Archive for April, 2011

A huge praise!!!

23 April 2011

Drumroll, please!!! 🙂 In answer to many, many prayers over the past several years, the majority of the work on our Kiari airstrip is now finished!!!!!!!!!! Jeff finished final grading on Wednesday; men from the community came out on Thursday and helped put in all the ditch supports; and today (Friday) they sowed the grass seed! Please join me in praying that the Lord will send gentle rains in just the right amount (remember it’s rainy season in PNG!), and that the seed will come up quickly and be nice and strong.

Another thing it would be good to pray for is the “graun bruks” (landslides) around the airstrip. PNG, as mountainous and earthquakey as it is, is certainly the place for those. 🙂 I’m particularly praying that the Lord will put His hand on the one at the top end of the airstrip and keep it from coming down again. Ever! 🙂 (It’s come down many times in the past months, and each time Jeff has had to spend hours on the dozer, if not a whole day, clearing the upper end of the airstrip.) There are also a couple on one side that have come down and blocked the road several times, each time taking a little bite out of the side of the ridge of land where the airstrip is. It would be a real blessing if they didn’t come down any more, either, especially once the dozer goes back to Aibai and won’t be here to clean them out in only a few hours’ work. (To give you a mental picture: our airstrip is on a little strip of land that juts out from Mount Wama. The upper end is straight-up mountain, and the land pretty much immediately drops away on both sides and the lower end. The road goes around the lower end like a horseshoe.) As an interesting cultural note, a lady told Karen this week that the graun bruks are coming down because the airstrip used to be a matmat (cemetery) and the spirits are angry. If we’d just kill a pig and put its blood at the top of each graun bruk, they wouldn’t come down any more. Karen explained that we don’t believe a pig’s blood is “strong”, but we do know Someone Whose blood really is strong! Please pray for fruit from that special opportunity.

Keep in mind that I’m a teacher, not an airstrip engineer 🙂 — but as I understand, the main things that still remain before the airstrip can be opened are for the grass to grow, as I already mentioned; the ground to settle from final grading so the strip is firm enough; and a culvert to be put in where the major drainage comes off the side of the airstrip. Those first two items are completely in the Lord’s hands and out of ours, so please remember them before Him in prayer– at this point your part is as big as ours. 🙂 The third is certainly worthy of your prayers too– if for no other reason than that it’s still got to be handled by our very human hands! 🙂

Can I just say how very proud I am of my Jeff for his faithful work on this project for nearly a year and a half?!? I think when he came he thought it would only take a couple of months, but through setback after disheartening setback he has kept on keeping on. I am incredibly blessed to have that kind of a man as my husband-to-be!

And speaking of that tremendous blessing (which I can’t seem to keep away from mentioning lately!), 🙂 a great big THANK YOU to all of you who replied to my post last week, rejoicing with us at God’s incredible goodness in our lives. It makes me happy– if I could possibly be happier, that is!– when people are happy for us. 🙂 Just to clarify (since some of you asked): we are indeed officially engaged, and we’re planning, Lord willing, to leave ASAP after the school year ends (July 1) for a short trip back to the States to get married. Please pray for the Lord’s clear direction as we wade through all the details. 🙂

This is already a long post (congratulations for making it this far!), but I’ll close with just one more prayer request that really is kind of urgent: Please pray that the Lord would send another teacher to help me at JCS– soon! When I’m married (and living a half-hour walk away) I won’t be able to devote the extra-extended hours to the school that I do now. Eventually I might not even be able to devote any. 🙂 The Lord knows our need; please pray that He will work in the heart of one or even two teachers and send them here. The new school year will probably start in mid to late September, and as you remember from my own situation, paperwork can take months and months to go through (though some folks recently got theirs in only four, compared to my twelve!)… so ideally if someone was to be here for the next school year they’d apply for their visa… well, last month or before! Kiari is the most beautiful place in the world and I would argue that we have possibly the best group of students you could ask for, so I don’t see why it would be such a hard choice :-), but for some reason I don’t know of anyone at all who has shown interest in coming to help us. Please join me in bringing this before the Lord as well.

Thank you so much for your prayers. Hope you have a blessed Easter weekend! 🙂

Joyfully in the His service,
Elizabeth E.

“O use me, Lord, use even me, Just as Thou wilt, and when, and where….” -Frances Ridley Havergal

Doris; Extra-happy news :-)

11 April 2011

Please pray for a girl named Doris. The other day I was reading my Bible as I waited for someone at my gate, and three children came up. They didn’t need anything but just kept standing there, so I asked them if they wanted to hear the story I was reading. It was Joshua 24, and I translated the story to tell them all about the amazing things God did for His people. When I got to the end they were still interested, so I shared the gospel with them. They told me they had never heard it before. Please pray that they’ll think about it and the Lord will use what they heard to work in their hearts and save them. It was two little boys whose names I can’t remember, and a teenaged girl named Doris who listened especially intently.

One of the funny moments in school this week was when Raphael came to me with a question about his Science test. It was in a section where you had to choose whether certain items would absorb or reflect sound. Raphael wanted to know what “carpet” was. It made me laugh, because I certainly don’t think there’s a carpet anywhere in Kiari, and maybe not even in the entire Simbu province! 🙂

The rest of this post is especially for those of you who read my blog but don’t get my prayer letters. If you do get my prayer letters, you will be getting it twice.

“Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think…” (Eph. 3:20)

I’m so excited to finally be able to share with you the happy news that has been so close to popping out for my last several letters. 🙂 Do you remember the quote from Mrs. C. H. Spurgeon that I shared with you in my first prayer letters when I told about how the Lord had redirected me from Zambia? It was a huge encouragement to me at the time. She said, “It is a mercy that our lives are not left for us to plan, but that our Father chooses for us; else might we sometimes turn away from our best blessings, and put from us the choicest and loveliest gifts of His providence.” As you know, I had my heart set on going to Zambia and it was really hard when the Lord closed that door. Then He opened the door to PNG—a place I had heard of but had to look on the map to find!! It’s hard for me to believe that I came, looking back and considering that I didn’t know a soul here and it’s about the most secluded place you could ask for: a little village on the side of a mountain tucked away at the very end of the road in the “boonies” of a little-known country on the total opposite side of the world! Little did I know what a “best blessing” the Lord had in store for me. I’ve already told you many times how much I’ve grown to love Kiari, but unbeknownst to me, the Lord also had the best sweetheart in the whole world waiting for me here. He’s fellow GFA missionary Jeff Owens, the tall handsome guy standing next to me in our team picture (attached). 🙂 I’m still having a hard time believing that such a godly, humble, faithful man would fall for me… but he has, and in case you can’t tell, I’ve certainly completely fallen for him! 🙂 We are planning to be married this summer. I’m so very honored, privileged, and EXCITED to spend my life serving the Lord alongside my Jeff in Kiari.

When I was in college one of my professors remarked with regard to Ephesians 3:20 that we’re usually not willing to ask everything that we think of, but our God is able to give us exceeding abundantly above even what we would ever think! He has certainly done that in my life, exceeding what I would have ever dreamed of, much less asked for! I am very, very blessed. Please pray for Jeff and me as we seek the Lord’s direction for all the particulars of getting married, and join us in praising our loving Lord for His exceeding, abundant goodness to us. 🙂

For the sake of His name,
The future Mrs. Jeff Owens 🙂

P. S. If you’re interested, Jeff’s website is jeffowenspng.com

“O use me, Lord, use even me, Just as Thou wilt, and when, and where….” -Frances Ridley Havergal

Due to my limited connection in Kiari, I have to limit the file size of incoming messages. Plain text—even a long letter—will come through just fine, but I may not be able to receive an email with pictures or attachments. Thank you for your help with this! ☺