2Cor. 4:7   But we have this treasure in earthen containers, so that the extraordinary greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying around in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.”

Just before 10am on Sunday a major earthquake shook our mountains. The Canns made it safely out of their house just in time to hear our house collapse – followed shortly by theirs. The houses do not look too bad from the outside – but the pictures are deceptive. Both homes are not structurally sound, and will have to be pulled apart and rebuilt. There are multiple floorboard mountain ranges throughout the houses, posts pushed through the floor, and belongings all over the place. The Cann house shifted more, and seems more unstable at the moment.

We are very thankful that the Lord kept our teammates safe. We are also thankful that (as far as we know) there were no major injuries in our village.

Our immediate plan is to make our way home to PNG – which means cutting our trip short. We are sad to miss out on visiting our supporting churches, but we need to return to join our teammates. Both families will temporarily live at our base in Madang and from there we will assess and plan our next steps. As we gather more information, we’ll be able to make more decisions. Right now, we just want to all be in the same room, hug each other and pray together – we are so thankful that the Canns are the family the Lord has chosen for us to go through this trial with.

Please pray that the Lord would use this in our lives and in the lives of the believers in the village – may those who know Him grow to trust Him more. And may these events put the fear of the Lord in the hearts of those who have not yet repented. Pray for our families and for us as a team that we would love each other well and consider others first. Pray that our example of trusting in the Lord and persevering would be a witness to our village friends.

Psalm 84 has long been one of my favourite spots to turn to when I (Elna) face trials:

Psalm 84:11-12 “For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord gives grace and glory; He withholds no good thing from those who walk with integrity. Lord of Armies, Blessed is the person who trusts in You!”

Pray for us that we will not merely give a resigned sigh when we remember God’s sovereignty; but that we would rather rejoice, also remembering His goodness!