Ralf and Elli Schlegel praise and thank the LORD for the 20 years, He has given them in Papua New Guinea! They first arrived in Madang in August, exactly 20 years ago. Back then they were so young, full of energy and excitement about what God was going to do in and through them! Even though the preparations and the trip itself to PNG was very exhausting, they were encouraged! For they knew one thing is sure: that God will do something here and that He wants to use us as His empty vessels to make Himself known!
Having had very good training by the mission and in theory knowing what to do and what to expect, Ralf and Elli had no clue in those early days! They had no idea what it would feel like and how much stress they would encounter in many different ways. Homesickness, culture shock, everything was so different and new and so far away from home … that was a very overwhelming feeling for a long time.
Looking back Ralf and Elli said “…we are just amazed at how God built HIS church (and is still building it) in Dinangat in spite of us! Our weakness, our ignorance about stuff, our mistakes… all that did not surprise HIM, for one thing was clear back then and is still true today: It is the Lord that builds His church. (Matt.16:18) We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. (2Cor.4:7) Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness. (Psalm 115:1) My grace if sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. (2Cor.12:9).”
They are grateful for their team! They have known the Markleys and the Smiths since 1999 when they first met at the NTM Training Centre in Pennsylvania. They became friends, then co-workers, and today more like family. They are all different, which did cause some friction here and there but their respect and love for each other has grown so much over the years, and they give glory to God over what He has done in Dinangat in and through all of them!
Thank you for partnering with them through prayer.