We live among the Bena Bena people group in Goroka, Papua New Guinea, which is situated in the Eastern Highlands Province at about 5,000 feet above sea level.
We are seeking to glorify God and to advance His Kingdom through the worship and exaltation of God. We do this through the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, by the preaching and teaching of Holy Scripture, and in evangelism. We believe that discipleship equips the saints in Christian doctrine, practice, and affections.
The most important way we can share the love of Christ with people is through the systematic and accurate teaching of the Bible. Faith comes from hearing the Word of God.
“How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?”
The following is a brief outline of our ministry in Papua New Guinea.
Discipleship and Church Planting
Our primary work is to train disciples who make disciples and to plant indigenous churches which are self-led, self-supporting, self-theologizing, and self-reproducing.
While there are many unreached peoples in PNG, God has led us to focus on the “M” people group, which is deep in the bush, far away from civilization. We are praying that God would open their hearts and minds to his truth, call many to belief and repentance, and raise up believers who will evangelize the surrounding people groups. We take frequent trips into the bush to spend time learning about the culture of People M and to teach Bible stories to those who are interested.
We also work with new believers and seekers in the area where we live, which is closer to town. We spend time teaching the Bible and sharing our daily lives with them.
In order to make disciples and plant churches in remote tribes, we are partnering with the national church. In September 2014, we started a pastor training program which holds classes three days a week and is divided into eight week terms. Seven pastors are attending this training and learning for the first time how to study the bible, how to preach, and how to shepherd their congregations. These men accompany us into the bush as we pursue church planting efforts among the unreached. They do much of the teaching in the local tribal language.
Chronological Bible Story Curriculum
Another aspect of our work has been the development and implementation of a Tok Pisin chronological Bible story curriculum for the existing churches in our area, which will enable leaders to teach Bible stories to children’s Sunday School groups. We also use the curriculum to train pastors in how to tell the story of the bible chronologically, in literacy class devotions, and to share the story of the bible with the “M” people. We praise God for the opportunity to share his truth with men and women, boys and girls, who would likely not hear otherwise.
Over the past two years, God has shown us many ways we can reach out to our neighbors. We realized very early on that literacy was a much-needed and desired skill in our area, so we trained six Papua New Guineans in the skills needed to start literacy classes in their own villages. As a result of this training, several villagers in our community are now beginning to read their first words, and many more plan to attend during the next session of classes.
Our most recent project involves water filtration. Although we did not come to PNG with plans to begin a water project, an emergency drought situation in our area showed us the dire need for clean water. In our village, people have no access to clean water and suffer with diseases such as cholera and typhoid on a regular basis. Some suffer with diarrhea to the point of death. We have some experience with water filtration from previous mission work, so we have begun to teach Papua New Guineans the skills needed to build and assemble water filters for use in individual homes. These filters will provide clean water, as well as opportunities for us to visit with families in their homes for hygiene training and water testing. We pray that God will use this project as a means for us to show Christ’s love to others and to speak the gospel into their lives.
God uses the prayers of his people in mighty ways. Therefore, we would like to ask you to pray for the work in Papua New Guinea. Many people are lost in darkness and will remain in darkness until God brings someone into their far-flung villages or into their dangerous city settlements to share his beautiful truth. We need people willing to lay down their lives and come help with the work. We need Papua New Guinean men and women to take responsibility for reaching those in their own back yard. We need the strength that comes only from the Lord to sustain us as we continue to live and work alone in a difficult place. The harvest is plentiful, but the workers certainly are few.