Not one but two

Koen and Anne-Laure Verdonck find it refreshing that they get to come alongside the missionaries and the churches in Papua New Guinea and see God working, and that they can be a part of it with you through prayer. Recently, they were able to attend the annual Ethnos360 Aviation programme managers meetings in Arizona in the USA.

In 1993, the year before Koen and Anne-Laure arrived in PNG, a work began among the Malaumanda people. The Gospel was presented in 1999. A church was born. In 2014, the New Testament was completed, and elders and church leaders were appointed. The missionaries left the tribe in 2014/2015. It’s good for a young church to have to stand on its own with the missionaries still nearby. There’s so much that goes into being a church. The church functioned independently. They have contact with their missionaries about every three or four months. Just recently, a group of people in another village walked five days to hear the Gospel there. “Who would be willing to go to teach…” the missionaries thought. The people sent out five couples to go and share the Gospel there and thirty-seven people came to faith. They are now in phase three of the teaching course. They didn’t want one lesson per day but two. The Gospel was passed on without missionaries present. A new church was born… Another village in the same language group, saw the changed lives in both churches and now want to hear the Gospel too. Only God can do that. There was a Bible dedication in 2014. Now a boat is on its way with 1800 New Testaments. They hope to have a small dedication service in June. This is just one example of God working.

There is still an ongoing fuel crisis which has affected the mission’s aviation department. Fortunately, Koen had just purchased 16,000 litres on the mission’s behalf. Pray that all the tension regarding the fuel crisis will really be resolved. The Lord gave wisdom, all non-essential flights were cancelled. Many of the missionaries came out of the tribes. But the Lord God has everything in His hands. Every year there are conferences in the different regions for the missionaries. Since Covid nobody felt like organising another conference or even a one-day conference for all the regions together, however they were able to have a “Lapilo day”. What a blessing. Sharing from the Word in the morning, tribal testimonies, sports, and games. Lovely.

Because so many missionaries were out of the tribes, they unexpectedly got what they had all longed for… a joint conference. The hall was full (delightful) with a nice mix of tribal and supporting missionaries. The emphasis was on serving together as one and needing each other to do the work. On beautifully decorated tables there were photos with prayer points of the 350 missionaries serving in PNG.

Recently, due to the heavy rains and the water flowing down from the mountains, the river near the base was very swollen. The power behind it, because it’s so shallow, is not to be underestimated. The river split into four and dragged away gardens, banana trees, plants, trees, and houses. There were mudslides here and there. Quite a few people died. Now the river is receding, but the gardens and all the food have been lost or spoiled. There is a shortage of food. The government has distributed rice to the affected areas. The mission has also helped many locally with rice and oil. In a few weeks, they will help again. Many are unable to grow food because the land is gone. It will take time for new crops to grow. It will affect Koen and Anne-Laure too as that is where they get their fresh produce.

Thank you for praying.