Day 39: Please Pray, December 30, 2013

I’ve been asking the Lord to give me direction for the coming year. What should 2014 look like? What should our goals be? What does the time line look like? I’ve been asking for very specific areas. Aside from a few personal “nudges”, the Holy Spirit has consistently pointed me back to basics and to some overarching principles to walk and work by:

  1. Our primary and foundational strategy for ministry is prayer. It is our desire for 2014 to be characterized by transformational prayer. This concerns not only our personal prayer practices but also how we train, organize, inform, and inspire our prayer partners. Pray with us that God will grant wisdom, discernment, strength, and power to overcome the enemy–that we might honor Jesus’ name by fulfilling the duties of our ministry wisely and with zeal.
  2. God is in charge of the calendar and the activity of ministry. We have placed July 2014 on the calendar to return to Papua New Guinea. I look at the months on the calendar, the $$ needed and all that must take place and, honestly, I cringe. That cringing is not a faith act, though, it is a fear or flesh actPray that we will have an increased awareness and sense of God’s timing in all that he has ahead for us. Pray that we will have willing and submitted hearts regardless of the specifics of the Call. Pray that we will enthusiastically put our hand on whatever plow the Lord holds out to us and to serve wholeheartedly. Pray that our faith in God’s provision and plan will survive the purifier’s fire.
  3. Our season of building a prayer and provision team will result in praise and glory for God–especially in the faith-stretching and impossible-to-see moments and events. Pray that we will have deep awareness of God’s work in life and ministry. Pray that we will be able to tell His story well, that we will be able, by the power of the Holy Spirit, encourage and inspire his people in their faith. Pray that this season will also be a powerful testimony to the Somau Garia people as they watch and wait for the Word to be made available in their heart language.

As I review what I’ve written here, I’m reminded of the famous words of Sherlock Holmes: “Elementary, my dear Watson.” All these are elementary to true faith and Biblical ministry. Yet it seems like the basics are often the battleground. Please pray with us that as we move toward Papua New Guinea, toward telling the story again and again and again, that we will do that which is most elementary in the Christian life: put a smile on God’s face.


Day 3: Alphabets and Alphabet Makers

Sominak Yuna

Sominak Yuna

I have a friend named Sominak who lives near Uria Village. He is gentle, intelligent, thoughtful. He has a charming way with people and immediately puts children at ease. He is a school teacher, a leader of teachers. When Angela and I first moved to Uria Village in the late 1990’s, Sominak was working with several other teachers to develop reading primers for Somau Garia speaking children. The idea was to develop a whole library of simple story books, introducing letters, vowel sounds, and simple words along the way–richly illustrated so that young minds could connect the images with the words on the page.

Sominak is gifted at taking the 16 letters of the Somau Garia alphabet and making them interesting. He is an artist who did most of the artwork for the primers, so he can draw a lot of fun cartoons on the board. Imagine having a teacher draw an amazing picture on the blackboard and letting you come forward and write the name below the picture. He knows how to draw the best out of people.

Vowels: A, E, I, O, U. Consonants: K, L, M, N, P, R, S, T, W, X, Y. These are the elements of written Somau Garia. These letters can be combined to make a story about a snake in the jungle or a man who takes off his arms and legs and head to warm them in the sun (weird) or to write Bible verses like the following, “Yesusue pa kapia xekerina kisamaira wati, nupo tatiwopi kanikina, ‘Tini nonomi weinikitari kouwa. Kakixanari taiyeri nikaku. Xuwe. Xoiteu Waiwai Purotai Wese paiya, muanum nono nikau.’ ” which in our mother tongue reads, “But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.’ ” Mark 10:14, Somau Garia translation; ESV

While Sominak’s primary role over the years has been literacy, he has given much of himself to the translation of the New Testament into the Somau Garia language. The Gospel According to Mark has been in use since 2007. The remaining 26 books await translation. Men like Sominak await their translation. The Word of God in the language of the heart has the power to transform a people.

Angela and I long to be in Papua New Guinea again soon, working alongside friends like Sominak, getting the Word out to a people needing the power of the gospel at work in their lives.

Will You Join Us?
Now through the end of 2013 we are asking God to raise up 40 new monthly financial partners, 40 new special gifts partners, and 40 new intercessory prayer partners to see the Word of God be available in the mother tongue of the Somau Garia people. If you’d like to partner financially with us in this venture of faith, you can click here to visit our Donate page where you’ll find instructions on how to do so. If you’d like to join the cadre of prayer partners, click here to drop us an email informing us of your commitment.

Thank you for reading this post. Thank you for praying. Thank you for giving of yourself to get the Word out to a precious people whom God loves very deeply.



Please Pray–August 22, 2013

Please Pray — 22 August 2013

Just sitting in a restaurant that has Wi-Fi, jotting some final thoughts before heading back to the place we are staying. Just a few days before jumping across the big pond. Pray for Todd as he prepares his mind and heart throughout the weekend for the journey. Pray for the Holy Spirit to encircle and fill Todd’s mind and heart with peace, truth, and focus to hear what the Spirit is speaking–also for clarity. Pray for Angela and the girls as they are away from home for the next month. Pray for God’s peace to be theirs, for his Spirit to quiet and move in them, for them to reflect Christ’s glory in each situation that they encounter. Pray for the boys as they study, work, relax, make new friends, and listen for the still, small Voice.

Your prayers are making a significant difference. Keep them going up!


Praying 40 Days to Freedom — Day 5

August 15 (Day 5) — Thursday. Samuel is moving in Boatman Hall today, the same floor that Todd lived on as a student at Ozark. Pray for him. His emotions will be excitement mixed with the uncertain wonder of life without family close at hand. Pray that God will use this school and these people to pull back the veil a little further and allow Samuel a more intimate and empowered relationship with Jesus.