A constant topic

Unlike in the West, Artenis and Mel Islamaj have found that in Papua New Guinea where they serve, death is a constant topic and the fear of it paralyses people in their everyday lives. This is what they say, “The work of Christ on the cross is what has set us free from this fear because through Him we have forgiveness of sins and a hope which surpasses all understanding. But so many tribes do not have access to this message in their language yet.”  As a family they are about to move into one of these tribes. Some of their prayers have already been answered as they have been making plans for the move.

In February, Artenis and Mel successfully completed their national culture and language studies (Tok Pisin). This will now serve as a bridge to help them learn a tribal language. They are grateful for what they have been able to learn so far and for the many connections they have been able to establish in Madang and Goroka. Thank you for your prayers!

For almost a year they have been closely in touch with two families and have been praying intensively that God would show them whether they can partner together for the task of church planting among one of the unreached tribes of PNG. The Lord has answered their prayers so wonderfully, and it is now confirmed that they are a team.

In December 2023, Artenis and a co-worker were able to travel to visit a tribe in the Sandaun province. This tribe has been signalling an openness to the Word of God since the 1980s, but unfortunately NTM has not been able to send missionaries. As a team they desire to live among these people, explore their culture, and learn their language, so that one day the people can hear, read and understand the Gospel in their own language. Praise God for this open door. Artenis and Mel feel too small for this enormous task, but they know that the Lord will help them in His goodness and faithfulness.

Artenis and Mel are expecting another baby in October! They will be spending time in Germany with plans to return to PNG about three to four months after the birth, since as a team, they are hoping to allocate into the tribe soon. Please pray for a complication-free pregnancy and birth. They are excited to see their family, friends and church again.

Give praise to the Lord for:

  • …His faithfulness, goodness and grace
  • …the health and protection He has granted them
  • …the successfully completed Tok Pisin studies
  • …for the two families who are teaming up with them
  • …for the open door in a tribe in the Sandaun province

Please pray with them for:

  • …wisdom in their communication with the leaders of the tribe where they hope to move in
  • …a complication-free birth of their third child
  • …more workers for the church planting and Bible translation work among the many other isolated people groups of PNG