This eventually turned out to be much more than was anticipated, with Lourens being centre manager, business office manager, regional coordinator, regional church planting consultant, church planting liaison assistant and doing a lot of member care on the side as well. Not to mention trying to maintain the momentum in the Mengen church.
Marie has been even busier, with being the corner post at home, home schooling, supply buying for the region, running housing and guest housing and hosting a number of people.
God has used this year as a major growing opportunity and learning curve for them. All that has been a challenge, BUT, the most difficult aspect of the work this year for Lourens was to hear people expressing their need for the Gospel but not being able to answer that for them. He again realised the truth about the harvest being ready but the workers being few.
The Mengen believers would say,
"...the popo's are ripe but we can’t get to them in time so the bats come to eat it."
Meaning, the harvest is ready but we do not have workers, so Satan comes to take all their hope away from them.
This last year has seen some amazing things happening amongst the Mengen believers. Over and above the Mengen church really growing in maturity, they have had so many cries for help coming from different villages. This is a cry for salvation, and teaching about how to be saved.
There are also established churches, which are without missionaries asking for help. They don't have missionaries there anymore. Missionaries left for various reasons and now we are having struggling churches. They struggle with their walk with Christ, and they are concerned about how they can get it right to live a God honouring life. They realise they are an unhealthy body, an unfinished house and an unprepared bride. Therefore, they are asking missionaries to come again to complete what they started. Others don’t have whole translations of the Bible.
The need is great!
Lourens is close to burn out. He has to carry many burdens emotionally, he also realises that his road is a lonely one. Juggling family, ministry and financial needs has not been easy during their ten years in PNG.
Pray for Lourens:
- that he will persevere in trying to bring hope.
- that he will get the courage to keep on saying no and trusting God in that!
- that God will provide strong regular financial support so that they can sustain all these ministries.
"ASK THE LORD OF THE HARVEST, THEREFORE, TO SEND OUT WORKERS INTO HIS HARVEST FIELD.