The Gospel work among the Mengen people started many years ago. Missionary Becky Preheim remembers the early days when they struggled to learn an unwritten language. It was an uphill battle, trying to repeat back different sounds and to write things the way they heard them! The missionaries were often overwhelmed as they immersed themselves in the Mengen culture, trying to gain insight into the thinking and customs of the people they had come to minister to. By God’s grace, they were able to survive those initial days, and the day finally came for them to be able to present the Gospel to the Mengen people in their own language!!
One of the very first Mengen believers was a young man. He and his wife were just eighteen years old with a brand new baby when Becky and co-worker Keri first arrived in their village. This young couple had already been through many difficult times, with the loss of both of his parents and also their new little baby having been born with two club feet. Then, within weeks of the missionaries arrival in the village, the young man’s teenage brother died from appendicitis, and tragically slipped into a Christless eternity.
As this couple heard the truth about God and about sin and about their need for a Redeemer, they quickly reached out and accepted God’s gift of salvation. Their hunger for God’s Word as they listened to the Bible lessons was amazing to see.
Now many years later, this couple have seven children and are doing very well. A couple of years ago, they joined another family and became the first Mengen missionaries to their own people, moving to a village many hours hike away from home. It has been a time of growth for both families and they have experienced incredible hardship as they have seen a church planted in this new village. Although he is a quiet man, he has become a mature, well respected and godly leader.
Recently Becky got a phone call from the couple’s co-worker that this dear man was deathly ill. It was terrifying news to get from a remote jungle location, knowing that there was no easy way for him to receive medical treatment. To make a long story short, two of the men from Hoskins were able to drive many long hours through the night, over rugged roads, and were able to get to this distant village. He was very, very ill and in and out of consciousness. Praise the Lord that he was finally able to receive treatment at the hospital in town. The doctor said that they had arrived at the hospital in the nick of time, as he was literally near death and had just a few hours to live. God’s timing is perfect!
Now he is recovering from the nasty intestinal bug. He is very weak, but he is moving around and eating a little. Within a few days, he should be on his feet and back to full strength again. Once he returns home, along with his co-worker he will be starting the “Creation to Christ” teaching once again to a new group of people. They are excited to have at least forty people who are hungry to hear the truth of God’s Word. Out of those forty, at least twelve of them are young unmarried guys who live and work in that area! Becky can’t wait to hear what the Lord is going to do in the hearts of these guys. Also pray for the two new co-workers who have joined them, that they would settle well into the work and that they would experience God’s faithfulness as they are away from their home village and all their family and friends. It’s a huge transition time for them and they would appreciate your prayers.