Sunday, October 1, 2017

Newbreak Missions Team

We have been so very blessed over the past week to have a team of five join us from Newbreak Church in San Diego. After an overnight in the capital city of Port Moresby, the team hit the ground running. Due to a flight cancellation, the team flew into Mt Hagen (two hours away) instead of Wapenamanda (20 minutes away), and so the team crowded into our Toyota Hilux for the longer, but beautiful drive to our house.

The Newbreak Missions Team
Just an hour and a half after their arrival at our home in the village of Immi, we went off to a Seventh Day Adventist Church camp meeting, where we had the opportunity to share the good news with the people and sell a few Audibibles. The next morning was Sunday and so we went to a Catholic church at the invitation of one of the translation team members. After the service, we headed to the local Assemblies of God church for a traditional style mumu, which consists of pork meat, chicken, bananas, sweet potatoes, and vegetables cooked by stones that are heated in an earthen oven (similar to a Hawaiian luau).

Eating a traditional style Enga mumu
On Monday morning, the team went on a walk in the village of Immi, and one of the team members shared the gospel with three young men that he had met on the road. Later in the morning we visited the Enga Bible translation center in Wabag town and got just a small taste of what translation work is like. After seeing just a few minutes of the translation work, one of the team members, Pastor Steve Bombaci, said, "All I can say is, I have a whole new respect for Bible translators!" Around lunch time we headed to the village of Sakarip for a public event to share the good news and raise awareness of the Enga Bible translation work, selling a handful of memory cards and Audibibles.

Visiting the people of Sakarip village
On Tuesday, we traveled to the town of Wapenamanda to play the Enga Bible on a loud speaker and preach the gospel in the open market area. We ended up speaking to about fifty people who gathered around. We then traveled to a Foursquare school to train community health workers. There we shared stories with the students of how God has worked in our lives, and we encouraged them to be lights in the remote parts of Enga where people have no access to healthcare. We shared the Enga Bible and Enga Jesus Film with some of the Engan students; many of the students were from different parts of the country and expressed interest in receiving audio recordings of the Bible in their own language.

James Jaurez sharing the gospel with people in the open market of Wapenamanda
On Wednesday, we visited the headquarters of the Catholic Church to dedicate the book of Luke along with the other Scripture portions that we have completed in the Enga language. This was the highlight of the team's time in Enga, as the Catholic Church welcomed us and the Bible in Enga with singing and dancing and much celebration. Adam had an opportunity to share his testimony and the good news in the Enga language, which the people warmly received. The missions team members were blessed with what was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, as they were welcomed with beautiful songs written particularly for the occasion. At the end of the four-hour long event, we sold many Audibibles and a few memory cards.

Listening to the Bible in Enga
On Thursday, we took the morning off after what had been a very busy few days and went swimming in the river by our house, and then into town to the cultural center. At night we showed the Enga Jesus film in the big field in front of our house. Despite the fact that it was pouring rain, there were about 150 people huddled under a tarp watching the film. The vast majority of the people were not believers. At the conclusion of the film, we had the opportunity to share the gospel with many. On Friday, we took a hike up the mountain across the river to a village called Napotesa to present the gospel and share some personal testimonies. On Saturday, the team prepared for their return to America, and they are traveling back to America now as this update is being posted.

Preaching the gospel in the village of Napotesa
We would like to express our deepest appreciation to Pastor Steve Bombaci, Karen Adams, James Jaurez, Derrick Watkins, and Dan Mudd for taking time out of their busy lives and flying halfway around the world to share God's love not only with the people of Enga but with us as well. We were truly blessed by the love that they showered upon our family and particularly upon our children. Their time with us went better than I could have imagined, and I told them not to underestimate the value of what they have done to encourage us as a family. Thank you, Newbreak Church, for sending this wonderful team to bless the people of Enga and to bless our family.