Home again

Just wanted to update you all again on Kiari news. Thank you so much for your prayers!

The end-of-school mumu went well, and students and parents seemed to receive the news well about school being closed until the Lord sends us more teachers. There was a lot of sniffling and some people hurried away without speaking to us, but overall the reaction seems to be all right. I have heard that some students’ parents are trying to get them into government school in town. Please pray that the Lord would have His way in this. Going to school in town means being away from their families and church, most likely living with unsaved people who sometimes prevent them from going to church, simply don’t provide a way for them to go, or sometimes make them go to a church that teaches false doctrine (usually SDA or Lutheran– and PNG Lutherans would make Martin Luther turn over in his grave!). Few young people who go survive spiritually. The Lord knows this and has a purpose in allowing things as they are. We can’t complain; just need to lean harder on Him and grow in our trust of our God who really and truly does all things well.

We were delayed in town due to some medical issues. I have been having periodic abdominal pain since October that has been increasing in frequency and intensity. The past few months it has severely restricted my ability to participate in ministries and even keep up with work at home. I am so thankful for my loving, thoughtful husband and the many ways he has helped me. I have missed more church than I ever have in my life, and the last two weeks of school the students came to our house for their lessons. Anyway, while in town we saw the doctor but he can’t figure out what is wrong. He did blood tests and an ultrasound (everything looked normal), then gave me medicine to try for a week and asked for a follow-up visit. On that visit he did another ultrasound but still we have no idea what is causing the pain. He has me trying the same medicine for five more weeks and we’ll see if it helps. Unfortunately though I was feeling some better in town and even felt completely back to normal at times, the pain has returned again pretty strong the couple of days we’ve been back in Kiari. Please pray that the Lord would give grace and healing. In this circumstance as well, we are learning that we just need to trust God. Please pray that He will help us.

Due to Jeff being in town, our airstrip opening was also delayed once again. It is rescheduled for this coming Tuesday, May 8th. Please pray for men to come out on Monday to fill in washouts from the rain and that the Lord would give good weather so the pilot can land. He is actually leaving for furlough at the end of this month, so it would really be a blessing if our strip could be opened before he left. Please pray specifically for clear weather Tuesday and a calm day or light headwind.

Please pray also for wisdom as we seek to lead the believers here in Kiari. It is election time, and many are tempted to fall into sin. The practice of illegal vote-buying is rampant in this province, and some believers and perhaps even church leaders appear to be receiving money and/or other favors from candidates. Please pray for great wisdom as we seek to understand what’s going on and biblically counsel the believers.

There are many things to pray for. Pray especially for my dear husband as so many of these things fall most heavily on his shoulders. It is very easy to stress, and need your prayers as we seek to trust God and follow His leading in each situation. In reality each of these things is in the Lord’s hand and under His direct control: schoolteachers, my health, the weather on Tuesday, the hearts of Kiarians, everything. He has a good purpose for allowing it all, and He is fully able to do incredible things in each situation– we believe He will! Please pray for Him to be glorified as we trust and obey Him. He is all worthy of the exuberant praise of lives lived in joyful obedience and confident trust in Him.

Elizabeth Owens

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