Standing on the shoulders of giants.

Screen Shot 2014-09-07 at 4.44.42 PMWhen we sat down with the Papua New Guinean pastors, they opened up their hearts to us. We have been seeing an exodus of potential leaders. It has been a sad march of excellent young people that have gone overseas for tertiary education, only to fall in love with McDonald’s and Walmart. (Who blames them? Would you want to go work in a village if you haven’t been called to give your life there?)

For the last ten years, we have been training young men and women in Kotidanga, Gulf Province; and in the last few years, we have been receiving requests from young people all around Papua New Guinea to come to Kotidanga for their Bible training. The complex logistics involved in bringing students into Kotidanga to depend upon the local market and deal with the isolation there were too great to overcome. Port Moresby presents itself as the ideal solution for these requests.

It will take a few years to put the infrastructure into place before we can have our first class. However, we are planning in that direction. Dormitories for 300 men and 300 ladies, a cafeteria, an administration building, along with several classroom buildings will eventually round out the vision. Of course, these buildings do not need to be in place at the beginning, but we plan to start following this plan in the next few years.

God is still looking for quality leaders to take the baton from those giants who have come before us. We want to help train the next generation of young people in Papua New Guinea to be just those–giants who stand on the shoulders of giants.


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Preparing for the Future

Campus Lo-Res

As many of you already know, we are in the United States currently, preparing for the new phase of ministry that we feel God has led us into. Several things have come together, and we are super-excited about what God is going to do over the next few years in Port Moresby. We just can’t wait to get back to Papua New Guinea!

There are four specific elements of the vision, and I plan to expound on each of them separately over the next few days, but today I’m going to simply let you have a bird’s-eye view of the campus.

God has miraculously provided 15 acres in Port Moresby already, and we began building our house at the beginning of this year. When we return to PNG at the end of this year, we plan to complete the construction on the house. But we also plan to start into phase one of the church…but I’m getting ahead of myself.

I’ve enjoyed taking the time to talk through the vision with extremely talented Artist Jon Taylor who works with Answers in Genesis. When he presented us with this drawing, my heart soared; this is exactly what I believe God has called us to spend the rest of our life working on.

Thank you for being a part of the ministry in Papua New Guinea over the last several years. We look forward to many more years serving Christ and training others to further the Gospel.

To see a high-resolution PDF of the drawing, click here: SPCU Campus

From a Camp to a Campus

Having completed Bible School classes in Kotidanga for the 2013 class, it is now time for us to focus on building in Port Moresby. The backhoe is almost finished clearing the land, and we are now at peace to move forward.

We had another clan claim ownership to the land that we have purchased for the new ministry; however God miraculously made hearts tender, and we settled that issue today. Tomorrow, we return to Kotidanga to spend our last Christmas with the Kamea people.

Lord willing, I will return to Port Moresby on Monday, December 30 to setup a “camp” on the land. This will be a shelter, where I will live along with several other local men as we begin to lay the foundation for our new house. Right now, there is nothing on the land–we don’t have electricity, water, or any structure…it’s a blank canvas! We will put up a “tarp house” and carry water from a well down the road to wash and drink. This is the ultimate in a Camping Out experience!

December through March is the hottest time of the year here in PNG, and Port Moresby is one of the hottest cities in the country. We will go through a lot of water, but the plan is to load many 5 gallon containers in the back of the truck and drive them to the campsite. There, we will use it carefully, and refill them as often as necessary. But eventually, we need to get a well dug on site.

Twelve men have airline tickets ready for mid-February from Marlbrook Baptist Church in Raphine, Virginia. I’d like to have the foundation in the ground, and the block walls up before they arrive. That […]

Is God a grouch?

Right now, I’m lying on the floor. It’s 7:15 pm, and almost everybody in the village has already scurried off to bed. Night falls fast in the jungle.

It’s hot. Sweat drips from my cheek down into my ear as I hold my phone to type. Crickets chirp, frogs croak, the rainforest is alive tonight–especially after today’s heavy rainfall.

Four other young men lie scattered around the room, each under a mosquito net. Two of them are Kamea Bible School students; two of them are American college students. There are rumbles of voices coming from under the mosquito nets–one of the Kamea men is audibly reading his Bible, while the American students discuss the finer points of “taking my yoke upon you.”

In my heart, I know that this is what God has called me to do–train servants of the Kingdom. I’ve watched these Kamea preachers mature in the Scriptures, and now I get to watch them in action reaching others.

So often, I am asked by young people, “How do I know whether God wants me to be a missionary?” or “Where does God want me to serve Him?”

Let me boil it down to this–God wants you to make the most you can of Him while you love Him in the midst of the job.

Some would say, “I could never put up with the heat.” Let me point out that people actually move to Florida for the heat! It’s all a matter of perspective.

He isn’t a grouch looking for a chance to doom you to a life of malaria. And He isn’t a pansy begging you to go.

He is an awesome God, worth talking about, and worth enjoying while we work.

Fleshing-Out the Vision

In our last blog post, we announced that God is leading us to Port Moresby to start a new ministry that will partner with the existing churches in order to train men and women to go do what we have already been doing for the last ten years.

I’d like to give some more information as to what this new ministry will look like. Basically, it can be broken into four bite-size pieces: church, school, college, and camp.

    1. Capitol City Baptist Church I do believe strongly that Christ instituted the church and that He works through the local church. It would be counter-productive to do this work without doing it through a local church.Our target demographic is the foreign community. There is already a large community of Filipino, Pakistani, Indonesian, Australian, Chinese, Indian, American, Canadian and other nationalities living in Port Moresby. In addition to these, there is a rapidly growing community of foreign workers who are coming for the mining work. Estimates of 15,000 new foreign workers are being stated for the new mining project scheduled to be on track by the end of this year!In a nutshell, it is difficult for Papua New Guineans to be accepted across the cultural barrier. However, foreigners are instantly attracted to other foreigners. God has proven this repeatedly to Becky and me as we have met other foreigners in Moresby who have invited us into their homes and opened up in ways that rarely, if ever happen with the local pastors.Obviously, we want to reach Papua New Guineans–we have been doing that for ten years! But we want to help Papua New Guineans reach a part of their country that they are having difficulty doing by […]

Big Announcement for TTMK!

After ten years at Kotidanga, I have seen God fulfill the missionary dream. We’ve watched as people have accepted Christ, grown, and gone on to tell others about Him. We’ve seen Christ’s command of Matthew 28:19-20 take fruit in the form of churches started and people discipled. And now…the Kamea are sending their own. It’s the ultimate missionary dream.

For the last two years, I’ve known that God was going move our family somewhere. At the same time, my heart still breaks for the remote areas that remain unreached. I’ve been praying that God would send 38 missionary families to continue reaching the Gulf Province’s other 19 remote tribes. To step away from this, and be a pastor in America, my heart would break. This job is too big to step away from it.

I could move to a new location in a remote area and start over. Theoretically, in ten years, I could duplicate what has already been accomplished here at Kotidanga. But at this rate, we’ll never complete the task of reaching these tribes in this generation. And that’s when it hit me: Why not train educated Papua New Guineans to have a heart for their own people?

Now, it’s time for a quick PNG cultural lesson. There are two kinds of people here in PNG. There are those who are educated, and there are the rest of the people who live in rural villages. The numbers are astonishing. As recent as 2011, close to 87% of the population lived in rural areas (source). For years, churches of educated people in the cities have been concerned with taking the Gospel to the rural areas, and they have made outreaches to those areas. However, due […]