Praise and thanks go to the Lord for His accomplishment. Many, many thanks to all who stood by them for over 30 years as Jim and Judy have laboured in the Dom not only translating the New Testament but ministering as church planters, evangelists, teachers, mentors and seeing to the medical needs of the Dom people.
This printing is what is called a "provisional" printing; a limited paper-back edition of the Dom New Testament (150 copies) that they will distribute among the Dom Christians. The idea is to allow time for readership and feedback (typos, improvements etc.) before they print the hard cover, stitch bound edition that will need to last for many years to come. Other missionary translators have taken this approach and it seems to work well.
Some have asked Jim and Judy, "What now?" The answer to that is ‘more of the same for as long as God allows’. They plan on returning to the field in October for another term. This time with a full-volume, cover-to-cover New Testament to minister with instead of home printed portions and handouts of Scripture. They are trusting that this will be a new era for the Dom as Bible readership spreads and the Word does its work among His people. They pray that having a printed New Testament (and eventually however much of the Old Testament) in their mother tongue will equip and empower the believers and the local church leadership in a whole new way. It will certainly make their job a lot easier.
God has provided a way for the New Testaments to get to PNG in June and then one of NTM’s missionaries along with Martin Lamb, the son of Jim and Judy’s first partners Colin and Brenda will be taking the New Testaments to the two Dom churches to pass out to about 25 of the core readers.
Word from Gerolf and Mailis is that church in their village is lagging, but there is a small group in another village continuing with teaching, and the outreach at yet another village also continues. Pray for the new believers to grow; they will soon be taught Acts. Pray that more men would catch the vision to help with these outreaches. Another village has asked for the teaching, but the main Bible teacher is flat out as he is also the head of Fellowship for National Bible Churches in the area, so that keeps him busy travelling.
April 13-17 there will be an area conference for believers in the village of the original church. There will be one New Guinea speaker and one of the missionaries speaking. Pray for spiritual growth, encouragement for the believers and open hearts.
Continue to pray for The Wuest’s as they depart for maternity leave and home assignment at the end of April.
In a couple of weeks, Jim and Judy will begin a trip visiting family and friends in the Northwest of the USA. They would appreciate prayer for safety in travelling, for the van to have no issues, for opportunities to share about missions and for time with family and friends. God has given the strength to continue though even though at times it was very difficult.