Saturday, February 2, 2019

Welcoming a New Year...

Over the Christmas holiday, we spent time with friends from another mission. While the break was a welcome respite, we are glad to be back in Ukarumpa. Looking ahead, we have much to do before July when we return to the US on a 9 month home assignment. Kathy is currently teaching full-time, serving as the Science Department Head and co-leading a community group Bible study for 9th grade girls. Scott is serving as both Field Security Officer and Senior Manager for Regional Centers. Scott will be traveling a bit for work through parts of February and March, and March is also the time for our biennial PNG branch conference. Given our pending July home assignment, we also have to make preparations to ensure a smooth transition before our absence. All in all, it looks like the next 5 months will go by pretty fast. While in the US, we will be serving as missionaries-in-residence at Dover Baptist Church. We will also be traveling to see our partners in mission, family and friends, and attend some additional training. We hope to see as many of you as possible before our intended return to Papua New Guinea in late March of 2020. 

 Above: The Cairns birdwing butterfly (Ornithoptera euphorio) was one of the exquisite examples of God’s creativity we were able to enjoy over our break. 

Photo credit: Scott Watson

Marvelous marsupials...

We got to meet Eloise the cuscus before Christmas; she was rescued from the pouch after her mother was shot and hand-raised by an expatriate family in Madang. She has a strong prehensile tail, super soft wooly fur, and she enjoyed licking pumpkin soup off of Kathy’s fingers. Pray for Kathy’s students as they learn about these and other wonderful endemic animals. And pray for Papua New Guineans to recognize God’s blessings in their land and to strive to conserve them and be good long-term stewards of them.

Prayer Points

  • Papua New Guinea (PNG): Pray for peace in the Aiyura Valley and throughout the country, especially in Alotau.

  • Bible translation: Pray for preparations for the Kandas New Testament dedication in New Ireland province in April.

  • Our roles in PNG: Pray for a successful start to Term 3 at Ukarumpa International School and for Scott’s upcoming work- related travel and our biennial conference planning.

  • PNG Training: Pray for the basic Biblical exegesis course for national translators starting on February 6th in Ukarumpa.

  • God’s provision: Praise for our partners supplying for our needs and enabling us to continue to serve here in PNG!

Monday, December 17, 2018

Celebrating God's Provision in 2018

We have been blessed by God’s kindness to us through our faithful partners this year in many ways. We’ve settled into our new home in Ukarumpa and have been able to purchase a vehicle, both of which we have been able to use to bless others through hospitality and help with moving and travel. We were able to attend the Baruga Bible dedication in June, which encouraged us to continue in our support roles here that allow Bible translation to continue. Afterward, we traveled back to the U.S. for a month to visit family and friends, as well as empty our storage unit in New Hampshire. It was such a blessing to reconnect with several partners and churches. In July, 2019, we will be returning to the U.S. for a 9 month home assignment and look forward to seeing everyone we missed in June. Until then, we will flexibly serve in our roles here in Ukarumpa, thanking God for the ongoing opportunity that He has given us to minister in Papua New Guinea.

Thank you all for your faithful prayers and partnership during 2018. Please know that we pray for you as well and would love to hear from you and know any particular requests you have. 

Above: Celebrating with the Baruga at their Bible dedication in June was a huge highlight for us. To be with Jim and Joan Farr as they dedicated the Baruga New Testament after 29 years of service there was a reaffirmation of the greater purpose for which we are all here serving. Plus, we had a great helicopter ride to reach their remote village! 

The Joy of Giving

God has answered many prayers as we have served in our expanded support roles this year. Kathy continues teaching middle and high school classes, serving as Science department head, and just began co-leading a grade 9 girls community group. Scott temporarily assumed the role of Chief Human Resources Officer and taught a self defense class at the high school. In June, Scott assumed another temporary assignment as Senior Manager for Regional Centers, while maintaining his role as Field Security Officer. Scott also gave of his time and expertise to assist another mission by co-designing and facilitating a crisis management exercise (with Kathy in her first cameo acting role). We have been able to minister at the local hospital in Kainantu as well, praying with patients and delivering clean water, food and baby clothes. Even emptying our storage unit in NH gave us the opportunity to give away furniture and housewares to Habitat for Humanity and a local shelter. We are grateful to God for giving us the strength and ability to serve in these various ways, so that we may give of our time and talents with joy. Yet, any giving of ours pales in comparison with what God has already given to us through the gift of Jesus Christ, His Son. Christmas is an annual reminder that God is faithful and He is still on His throne. Despite our sin, God made a way for us to be rescued through faith in Jesus Christ alone; it is by His grace that we are saved. The joy of receiving that gift is what compels us to continue to serve in Papua New Guinea, in obedience to God’s call, for as long as He would have us here.

“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgement and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” Isaiah 9: 6-7 (NKJV)

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3: 16-18 (NKJV)

Glimpses of 2018

Monday, November 19, 2018

Staff profile: Pastor Ham, our Security Liaison Officer

Our mission in Papua New Guinea requires many kinds of people with various skill sets. The people who make the day to day operations run smoothly here include not only expatriate missionaries from all over the globe, but also our Papua New Guinean staff. One such person is Pastor Peter Ham, a member of the Security Department who serves as our Liaison Officer with local communities in the Aiyura Valley. Whether it is helping to solve a conflict in the valley, communicating with police regarding a motor vehicle accident involving our missionaries or resolving disagreements between local residents and members of our own staff, Pastor Ham serves as a resource for peace and cultural understanding. In addition to his work for our mission, Pastor Ham is also the pastor of church in the nearby village of Ba’e where he ministers to his congregation and serves as a Christ-like example to many. Scott not only values Pastor Ham’s work ethic, but also his ability to operate between Papua New Guinean cultures and those of the many expatriate missionaries here in Ukarumpa. God has blessed Scott’s security ministry here in Ukarumpa by providing the right people to come alongside him and help him to make improvements. Pastor Ham is one of those indispensable people.  

Above: Please pray for Pastor Ham, as he strives to be a godly mediator and peacemaker in the Aiyura Valley.