Answers to prayer and a big prayer request

The Lord has answered many of our (and your!) longstanding prayers in the last couple of weeks, and I wanted to share some of those answers with you so that you can rejoice with us and praise the Lord for what He has done.

Thank you for praying for our trip to town last week. The Lord blessed with safety and decent success in our shopping, for PNG anyway. šŸ™‚ The school books came!!! We picked them up from the post office our first day in town and took them straight to the hangar, then almost forgot them in our hurry loading the chopper to come back (!), but thankfully Jeff noticed them at the last minute and we were able to switch out some less important things and get them on.

Many of you have been aware that our skid steer has been in many pieces for a long time, waiting on parts to come from America. They finally came, and this past Monday and Tuesday Mike Berbin and Matt Crain came from Aibai (the other GFA mission station here in PNG) and, working together with Jeff and Mr. E. and several New Guinean helpers, got it back together and running! They took it back to Aibai with them on Wednesday to finish up the work on the airstrip they’re building there.

And now for the big prayer request– speaking of finishing up airstrips, ours is ALMOST done, Lord willing!!!!!!! All that remains is the inspection, and that is scheduled for Monday morning at 8 am. That would be 6 pm on Sunday for most of you (EDT). Please pray that if everything is as it should be, the inspectors will pass it. The PNG air authorities don’t have enough inspectors to go around, so the inspection will be done by the chief pilots from NTMA (New Tribes Mission Aviation– with whom we usually charter all of our flights) and MAF (Missionary Aviation Fellowship).

Also this week, we started school! Our first day was Wednesday and our students are doing fantastic work. It is very comforting to have Mrs. E., with her 32 years of teaching experience and graduate degree in education, confirm so many of my theories and practices as a non-education-major teacher with only one year under my belt. šŸ™‚ The Lord really did answer my prayer for wisdom beyond my experience! Thank you to those of you who prayed for that for me. PLEASE PRAY FOR THE LORD TO SEND MORE TEACHERS. We really need someone to be starting the paperwork process NOW (actually a couple of months ago!) because it will probably take about a year to get approval from the PNG government. I simply can’t do school by myself now that I’m married and living nearly an hour walk away– frankly I sometimes have doubts even about this year even with the Ellisons’ help! They will be leaving next fall and at that point if there’s no help for me we’ll quite possibly have to close the school. So please pray. I’m so glad it’s in the Lord’s hands and not mine and that, as I told myself and the similarly anxious parents in our beginning-of-the-year meeting, He can take much better care of it than we can!

Thinking backwards now, I know many of you were praying for the mumu (feast) we hosted at our house a couple of weeks ago. It went well and I think folks really caught the messages we were trying to emphasize. Jeff had an chance to speak a few words praising the Lord for His work in our lives and explaining the significance of my white dress, which I was wearing. (I made it like a traditional PNG meriblaus– ladies’ blouse/dress– but white, which is something they don’t do here for weddings.) Purity here is a pretty rare virtue. He also took the opportunity to explain (mainly for the benefit of the many unbelievers from the neighborhood who were present) why we’re here in the first place, and share the gospel. Please pray that the Lord would use this in the hearts and lives of those who heard. Also pray that the Lord would give us wisdom as we seek to honor Him as we live in the hauslain (like a neighborhood of the village) rather than up at the mission station as before. Particularly pray that He would give us time in the midst of crazy schedules to spend time with the people here and even put in some significant time on learning the tok ples (village language).

Well, this is definitely my longest post in a while– congratulations for making it all the way through! Thank you so much for your prayers.

Elizabeth Owens