us with many ministry opportunities. On top of normal shepherding and teaching, Ryan is teaching Hebrew at Shepherds’ Seminary Africa, which is great preparation for Bible translation in PNG. Amelia and I (Elna) are learning Greek, and teaching Bible studies. Our children have been learning and maturing, and our marriage has been strengthened. We could list many other ways that we have been able to serve our friends, families, and the church body in South Africa. Our teammates, the Canns are back in the tribe and working diligently. The Lehmans will, God willing, be back in PNG in August, and the Noyes have been working hard to hold the fort until they return. So it is clear to us that things are still moving forward.
Please pray with us that God would prepare the hearts of the people in Mawerero for the gospel and that He would smooth the way for us to join our team in Mawerero soon. Please pray that we would continue growing in our love for God, his Word, and his people. And praise God with us for how He sovereignly works things together. Nothing is by chance – we can truly say with Joseph, ‘God meant it for good.’