Chris and Ingrid Hughes with Jonathan are still in Madang even though they were supposed to be well into bush orientation by now. Plans have changed, and they will not begin their bush orientation until the New Year. There has been so much sickness in their class and other unforeseen delays that the staff decided it would be better for the group to return to Madang to carry on national culture and language study before heading out for their first experience of bush living. They are learning that one of the few hard and fast rules in PNG is the need to be flexible…
They are pleased to have the time to continue with language learning and getting to know their national friends better. Happily, they have both made good progress even though they have had lots of time out of CLA (culture and language acquisition). Chris is at Progressing High while Ingrid is at Capable Low, so they are just one sublevel apart. That means that they now need to focus on joining their sentences together to form cohesive paragraphs etc. The goal in all of this is to learn to communicate Truth clearly. Their prayer is that in hearing God’s Word clearly explained, folk in the tribe they go to will understand, believe and be saved. Praise God for language progress and that he is helping them to make good friends, both amongst fellow missionaries and nationals.
Early in the New Year, Chris and Ingrid are headed to Ata, a people group on New Britain in the islands region of PNG. There they will experience first-hand what it is like to live in a bush location. They will be there without any other expats as NTM missionaries have now phased out of the work, so they will get the chance to be completely dependent on the local church. Chris and Ingrid are looking forward to continuing their Tok Pisin studies there as well as getting to pick the brains of the Ata church, especially with regards to church planting. These people have been believers for a long time and are actively reaching out to their neighbouring people groups with the Gospel, so they will be a huge resource to draw from. Pray that Chris and Ingrid make the most of this opportunity to learn from the Ata Church and that they would be able to finish their Tok Pisin studies whilst they are there.
Pray for the time over Christmas. It will be very different this year and plenty of missionaries struggle with homesickness especially at this time. So, pray for contentment and joy in Christ.
Pray for Jonathan in all the transitions and house moves they have been through and will go through in the upcoming months. That they would be good parents to him and able to help him feel safe and loved.
Chris and Ingrid are very grateful for your prayers.