Saturday, April 1, 2017

It Is Well

Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
And it is well with me

Those words from the Kristene DiMarco song, "It Is Well", captured the theme of our biennial conference last month. Translators and support workers from all over Papua New Guinea gathered together to remember that when we keep our eyes on God, it is truly well with our souls.

I (Adam) was asked to share a testimony on the first morning of the conference relating to the theme of "It Is Well". So I shared about the accident that occurred on January 30th when we were transporting our building materials to Enga. I shared about this accident in our last newsletter, so I won't go into the details again. But there was one part of the story I didn't share with you, and it was this part of the story that the Lord prompted me to share at the conference. This is [in part] what I shared:

As the initial chaos [revolving around the accident] settled down, I looked up and saw the driver of the truck sitting on top of the truck with his face in his hands. He looked devastated. And I felt the Lord prompting me to go encourage him. So I climbed up on the truck, put my arm around him and said, "What happened is not your fault. You are new to this country, but we have been here for a few years now, and let me tell you that these things happen. Trucks turn over all the time on the Highlands Highway. This is not the end of the world. What is in the back of the truck is just stuff, but we can praise God that nobody was seriously injured. We'll get this figured out and we'll get the truck fixed. It will be okay." Then I prayed for him.

And you know what, despite everything that had happened, I had a peace from the Lord that it truly was going to be ok. Even if we had to scrap the project for the time being, I knew that it was going to be ok. In the midst of chaos, I had a peace from God that I couldn't quite explain. And, even though I wasn't looking forward to what it would take to get things back on track, I knew that things were going to be ok, and it was truly well with my soul.

I praise God for giving me peace in the midst of very difficult circumstances, and I thank Him that, despite our trials on that day, we now have a home to call our own in Enga.

Gathered together for conference
The guest speaker for the conference was Dr. Clive Burnard, a spirit-filled Baptist preacher from Plymouth, England. Dr. Burnard was a scientific atheist until the age of 32, when God proved to him that He was real in a way that he could not logically refute. God used Dr. Burnard to bring about great spiritual renewal among the people in attendance at Conference, and we were blessed beyond measure by his ministry. At one point, after I had shared my testimony and an additional brief message about faith, Dr. Burnard pulled me aside because he felt prompted by the Holy Spirit to pray for me. He encouraged me, saying that God was going to use me in pastoral ministry and to preach His Word. There was no way he could have known that I had been struggling with the very call to start preaching (in addition to my translation work), both in the Enga language to the people in Enga, but also in English to the people in Ukarumpa. But his encouragement gave me the boost I needed to commit to following the Lord's leading. So pray for me as I prepare messages in Enga and in English (and perhaps Tok Pisin too). Please pray that the messages I prepare will be fully grounded in the love of God.

Martha also played an important role at conference, leading the spiritual emphasis team. Each morning for seven days, we were challenged by inspiring testimonies, dramas, and stories that reminded us that God is in control and we are called to trust in Him. At one point, we all wrote on triangular pieces of construction paper the mountains that are facing us, and we taped them on a mountain panorama on stage. On the last day of the conference, we each wrote a truth about God that would help us to overcome our mountains. We then placed them on the same panorama, covering over our mountains to remind us that with faith as small as a mustard seed, we can move mountains. It was powerful to see hundreds of people streaming to the front of the meeting house, many in tears, clinging to their faith that no mountain is too big for God.

Dr. Clive Burnard
Prayer Request
On April 5 and 6, we will be traveling to Enga to 'move in' to our new house. We will be accompanied by two fellow missionaries, who will be driving a medium-sized truck carrying the furniture for our house. Please pray for safe travel over hazardous roads. (The truck is much smaller than the one that had the accident in January, so it should be a much easier drive.) Please also pray for us as we transition to life in our new home and for building relationships in the village.