In mid-December, Dan Hulley headed off to the PNG coastal town of Wewak with two of his translation helpers to get some translation checked by the consultant. After four days of checking, the 1000 or so verses that were checked were given the green light for printing, bar a few changes here and there. That means that they have over a third of the New Testament consultant checked! It wasn’t all work and no play though. They finished the check early so he took his two helpers for a swim in the ocean. The last time Dan and Rachel took people from their village to Wewak, they were afraid to go into the sea because of their fear of spirits whom they believed lived in the water. These two guys though were more than happy to take a dip because God’s Word has changed their worldview. They now know that their old beliefs were the lies of Satan, who intended to keep them in slavery. How amazing is the truth that does indeed set people free!
Just before Christmas, the missionary team finished teaching another Phase 1 (Creation to Christ) course to about thirteen people. They co-taught with some of the believers who are teachers-in-training. After the final lesson, Dan and Rachel’s co-worker Levi, and one of the teachers interviewed the eight students who attended and each one of them given a clear profession of their trust in Christ alone for their salvation. New children have been born into the family of God! Some of the others sadly haven’t made a decision to follow Christ.
Pray for these infant believers that they will continue to grow in their walk with the Lord and will be able to resist the opposition that they will undoubtedly face.
One of the missionaries’ major goals is to empower the Wahgi church to stand on their own two feet and slowly wean them off dependency on them. In order to do this, they are being intentional about training people to take over the role of Bible teaching, Sunday school, literacy, etc. They were privileged to be able to send five men and three women out to a teacher training course in Goroka. This was a good opportunity for them to mix with other believers from different tribes who were attending the course and to see the importance of being equipped to teach the Word of God. Pray for the eight people who took the teacher training course, that they will use their knowledge to help the church as a whole. Since getting back from the course, two of the ladies are currently being trained as Sunday school teachers and four of the men have been taking part in the Bible teaching on Sundays.
The majority of the group who started the literacy course a couple of months ago continue to attend and are making good progress. The missionary team decided that they would reward people’s faithfulness, so every week, those who attended every lesson get a small prize, and those who came for a whole month, get a bigger prize. There is a chicken up for grabs for anyone who attends the whole course without missing a lesson. They do not know if the incentives keep people coming, but they pray they will develop a love for reading the Bible and can be a blessing to the other believers by using their new skill.
Please continue to ask God for a favourable outcome for one of the believers with regard to land ownership. Not only does this affect him, but also the church, as they walk through the disputed land to get to and from the church building.