-Elna –

Since 2019, this has been our ‘little corner of the world’… And today, this is where my prayers are concentrated. Ryan and the Canns plan to head out to the village today. Seven and a half weeks after the earthquake, we finally have the opportunity to go in, assess the damage in more detail, reconnect with the leaders, our village friends, and most importantly the believers in Mawerero. This is an assessment and salvage operation. We need to know if the houses are safe to enter, and if we can use our house to store things while we plan our next steps. Even more important than the physical state of the homes, is the spiritual state of the church. We need to have conversations with both community leaders and the handful of believers. This is essential as we look ahead. In terms of salvaging building material and personal belongings – during the five days in the village the houses need to be prepped to safely store items we’ll leave behind, and things to be flown down to Madang town for use while we are here need to be packed up.

Eight weeks ago, we had a plan for ministry going forward. God has seen fit to change that completely. Our previous short term goals can not be reached without living in the village. But our long term goal of the building up of a mature body of believers (making disciples!) remains in place. How to reach that goal will look different now. 

Please pray for all the hard work and information gathering that needs to happen over the next few days. And pray for our team for wisdom as we pray, think and talk through the many decisions ahead of us. (James 1:5)

Please also pray for the people of Mawerero. I wrote two letters to send to friends – one to those I know to be believers, encouraging them to hold on to their faith and grow through reading and obeying Scripture. Another to unbelievers, speaking of the privilege of hearing the gospel, and begging them not to harden their hearts, but to repent and believe! (Hebrews 4:7) All people everywhere fall in those two categories. My prayer for everyone who read this is the same – turn to the Lord if you haven’t; keep following Him if you have already put your faith in Him.

One additional prayer request: SIL (Wycliffe Bible Translators) here in PNG have been amazing in all the ways they support our organisation. We use their aviation department (and we’ve made some great friends through that!), we order food from their store, we’ve made many trips to their clinic. CAM technical support department and the joinery has given advice over the phone and ordered and sent parts for us. On this trip specifically, John Craig is giving his time and expertise today to accompany Ryan and the Canns to the village so that he can help assess the homes. And Gavin Jones is as always sacrificially serving our team by doing heli shuttles today and then bringing the team out again next week. We praise the Lord for these faithful servants who work behind the scenes – tasks like filling grocery orders, buying veggies for us on the way to the airport (thanks Gavin for going above and beyond!), finding parts, sending us malaria prophylaxis and giving medical advice. Please think of these people in your prayers – pray that the Lord would sustain them and give them joy.  Without them, we would not be able to serve in a remote location.