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April 28, 2019

Had God Forgotten Them?

The gospel is transforming the lives of the Menyan believers in Papua New Guinea.
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Monday
The Mengen New Testament has been completed!

Becky Preheim ministers with the Mengen people in Papua New Guinea. On March 30, she wrote, “Today around 4 p.m., we finished checking the book of Hebrews. This was the final book in the Mengen New Testament which needed to be checked. We all sighed a huge sigh of relief and thanked the Lord truly for His mercy and His faithfulness. I didn’t feel too emotional till I called the guys in the village tonight. What a joy to tell them that their New Testament has been checked and we’re now one step nearer to it being printed. Honestly, I could barely choke the words out and the three guys on the other end were talking really excitedly. Thanks again for your part in this amazing ministry.”

Tuesday
It’s a Balancing Act

Susie Locklin ministers in West Africa. “Sometimes life feels like a balancing act. Or like the scene from the musical Fiddler on the Roof where Tevye keeps thinking about “… on the other hand.” Here are a few of the things happening in my life, as well as their “…on the other hand” counterparts. On the one hand, I’m really excited to be heading back to West Africa. On the other hand, there are always more projects to do. On the one hand, it’s exciting to watch God continue to direct my steps. On the other hand, sometimes it’s still hard to be living in the unknown and not know where I’m headed.” Read more.

Wednesday
Adjusting to Life at a Smaller Center

Jotham and Maria Van Der Decker minister in Papua New Guinea. “Continue praying for us as we adjust to life here at a smaller center. Pray for Jotham as his job changes. He’s doing lots of different things, and now there are two tech services guys working together instead of by themselves. Also, please continue to pray for us as we get to know people here. We’re so thankful for our great co-workers and friends here, but it’s mostly a whole new group of people. There are still many opportunities to go where the gospel is not understood in the heart language of the people of Papua New Guinea. Josiah and Rachel [Jotham’s brother and wife] are back in Anem now working on the house, so that soon they’ll be able to start learning the Anem language.” Please continue to pray for both Van Der Decker families.

Thursday
The Concept of “Church”

Mike and Cher Riepma minister in Bolivia among the Ese Ejja people. “This concept of ’church’ has taken years for the Ese Ejja believers to comprehend and then to buy into. Many had a very limited idea, like the building is sacred or the Sunday meeting is the essence of church or the pastor does all the work. Cher and I are encouraged seeing maturing believers take seriously their commitment to be involved in their local church. … Pray for the believers’ faith to be strengthened as they see God answering their prayers and providing for them and their children.”

Friday
Two-Room Houses

Dan and Judy Burke minister to the Chimane in Bolivia, with much of their time in leadership development and discipleship. Discipleship/leadership courses will begin in July. “In between discipleship courses Dan will be making preparations for the construction team coming down in July from Salt Creek Baptist Church in Dallas, Oregon. This team will be helping us with the first phase of our discipleship center for the Chimanes. They will be working on thirteen small houses. Please be praying for Dan as he has a huge job trying to get as much as possible ready for when the team comes in July.” Volunteer to use your carpentry or building skills.

Watching Paiye retell the Easter story is a great way to remember what today is about and share it with others.
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Monday
Commentary of Romans in the Loron Language

Paul and Marina Briggs minister itinerantly with the Loron people of West Africa. They said, “Since coming home we have worked on making the final adjustments to the new commentary on the book of Romans in the Loron language. It’s called Nyelye a Nanpɩkɛ a gʋʋn (The Righteousness of God), and we trust it will help the Loron Bible teachers and believers in the various churches to better understand, appreciate and enjoy this very important epistle. Joel, one of the main Loron Bible teachers, and I [Paul], started working on it last summer. The final draft has now been sent to the printers.” Pray for the Loron church. Read more about the Loron ministry.

Tuesday
‘Mar 28, 2019, 9:45am, Tigak New Testament finished.’

Aimee Hedrick has ministered with the Bealls among the Tigak. She said, “’Mar 28, 2019 9:45am, Tigak New Testament finished.’ That was the text message I got from my teammate Ned [Beall] yesterday morning. He'd been working with a couple Tigak guys and a couple consultants over the last couple weeks to check over the last remaining books of the New Testament. As you know, we've all been pushing especially the last few months to see this happen, and many of you have prayed. Thank you. God has provided and here we are. This is good news!!” Praise God for what He has done. Pray for the Tigak church as they enjoy the Word in their own language. Read about heart language ministries.

Wednesday
The Tigak New Testament

Aimee Hedrick has watched as the Tigak people group has gotten closer to having the New Testament in their own language. She said, “From the million drops of sweat on a tropical island to the invention of the printing press and the development of computers, God has been in the tiniest of things and the biggest of things, making a way for more of His image-bearers, Tigak ones, to be specific, to know Him. It will be a while still before we print the entire New Testament in one book — maybe a year or two. Time will be given for it to be read, taught from and used by our Tigak friends. But this is a very important cause for pause and celebration.” Pray for the printing of the Tigak New Testament. Read about translations.

Thursday
New Beginnings Are Hard

Aaron and Amy Speitelsbach minister among the Glarro of West Africa. They are writing lessons to start teaching the Glarro from Creation to Christ. They said, “We are still working on the first five lessons to improve them and make them the best we can. The fellows in the group Aaron found to help him with his lessons are slowly learning their role as editors. It is helpful to have their insight. The plan is that we get a good number of lessons done (50 plus) before we start teaching.” They would like to start teaching toward the end of the year. Pray for them to make good progress in the lesson writing. Here’s how you can help.

Friday
Christ vs. Animism

Alberto and Nancy González minister in Colombia. Eliodoro is a disciple of Alberto’s that has been doing some teaching on animism. They wrote, “Eliodoro shared [a] testimony about what God showed him and how he convinced him to turn from his old animistic beliefs. ‘I went out hunting with my dog, and when I was in the middle of the jungle, I heard the call of a bird which, according to our traditional beliefs, was warning me that something bad would happen if I kept hunting. … At that moment, frozen in fear, I thought: “Am I going to trust in God and believe that He is going to protect me from all harm and provide food for my family? Or am I going to turn back in fear, obeying Satan and the deceitful beliefs from him?” I decided to trust in God and kept walking.’” Read Eliodoro’s full testimony.

Landslides sounds like thunder. They start as a distant rumble, build, then fade away—but leave behind more than an echo.
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Monday
Iski Translation Update

The Tousch, Williamson and Callahan families comprise the Iski team in Papua New Guinea. André and Aurélie Tousch and Jason Williamson are working together on the translation. The team hopes to have the New Testament and any portions of the Old Testament needed for lessons to be completed by 2023 or 2024. André said, “The coming milestone is to have Mark, Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, Ephesians, 1 Timothy, Titus and 1 and 2 Thessalonians ready for print in 2020.” Pray for the team as they translate. Read more about the Iski.

Tuesday
Akolet Marriage Seminar

Adam and Julie Martin minister among the Akolet people of Papua New Guinea. Just recently, the Akolet church had a marriage and family seminar. What made it different was that it was taught by other Papua New Guineans. The Martins wrote, “The Lord changed our schedule around so that the Maleu and Ata believers coming to lead the conference could not come in when first planned. … “Plan B” ended up having them come in a week later but to be there for 10 days instead. … They filled every minute of those 10 days with practical, biblical sessions on growing in a godly marriage and in godly families. We can’t say enough how encouraging or practical it was for the Akolet believers!” Continue to pray for the Akolet church. Read about the Akolet.

Wednesday
Wana Missionaries to the Banggai People

Ed and Jeanne Casteel have ministered among the Wana people of the Asia-Pacific Region. One blessing they have enjoyed is watching those they discipled beginning to reach out and become disciplers. One group of Wana missionaries has gone to the Banggai people. Ed said, “These missionaries have recently completed their basic culture and language learning and have attended a literacy seminar preparing to teach literacy. We have also been working with them in lesson development and preparing them to start translation. This is a different type of work as there is an existing church group on this island, but they are still very animistic at heart. It will be a challenge for our team to navigate through all this and keep from being offensive to this existing group that is there.” Pray for the Wana missionaries.

Thursday
The Maturing Simbari Church

David and Shari Ogg minister among the Simbari people of Papua New Guinea. They wrote, “While we were walking around the village, we came to the church and were excited to see the small Sunday School house that the believers had completed. It was planned, paid for and built by the Simbari church, and it represents another step towards maturity. Before, they were always relying on us for planning and implementation of projects like this to address the needs of the church. Now they are taking more ownership of the responsibilities.” Pray for the Simbari church as they grow. Read more from the Oggs.

Friday
History Was Made!

One of the changes that came to the Akolet church took place in the marriage and family seminar last month. Adam and Julie Martin write, “And remember how I said there would be no telling husbands and wives to look into each other’s eyes ...? Well, I was right about that. But something just as shocking did take place. As part of honoring the family unit, Kewaka (the main speaker) encouraged husbands and wives to actually sit together, rather than men on one side and women on the other as they typically do. … And you know what? Many couples did! There was some giggling and some awkwardness that went along with that, but they did it! And as is so often the case, what seems like a small step is actually a very big one. They sat together. History was made.” Keep praying for Akolet familes and their spiritual growth.