Dear Friends and Family
It has again been a very busy couple of months. Let me bring you up to speed on some of the happenings in our ministry here in the Western Province.
February: Cottage Prayer Meetings
Our sub-theme for February was on the topic of prayer - "Gaining God’s Ear." We preached upon this theme all month, and every Thursday evening we met in homes around the island for "Cottage Prayer." Our people really rallied around the new concept of “The Cottage Prayer Meeting,” and it created a spirit of unity as we prayed through very specific areas of ministry. Also this month Baptist Drillers drilled a 100’ water bore for the people of Kadawa Village. This bore turned into an artesian well, and we actually struggled to get it under control. The people in the village are extremely happy with the water made available to them, and we are happy that an open door to preach the Gospel has been made available to us. We plan to return there this month “for the furtherance of the gospel.”
March: Soul Winning
In this month our focused turned from inside to outside. We had a soul-winning theme - "Sowing the Seed." I taught on Wednesday evenings about how to lead a soul to Christ and then we went out on Thursday evenings to implement what we had learned. It was awesome to see several of our new converts out knocking on doors with us. We saw several saved this month and prepared for baptism.
April: Revival, Bible FM, & Sickness
April brought many unplanned events. Our theme for this month was about Revival - "Life from Death." God really blessed as we introduced the concepts that in order to truly experience the power of the resurrection, we must die. What better way to picture the resurrection than a baptism service. We rejoiced to be able to baptize nine precious souls on April 2nd.
April: Revival, Bible FM, & Sickness (Cont.)
At the beginning of April I received a request to meet the Bible FM team in Port Moresby for a board meeting. Brad Wells, the founder of Bible FM, and also Gene Sharp and Eric Damron, with the Independent Baptist Media team, were flying in to do some new Set-ups, and Fix-ups on the radio network. The board voted me on to their team, and we had a productive meeting. One of the new things the IBM team brought with them was three mini-studios. One of them was for Daru. This will now enable us to “go local.” We are excited that we have now been able to realize Phase-2 of our 3-Phase plan for Bible FM.
Revival and Sickness:
Pastor Rabona arrived for our Revival Meeting in the midst of sickness in our home. (Have you noticed that there are often trials along the way when attempting to do a work for God?) Our son David did not feel well on Friday, didn't move around on Saturday, and couldn’t get out of bed on Sunday. We thought it was just the flu so we continued as normal, preparing for the visiting preacher to arrive on Monday. As it happened, his flight was canceled on Monday, so he didn't arrive until Tuesday. By this time, David had no desire to eat and was very weak.
We started the Revival Meeting on Wednesday evening with 250+ in attendance. There were specials and good preaching. The altar was filled, and God was doing a good work in our church, but our son David was not doing we l l . That night, he complained of much pain and so we began researching symptoms and came to realize that it was not the flu, but appeared to be an appendicitis attack. I rushed him down to our local hospital fearing that his appendix had actually ruptured. The attending nurse that night took his vitals and then prescribed an antibiotic. I asked what the prescription was for and he said, “For his cough.” I was shocked! I told him that I did not rush him to the hospital at 1am in the morning because of a cough. I brought David back home and then we waited to see a doctor the next morning. The doctor confirmed our suspicions but relieved us of our fears of a ruptured appendix. They administered antibiotics via IV and then we brought him home to nurse until we could get a flight out to the capital. We hardly slept that night, replenishing his IV and keeping his meds going. That Thursday evening, the church was filled again and the altars were active. On Friday, David and I flew out to a hospital that could do whatever needed to be done. We were well taken care of and the surgery went well. We were then able to return to Daru the following weekend. TB is real problem on our island, so it was refreshing to get many professional tests done which could determine if that was also a problem.
Thank you to all who prayed and wrote notes of encouragement to our family during this time. Appendectomies seem so common today, but serious all the same.
We are now active in this new month and have already baptized three more. Also we have begun our second 6-week Discipleship Training program. This time we have 21 of our church members attending this Sunday afternoon class. We graduated 12 folks in March who took this course and several of those now are discipling new converts.
By God’s grace we continue to press forward - Taking Root Downward.
We love you dearly. Thank you for trusting us with your missions vision.