Posted in Home

August–September Prayer Letter

Fall is such a beautiful season that my wife and I do not experience in Papua New Guinea. We have enjoyed watching the vibrant green leaves along the bustling interstates turn stunning hues of red, orange, and yellow. The thin branches are all intertwined amongst each other, supporting each other as the cold weather creeps through the air. Even when all the leaves settle on the ground and decompose into lifeless brown pieces, the branches cling to the tree, receiving life from their unmoving source. As the branches all connect to their life-giving tree trunk, so Christians are all connected to their Life-Giver, Jesus Christ. As my wife and I traverse miles up and down the east coast, we have personally experienced the interweaving of our Christian family. 

 From July until the end of October, we have been and will be on the east coast. We would have often stayed in motels or our vehicle if Tiffany’s aunt in New York had not generously opened up her home to our family. She kindly helped us obtain spiritual and physical rest during the growing miles of travel. Most of our meetings in August and September have been in New York, which gave a slight reprieve from traveling as well. 

Prayer Request:

  • Ability to get a shipping container for medical supplies
  • Raise 15% more to reach 100% before traveling back to PNG in January
  • Obtaining Tiffany’s visa this month
  • Continued health for our family as we travel
  • Strength, finances, and wisdom for Pastor Herak, our village pastor
  • My dad, James, has stomach problems (needs to be treated at the hospital in the town 6 hours away)

At the end of July, we had a potential meeting in North Carolina which we thought had been canceled. Yet, God knew of a better time to schedule that meeting- in August right before we went to Florida for a meeting with our mission board. On Friday, we receive a call from Pastor Rouse in North Carolina asking us to present our ministry that Sunday. The meeting resulted in monthly support and a large donation toward the clinic. That week, on Tuesday, we arrived in Florida for the Heartland Baptist Mission Board’s candidate meeting. What spiritual encouragement from people serving Christ around the world! The Lord connected Tiffany with some missionaries to Mexico that she had previously met when they presented in Hawaii. She was able to help them and several other missionaries arrange their prayer letters online. Please pray for us and missionaries striving by faith to take the gospel throughout the world. 

Fellowshipping with Missionary Friend at Pensacola during the Candidate School
The Lord connected us with the Spivey family in Virginia after they came back from their trip to Hawai

The leading of our omniscient God provided us connections that still cause amazement and overwhelming gratefulness. At the end of September, we stayed with a sweet older couple for a Sunday meeting in New York. Upon our departure, we discovered that the people we were staying with for our next meeting were actually related to the couple, and only lived a few hours away. These meetings uplifted our hearts and both churches voted to support us in the same week. 

Praises:

  • We received Kepano’s passport
  • In October we should be obtaining Tiffany’s dependent visa
  • The unspoken prayer request from Tiffany’s extended family has been answered
  • A church supplied almost half the amount we need for our clinic building
  • My sister is fully recovered from the infection 
  • More churches have taken us on for support
Missions Conference at First Baptist Church of Black River, NY

Our connections with our spiritual family spread all around the world. While we worship Sunday night in the states, our Papua New Guinean family is starting their day getting ready for morning services. As we receive encouragement here, we challenge our church family in PNG to stay committed and keep serving Christ. Also, your fervent prayers have connected you with our church family in PNG. Through your prayers, my sister Joyce has received healing and strength. Our pastor in the village has had many difficulties and struggles over these past few months. I praise the Lord our village church has strong Christians like my mother, who will uplift those who are discouraged instead of tearing down with unkind and judgmental clamoring. Please pray for our church family to keep their eyes on the Giver of Life and pray for us as we anxiously anticipate being with them again in January.   

My sister, Joyce, has completely recovered from her illness

All Christians have a connection through Christ’s sacrifice. The intertwining of our Christian family is truly a miracle. When Christians are unified then Christ’s name is magnified, and His glory pierces through the darkness. Jesus Christ is our Head “from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.” Colossians 2:19

Posted in Prayer Letters

May–July, Prayer Letter

Matthew 14: 14 “And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and He healed their sick.

“Filled Up”
Blank….that’s how our schedule appeared at the beginning of May. Our calendar was filled with empty days as we picked up our rental vehicle from Los Angeles and began traveling on furlough. Satan wanted to fill our minds with anxiety and doubt as the miles of travel lay before us, but the Spirit enveloped our hearts with the peace of knowing the One Who is in control. God’s Comforter brought calmness to the uncertainty ahead. He also filled the hearts of pastors with a burden for Papua New Guinea before they even received our call. The road ahead will never be dark when we know the One Who lights our path.

Our first meeting brought us from California twenty hours north to Idaho. God arranged this meeting considering we never knew Pastor Carr until we made divinely appointed phone call. The fellowship with the pastor’s family and church was so encouraging that first week of May. They also asked us to come back in June and help with their VBS, and began supporting us monthly. Through this meeting, God also provided a potential partner to help Tiffany in our future clinic. Melody, Pastor Carr’s daughter, is getting a degree in nursing, has a burden for missions, and has been praying for direction. The Lord merged our paths, and during our time with her family, Tiffany was able to speak with Melody about the probability of ministering in Papua New Guinea.

PRAISES:
1. Six churches have taken us on for support
2. Ability to fellowship and receive advice from many different pastors along our journey
3. Continued travel safety
4. Our family has remained healthy
5. Our garden and plants back in the village have flourished
6. My mom has continued to host the Ladies Bible Study every week

PRAYER REQUESTS:
1. The paperwork goes through quickly for Kepano’s passport
2. Getting Tiffany’s dependent visa and passport renewal
3. My sister Joyce’s recovery from infection
4. James, my father, to grow spiritually
5. Preparation for our next ladies meeting at the village in February 2020
6. Tiffany’s extended family unspoken
7. Finances for bringing back needed supplies to Papua New Guinea
8. Growth and grace for our supporting churches
9. Joyce, my second youngest sister, has a severe infection that has caused her extremeties to swell. Now she is on antibiotics and slowly recovering.


Seeing God’s hand in our meetings is truly exciting! One meeting at a current supporting church, Mountain Avenue Baptist Church, led to an unscheduled meeting with Pastor Wirtz in Arizona the following month. That meeting in Arizona also led to another meeting that Pastor Wirtz helped us arrange. We praise the Lord for pastors who share our burden for the salvation of all in Papua New Guinea, and who are willing to help us on furlough as well. We’ve watched God open doors for presenting our ministry these past several months of travel. God has orchestrated a series of unforeseen meetings with the help of faithful pastors along our journey. In June, while we were in Oregon, two phone calls on a Saturday resulted in two meetings that next Sunday morning and evening. Some pastors have stayed in Tiffany’s parent’s missionary apartment in Hawaii. We have connected with these pastors who have graciously opened their pulpits so I could preach and present our ministry.

Despite our short time of travel, God has filled our monthly support level to nearly 75%. He has given us six new churches that have partnered with us to bring the gospel to Papua New Guinea. Lord willing, we will be at the full 100% support goal by the time we go back to Papua New Guinea in January 2020. God has given us tremendous opportunities to share our ministry during our travel and also share the greatest news of the gospel to man. The best part of our journey has been the gospel’s seed being planted and the fruit springing up to eternal life. One of our stops led us to Woody and Bill, both older veterans who needed to hear the gospel. Seven children accepted Christ while we helped a church in North Carolina with their Vacation Bible School. We pray the Lord continues to fill our calendar with meetings and fill our path with hearts open to receive and be transformed by God’s Word.

Posted in Stories

The Lost World

John 3:16—21.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

The first passage is probably one of the very family verses. Every child who grew up in Christian home knows this verse an should know, because it is an important verse. In fact, it’s great reminder for what our Savior did for us so that we can be redeemed. We must know that without the blood there is no remission; there is power in the BLOOOD of Jesus Christ.

We are living in a lost world: There is an everlasting, sadness and suffering wrapped in these two words “Lost world”.  I am not referring to a novel, or now a days there is a huge campaign going around the world that we are going to lose our world because of pollutions—by human actions. However, I am referring to people who are lost on this planet earth. Lost people who have not had the taste of bread of life, the true vine, those who have not seen the true light of the world.

They are entangled by today’s culture, enclosed in their sins, confused by today’s worldly culture.

Couple month ago, I went to Soul winning in Lancaster, California. My soul winning partner and I took on a street with beautiful houses, nicely fenced area. And I was almost done after knocking almost 60 doors that day. I did my last knock on a huge house, very quiet and beautiful. A middle-aged man, with a huge smile on his faced opened the door and I introduced myself to him. He has never been to a church, and I asked him if you were to die today do you know for sure you would go to heaven. And he said, I’m a good person so I think I can go to heaven. That is the problem with most the people today. Just because you are good person does not mean you will go to heaven. You have to believe in Jesus Christ and confess your sin  as sinner, and accept Him as your personal Lord and Savior. He is the only Savior of Mankind. Believe that he was virgin born, He was God incarnate. He lived a sinless life, and he died for our sins on the cross, shedding his blood to take away sins of mankind. His sacrifice was a payment to God for the forgiveness of sin.

  1. Lost people are in Darkness
  • In John 3:19, on our initial text talks about men loved the darkness rather than light, because their needs are evil. Lost people are so comfortable with their sins. This reminds me of the animism practiced in my village in Papua New Guinea. People loved their culture, tradition, and their old ways of life. Sometimes they come to church, but most of them go back to their old ways. Because they love their old ways of life and so attached to it. But today, I am here to say that the power of the gospel has power. The Blood has power and once you’re attached in Him, you will love it. There may be trials and temptations in life but, if we plant our faith in solid ground, we can overcome.

Proverbs 4:19
“The ways of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.”

  • Whoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. It needs us to tell them. We are witness to the lost world. When we are saved, we find a light that will never die out. Light displaces darkness. Light never bows to darkness. Christ never bows to sin. Christ never bows to devil. He is the light of the world. He is the bread of life, He is the good shepherd, He is the High Priest, He is the unblemished sheep, and He is the Way, truth, and the Life. No one cometh to the father, Except by Him.

1 John 5:19

“And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.”

The bible says the world is lost apart from Christ.

John 3: 18

“He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten son of God”

 Our Mission

  1. When Christ ascended to heaven, he left us with a command. This command was given specifically to the disciples, to the saved ones. He spent his final moment with his disciples and the bible says in

    Mathew 28:19—20 19 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen

Jesus commands us to tell others about him. We may ask why me? You know what? When you were saved, he called us to share, be a witness everywhere. Let me say this: To Know Jesus Christ and accept Him as our personal Lord and Savior is the greatest thing on the entire universe.

One of the greatest and satisfying part of telling others about our Lord Jesus Christ is that you get an opportunity to affect someone else life for good. They get to know Christ as their personal Savior—the giver of Life, the way, truth and the Life.

Posted in Prayer Letters

A Desperate Call

As the shocks still pulse through the unsteady ground and the ground still quivers, the shock from the disaster still plagues our minds. At three in the morning, the peaceful sleep of the villagers in the Southern Highlands of Papua New Guinea was shattered by the rumbling and splitting of the ground on which they rested. Buildings were torn apart and flattened as the earth opened up and shook with horrific force. The land which gave people their necessary food and the mountains which flowed with clean water now have collapsed, destroying crops and leaving the drinking water filled with debris and dirt. Landslides and crumbling of structures have consumed dozens of lives, the number of deaths still rising. This earthquake of massive magnitude has left thousands of people homeless and grieving, without even a place of shelter and still trapped in this unsafe place.

One of the villages devastated by this earthquake is my village. While in Port Moresby getting my visa to come to the states, the earthquake hit my home. For several days, i was unable to communicate with my family back in the village to see if any of their lives were taken. Finally, my dad was able to contact me stating none of the family had died, but my baby sister was struck while sleeping with my mother in the house. She has several bruises but appears to be stable. However, the nearest health center has been destroyed, and medical help has been slow in coming to the village. The village people of Nipa-Kutubu in the Southern Highlands are in need of hope and comfort. There is a desperate cry ringing out from hurting hearts and grieving souls which need the comforting love of the Heavenly Father. Just like Paul answered the Macedonian call pleading “Come…and help us”, now the Lord is sending a call to help those desperate souls in Papua New Guinea crying out for the saving truth and compassionate care.

There is a call to return. As I and Tiffany are planning our future together of service in Nipa-Kutubu of Papua New Guinea, the Lord continues to stir our hearts with the desperate need for the gospel there. The lives lost through this disaster brings pain to our hearts but a fire to our souls to reach those who do not know Christ in these difficult time.

Posted in Prayer Letters

Hidden But Held

Matthew 14: 14 “And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and He healed their sick.”

Hidden But Held

The windy path seemed so dark, and the way was very unknown to my unsure feet. Tree roots seemed to arise out of the uneven ground, and the mud grabbed my heels with each step. As we made our way down the steep incline in the ungiving darkness, my heart rapidly pounded with each step taken. Yet, my hand was held strongly by someone that knew the path. To this Kamea national, this path to her bush hut was just the way home, a mountainous trail travelled many times by her steady feet. She had my hand and was guiding me down the path, a way uncertain to me but familiar to her. Even if I could not trust the path ahead in the darkness, I knew I could confidently trust her because she knew the way.

Sometimes life seems to have many hidden obstacles we stumble over, trying to maintain our footing in the darkness. Unexpected events arise that cloud our security and make us unsure of the path we are taking. In Kunai, the youth boys were having difficulty being faithful to John Allen’s Bible study he had every Friday afternoon. Some of the youth girls I had been doing discipleship with before I left Kunai were struggling spiritually and some had fallen into sin. Also, our radio tower sat desolate for many years. Church members at Kotidanga Baptist Church prayed every Wednesday night for the radio tower to be fixed. Someone from the states was going to come over to take a look at the tower and see what was needed but was unable to come to Kunai. Several months ago, Matt Allen and a few members of his church in Port Morseby came to Kotidanga and spend a few days diagnosing the problem and trying to fix the radio tower. Yet, the tower seemed irrepairable and to get it up and running would take a miracle.

Prayer Requests:

• Following God’s guidance and direction throughout my furlough time

• Visa Approval

• Faithfulness of youth in Kotidanga Baptist Church

• Sarah Glover (literacy teacher), and John and Lena’s travels on furlough

• Grandfather Albert Erker’s salvation

• Home church finances (Windward Baptist Church)

• Matt Allen’s plane able to be fixed (he has been trying to diagnosis the problem)

• Youth conference in Kunai next week (also Matt’s plane is needed to bring counsellors and special speakers to the conference)

Culture and fear often are often obstacles keeping the light of salvation from our Kamea people. For many years we have been praying for Nancy Fonsi’s salvation. She comes to the clinic on multiple occasions for her illnesses and also her children’s health. Previously, her daughter Vilo had been on the brink of death after slashing her head open on a sharp rock, leaving her unconscious as we nurses took shifts watching her throughout the night. The Lord wondrously healed her and she had no lasting effects from her injury. Nancy has watched us pray for her child’s recovery and also for her salvation. Through the ministry of the clinic, the church, and Lena’s Bible studies with the ladies, Nancy has continuously heard the gospel. However, she hadn’t accepted Christ personally.

During the months of September and October, some days seemed to be an uncertain step into the unknown. After spending some time with my grandmother in Washington, I went to spend a couple weeks with my grandfather and my extended family in New York. My rental car was already booked for a month to start traveling around the east coast area to visit and present in churches after the two weeks with my family in New York. Then, what was certain became enveloped in a black haze of the unknown as my grandfather became very ill and had to be admitted into the hospital. He had double pneumonia, a virus, and an infection on his leg from an unknown source. As my family and I waited on his recovery, praying that he would be able to get out of the hospital soon, I felt the Lord leading me to stay with my family in New York and help them take care of my grandfather. The rental car was cancelled as my own plans for travel came to a sudden halt. I had no idea where to go or even what plans I needed to make.

Praises:

• God’s ways are higher than mine and He directed me in His timing

• Was able to spend with my family in New York

• Nancy’s salvation

• Had unscheduled meeting in Maui, Hawaii in Grace Baptist Church when my mom had a conference

• Brother Nikolas Haggith got married in November

• Able to spend Thanksgiving with family after not being home for this special holiday for many years

• Several churches have taken me on for support

Yet in each hidden obstacle comes hidden opportunities revealed in the timing of our Father. The struggling youth of Kotidanga Baptist Church in Kunai provided the opportunity to hold a youth Bible study every other Friday night. The youth bring their guitars and lift their voices in worship to Jesus, and after a time of games, fellowship, and singing, a challenge is brought to the youth. Many youth from the church have been faithful in attending this gathering and it is exciting to see them use their talents for the Lord.

Again, the Lord’s provision exceeds our expectations and after 7 long years of obstacles to the gospel being spread through the radio tower, on November 12th, the impossible became possible. The redemptive power and love of our Savior Jesus Christ now resonates clearly throughout the Kamea region from our functioning Gutnuis (Goodnews) Radio. Not only has the gospel been proclaimed through the radio tower, the gospel now resides in the heart of Nancy Fonsi. All the obstacles the Devil used against Nancy to darken her steps on the path of truth were ripped away by the Father’s almighty hand. Sunday, November 26th, Nancy heard again how Jesus is the Light of the world and how His everlasting life can fill her life if she believes on His name. As she placed her faith in Christ’s sacrifice, His light flooded her darkened heart and He covered her with His brilliant robe of righteousness. Nancy is no longer a slave to sin, bound by the evil which enslaves individuals to a life without God…she is free. The hand of the Father is now enclosed around hers, and He can be her guiding Light. Praise the Lord that no obstacle can hinder the opportunity of the Savior’s grace.

The youth meetings that occur every other Friday night. There is singing and worshiping the Lord, prayer, games, and teaching from the Word of God.

Top: Some the men that worked hard on the radio tower and in November were able to get it working again. Now the Bible and preaching in Kamea can be heard over the radio throughout the Kamea region.

Bottom: Nancy, who in this picture is holding her daughter Vilo after her head trauma, recently accepted Christ as her Savior!

Everywhere on earth, God is making opportunities out of obstacles. My travel plans were halted, but God gave me unbelievable opportunities. I was able to spend much needed time with my unsaved grandfather in New York and was able to share the gospel because of my missionary work in Papua New Guinea. Then, the Lord filled almost all my Sundays and Wednesdays with opportunities to present the missionary work in Papua New Guinea. He gave me so many encouraging visits, and I had uplifting fellowship with great Christian friends whom I have not seen for several years. Friends in New York also helped arrange several unscheduled meetings for me. Every church and conference I went to, the Lord gave me the opportunity to play my ukulele and sing, a chance I had been praying about during my travels. I could see the obstacles God brought in my path had also protected me. God prevented my travels to Texas and Florida as the storms and floods devastated vast areas there. When I went to my scheduled meetings in Texas, I was able to help with food and supply distribution while developing lifetime friendships with incredible servants of Christ. My grandmother in Washington passed away during my trip to Texas, but even through this tragedy, I was able to assist with my grandmother’s funeral and unexpectedly present in Pastor Shaver’s church there in Bellingham. With every uncertain step taken, God firmly gripped my hand and guided me, filling my unknown with His known desire for me.

Top: Friends from New York that helped schedule some unexpected meetings with churches. The fellowship was sweet.

Top: Teaching the children at different churches was such a blessing. This group was the 1st grade spanish children from Lancaster Baptist Church. I had fun teaching them a PNG pigin song and playing my ukulele.

Bottom: Traveling allows me to meet and fellowship with faithful Christians. I was able to meet the Tomlinsons as he shared his ministry at New Heights Baptist Church in California.

Top: In Maryland, I met and spoke at Pastor Moorman’s church. I went to nursing school with his daughter who is now also in Papua New Guinea as a nurse working with Lena Allen.

Bottom: Friendships made in Texas will never be forgotten. I was able to help East River Baptist Church with food and supply distribution after the disasters during the few days I was there .

With every hidden obstacle or unknown opportunity encountered, we have an omniscient God orchestrating every moment of our lives. We do not have to live in crippling fear and stifling doubt that erupts our every insecurity. We are held by an all-knowing God Who made the path ahead for us. The seeming darkness around us is always brightly illuminated in His eyes. Nothing is hidden from His sight. Our obstacles can become His opportunities if our feeble hands remain enclosed in our Father’s loving hand. Psalm 139:3, 5-6 “Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.”

Kotidanga Baptist Church family at Kunai

I’ve been privileged to be with my home church, Windward Baptist Church, for some time and on Saturdays go out witnessing with them.