SmythsInPNG's Weblog

November 23, 2008

November 23, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — smythsinpng @ 4:27 am
Mt. Garbuna multiple vents

Volcano with multiple vents

Sulfur.  That is an odor we smell frequently here in the islands region. The volcano east of us sends ash our way about half the year. The volcano west of us occasionally sends a wisp of sulfur toward our house and is a factor to consider on most flights to the west.  Three other volcanoes are a regular part of flying here including one listed among the most dangerous volcanoes in the world, or so I am told.

The smell of sulfur is not on my list of top ten favorite odors. Sodom and Gomorrah along with second death in the lake of fire are judgments described in the Bible where sulfur and fire are mentioned.  The odor reminds me of what God’s plan is for those who fail to trust in His bountiful grace and mercy provided on the cross by Jesus Christ. It reminds me of the urgency of our task; proclaiming eternal life as a gift through Christ.

Mt. Uluwan

A tall volcano

Thanksgiving.  We have a great deal for which to be thankful.  Through people such as you God has sustained us many years in a foreign land.  In those years we have seen many churches grown from the first seed to mighty oaks of faith. You have had a part in this through your labor, gifts and prayer.

Mouk People watching helicopter

Mouk People watching the helicopter depart with cargo

Your labor is not in vain.  Your support has made it possible for us to be involved in church planting in many languages.  We have spent significant time in all of the regions so are familiar with many of these tribal works.  In some tribal locations we have had significant long term roles and others incidental roles.

Just since 1994 the following language groups in Papua New Guinea have heard the Good News about Jesus Christ in their own language and many have believed: Benabena, Gende, Iwalaqamalje, Kafe, Kuman, North Wahgi, Dinangat, Inapang, Ma (Mibu), Manam, Tobo, Kakuna, Kaulong, Kol, Lavongai, Mengen, Maleu, Solong, Tigak, Hewa, Malaumanda, Bagwido, Nakui, Saniyo, Abau, Sorimi, Inanbimali. 

Twenty-eight tribes representing a hundred to several thousand people can seem like a lot, but when you consider that Papua New Guinea has over 850 different languages you can see that there is much work to be done.  We are praying that as these churches mature and take on personal responsibility, they will be able multiply our efforts to reach the country of Papua New Guinea with the Good News of eternal life. 

Source Searching

More Shopping Relief

Most of the thirty-five language groups reached before 1994 have continued to grow in faith with some groups such as the Mouk, Ata, Bisorio, Iteri, Yagaria, Hamtai and others taking significant responsibility to carry the gospel to other villages and language groups. We are not yet as effective as we need to be to see this generation in these tribes come to faith in Christ. Please pray for laborers!  God gives the increase.

Loading Food Supplies

Loading food supplies for delivery to a remote airstrip where the helicopter will pick them up and take them to the missionaries.

Thank you for laboring in prayer with us!  To God be the Glory!

November 7, 2008

November 7, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — smythsinpng @ 8:19 am

We are so very thankful for you, our support team, for making it possible for us to live and work in Papua New Guinea!

Another answer to prayer

Another answer to prayer

This work of tribal church planting is a lot like farming.  You spend time picking a plot, checking out the type of weeds, the fertility of the soil, digging up the dirt, mixing in fertilizer, planting the seed, addressing the weeds, watering, training the plants, picking off insects and, then, some day, you have a harvest. In church planting, too, if you want a large and enduring harvest, the work requires preparation and teamwork. There are the scientists who study soil and advise on the best plot to plant the crop for the most effective yield and reproduction.  There are the seed managers who care for the integrity of the seed and give advice on the best way to protect the seed from infestation until the time of planting. There are the plow boys who advise on preparing the soil and preventing an environment favorable to the weeds. It requires a lot of time reading the manual.

 In the end, only God makes a plant grow.  And how!!!

Tribal Transition

Tribal Transition

 We are sweating for the glory of God and the increase of the body of Christ.  It often feels like we are laboring alone, but that is not actually the case. It’s one of the many lies thrown about by our enemy after we leave close friends and family in our home country and spend an increasing number of years in a foreign environment. It is true that the depth of former friendships seem to fade as our daily life experiences diverge from those in our home country. But it is not true that we are alone.  We experience continuous love and support from God’s people at home who are involved in many different ways.

 An illustration might be taken from a medical evacuation that occurred about several weeks ago. The daughter of a missionary from another mission  became progressively ill until her father requested medical evacuation to Lae.  An NTM missionary living nearby called one of our coworkers, who then contacted us. The next morning we flew 45 minutes to pick up the father and daughter, then flew another hour and a half to medical assistance.   Each medical flight involves several other missionaries in supportive roles.  Doctors and nurses help assess health, give advice and help determine the urgency of the situation.    Our supply buyer organized the patients, drove the vehicle and helped load the airplane.  Diana stood by the radio and telephones, relayed messages, acquired weather information and kept necessary parties informed. Guest house personnel stood by in readiness to provide transportation and relayed information. Many other people have been involved through prayer.   This was an in-country flight.  I think we counted about 30 missionaries involved in one of the international medical evacuations where the patients were flown to Australia.

Arawe Islands seen on medivac

Arawe Islands seen on medivac

 Every week we interact with missionaries of various roles.  Some are mechanics, school teachers, bookkeepers, Bible translators, Bible teachers, electricians, administrators, medical professionals, and a host of other skills and professions such as you find in your local body of believers. All are people who represent a group of individuals and churches who pray diligently, give sacrificially, write occasionally and sometimes even come over here to lend a hand in the work. We all live for the common goal of bringing glory to God by making Him known to the people of Papua New Guinea and we appreciate those of you who pray and make it possible!

 OK. Personal  stuff. We have been ill most of the past week. It looks like a flight or two might be postponed.  That’s not that big a deal unless you happen to be the missionary stranded in the bush 300 miles away from any other pilot and aircraft.  We’re praying for the health to resume flying Monday.


Shopping Relief

Shopping Relief

 Last week we spent a lot of time with our dear friend Ray, our helicopter pilot, as he was here assisting our most remote tribal missionaries. Ray took us into town for some shopping and lunch at a resort. Randy & Ray met at several airstrips during the week to exchange passengers and cargo. More helicopter interaction to come next week.

Another family moving to a tribal home

Another family moving to a tribal home

Randy has been working on the plumbing and landscaping at the hangar between office work and flights. Diana continues lending her computer expertise where needed between her other responsibilities.

It’s coming up on Thanksgiving already.  There are no indications of anything different or seasonal here.  W e found a DVD of a football game recorded in 2007 (Chargers vs. Patriots) and watched that,  including all of the commercials, for all of the home culture it brings to this side of the world.  Having not seen any sports in the past year it was a treat.

Thanks for praying with us and for us! 

Your co-laborers,

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