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

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.

This IS That.

r66-helicopter-project~s400x400Have you ever heard the expression “This is NOT that”? There are things in life that are not the same–day vs. night, Christianity vs. Islam, good vs. bad, yin vs. yang (whatever that is), airline coffee vs. Caramel Macchiato. I think you get the picture.

However, there are times in life when two things look different but actually work very well together. Think hot water and Starbucks Via!

Many times I’ve been referred to as a tribal missionary. I would prefer to be called a “missionary to tribal peoples,” but either way works. For the last ten years, we have been living in a remote area of Papua New Guinea, working among people that have only recently been introduced to mobile phones, and many of them are still wearing their first pair of trousers…a result of only having purchased them in the last few years; and having worn the same pair for the last few years.

With the recent news of our moving to Port Moresby to start the new ministry there, it has come to my attention that some people think we are no longer working with our beloved tribal people. O, friend, please do not be mistaken! It is actually the other way around.

For the last six years, I’ve been begging American Christians to look on the fields in the remote areas of the Gulf Province. But quite honestly, the population here grows faster than we can raise up/send missionaries into these areas. In the mean time, the “West” grows, expands, and infiltrates with its multitude of vices much faster than we could ever imagine.

The move to Moresby is a part of reaching our remote locations. […]

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 […]

She Might Fly Back to this Jungle!

IMG_2494SmolA few weeks ago, I wrote about how God orchestrated an amazing story where a broken skid-steer engine got replaced in time for a young lady with eight years’ experience in heavy equipment to walk out of the jungle and drive it up the mountain.

For those that missed the blog post, you can read it here.

Naomi stayed for 8 days here at Kotidanga, and she got a road dug out to about 3/4 of the way up the mountain. Since she left, the local men have been working hard to complete this road–by hand (yes, that means that they are digging the road out with shovels and picks) to get the road up to the top of the mountain. This is the same mountain we need to knock down in order to finish our airstrip.

She left with a promise to the men working on the airstrip: “I will do my best to get back here.” She went back to Australia (her home country) and immediately began selling her stuff. I think I remember something like that in Matthew 19, where Jesus told a rich young man that the only thing he lacked in his walk with God was his attachment to stuff. That rich young man decided to keep his stuff and walk his own path. It looks to me that Naomi is taking Jesus serious–and walking away from her stuff.

This past week, we have been corresponding a lot about her return trip, and here’s the plan. Her goal is to return around April 27, and be here for two months. She needs $3,855 for the 2-month […]

She just walked out of the jungle!

We have been building an airstrip in Kotidanga since October 2005. It seems this thing will be my un-doing. I will either go gray from it, lose all my hair, or just keel over dead after it sucks all my life away. But at the New Year service this year, we outlined items for prayer, and I was encouraged as one of the prayer topics for this year is: The airstrip to be completed in 2013.

Let me tell you about some things that God has done to make that actually happen–

In 2006, a church in Maryland donated the money for us to buy a New Holland Skid Steer Loader and we were able to ship it over, including a chopper lift to get it into Kotidanga. That alone was pretty awesome.

Then, in 2007, God gave us a Papua New Guinean man to help drive it. And drive it, he did. He dug with that machine for the next 18 months. We watched as the jungle turned into a long, mostly-straight piece of dirt. Pilots that flew over the valley didn’t know the name of the village, but they did frequently refer to our place as the “Dirt Patch.”

Due to some very unfortunate circumstances, our driver had to leave the next year, and the project came to a stand-still for almost an entire year. During that time, I began to pray that God would give us a new driver, and one that had a heart for God.

At this point, it was 2010 and we got to meet Mr. Ricky Beyaba. After his 39 years working with another mission organization here in PNG (where one of his jobs was helping to build airstrips!) he decided to […]