Dear Pastors and Friends,
Thank you for praying for us here in Papua New Guinea!
Wipim Baptist Church
In the Month of May our theme was “Increase Our Faith”, and we invited Pastor Daniel Kinaul and his wife + son to be with us from Daru Baptist Church. The Kinauls, you may remember, have a son who was stricken with Cerebral Malaria last year and it almost killed him. As a result it had been a “trying” year for them and they had plenty to teach. Our people responded well and we continued the theme into June.
We are now half way through the month of July and our theme for this month has been “Into All the World.” I will be teaching all through the month on Missions - Praying, Giving, Going with the Gospel. It is exciting for me to watch our people grab the concepts and recognize in themselves a lack of concern for the eternal condition of others. I can see the struggle that many of our people are having. They want to be soul-winners but taking that first step is difficult for most. We started an Evangelism course in June and it will continue for another 3 weeks. Two of our men have already won their first souls to Christ since the beginning of the course.
Wipim is supposed to be our new district headquarters. For the past three years we have been on the ground level of this transformation. In our town we have a Health Center with about eight staff, the District Treasury office with four staff, an Elementary school with about seven staff and our Local Level Government (LLG) with about four staff. There are no stores in Wipim where you can buy food stuff so most people still fly their groceries in from Daru. We do it every couple of months. From time to time we do get fresh meat to balance that which we would buy from the stores in Daru or the Capital city. (When we come home on furlough we hope to take a short course in butchery because quartering up a deer, pig or cassowary is more challenging than you think!) There is one phone that can call to Daru but that is about it most of the time, and we have a place where we have access to satellite based internet supplied by the folks who set up our town’s power system (Isn’t that wild?). Since we moved here three years ago, the government has built ten houses for their staff with ten more almost complete and another ten just about to begin construction. We are looking forward to having more fish in our sea to fish for!
One of the highlights of my week is on Monday afternoons. The School gives churches the opportunity to have an hour of Religious Instruction for the students. The classes are broken up by denominations, and I have about 20 students in my “R.I.” class. They are all students who attend our Sunday school program. These students were just with my wife the day before, and she is teaching through the Bible using the A-Beka flashcards. Therefore, I use my time to teach Christian character. For the past several weeks, we have been memorizing Psalm 145:1-10 and many of the students this week were able to stand and quote all ten verses. They are really catching on to memorizing scripture, and we are seeing the fruits of hiding His Word in their hearts.
Please know that we love you and appreciate your burden for these in the uttermost!Jason and Ana Russell