Chris and Ingrid Hughes with Jonathan and Lydia made it into the Mengen tribe where they have been for the last twelve weeks! Praise God that they could visit in spite of the pandemic. They enjoyed time with the Flanagan family and have been encouraged by them.
Very soon, they will return to the regional centre in Hoskins to process, seek input and pray. Then they will decide whether to keep pursuing the Mengen work or to look elsewhere.
It had been a while since they last lived in the bush so they were a little apprehensive. However, Chris and Ingrid are so thankful that they have been able to settle in well and enjoy life in spite of the differences to town life. Everything just takes longer, longer to boil water, to get internet reception, to get power into the house etc. In addition, with folks turning up to chat at any time (along with the cultural obligation to sit at least for a bit) it can take longer than expected to achieve just about anything. However, the people are most important so they are trying to adjust their expectations and grow in flexibility. Interruptions (and ever changing plans) will be constants wherever they end up in PNG. There are frustrations, but also much that they enjoy.
It is beautiful but remote – it has an incredible view over an active volcano.
One of Chris and Ingrid’s main goals in visiting the tribe was to see what life would look like if they commit to the people group long term. Praise God that their time has been fruitful and they feel like they now have a decent snapshot of what life is like. They have adjusted to bush living, helped cut the airstrip and gone along when the men were milling lumber to extend the church building. Chris has helped teach the youth sessions together with one of the Mengen men. They have met regularly with the Bible teacher trainees to figure out how to meet needs in the church and respond to problems that come up. A highlight, though, has been seeing Gospel interest develop. Ingrid attended the first lesson of a course that explains the Gospel as a young couple wanted to hear Bible teaching. They were also able to take part in a survey for future outreach. Pray that God would open a door for the Gospel for the Mengen people in other areas.
Chris and Ingrid need prayer for clear direction as to whether they should keep pursuing the Mengen work or begin to look elsewhere, possibly to places where there is an open invitation already?
Pray for the Mengen people group, for wisdom for the Flanagans and for the NTM leadership to know how best to reach the thousands who have not yet heard the Gospel.
Pray for the existing Mengen church, that God would shake them from their lukewarmness.
Pray for the folks they met on survey who live in fear; they want to hear the Gospel but are too afraid of their religious leaders to speak up.
Chris and Ingrid are so grateful for your prayers.