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March 2014

A LAMP FOR OUR FEET

There are many times in our lives that God provides that lamp for our feet when he does not illuminate the entire path before us. These past weeks and months have been one of those times for our family. Most of you are aware of what has been going on with us, but just to recap briefly:

In January we were wrapping up the first half of our home assignment which we had spent with Grace Bible Church in College Station, TX. We had a great time of refreshment with them, enjoying the work the Lord continues to do among the college students at Texas A&M. Neil was able to take a full slate of classes with Liberty On-Line Seminary during this time as well.

Then, in mid-January, Becky’s mother, Ann, was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome, a disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks the nerves, rendering the victim mostly paralyzed. Ann has been hospitalized since this time, and Becky has been in Dallas assisting her mother in an in-patient rehab facility. Neil and the kids have been living in the San Antonio area, spending time with Neil’s parents as well as our church in New Braunfels, Fellowship Bible Church.

To make a somewhat complicated story shorter, the end result is that the timing of our return to Papua New Guinea is highly uncertain at this time. The recovery time for GB is on the order of months, and although there have been many encouraging signs in her recovery these past few weeks, it is quite likely that she will need continued assistance for some time. Our long term goal remains to return to PNG, perhaps as early as January 2015. We’ve been waiting to write this update for several weeks, hoping to give you all a fuller picture of what these next few months hold for us, but as we mentioned at the beginning of this article, it’s been very much step by step, week by week. There are certain mission guidelines relating to the extension of our time in the USA. Currently, we are dialoguing with the PNG field, our mission headquarters in Florida, and our supporting churches to help come up with something of a road map until we are able to return. When that becomes clearer, we will communicate that with you, but we felt that we needed to at least give you an update of where we are at this time. 

Thank you for your continued prayers for us, as well as for Ann, in the coming months. We would ask particularly that you pray for restoration of movement for Ann’s right hand. While most all of her limbs and muscles are showing improvement, her right hand seems to have suffered the most damage from the illness and is currently mostly unusable. Pray also that she will be able to walk again soon! Pray for strength for Becky and her sister Amy as they care for Ann. 

It has been difficult to be separated as a family during this time, but the Lord is good and we know that he uses all things for His glory and our eventual good! Pray for the kids having to live without mom for awhile longer. Lord willing, we will be able to be all in one place next month, but again, things are week to week. The kids continue to do well in their homeschooling, but do miss their friends back in PNG.

PRAY FOR MORE LABORERS IN PNG

One of the themes that keeps coming back to us in our communication with the PNG field is the desperate need for more support workers to help keep the church planting effort moving ahead! Specifically, critical needs exist for pilots, accountants, computer specialists, a dentist, and teachers for Numonohi Christian Academy. Would you please pray that the Lord would raise up more laborers to meet these needs? The shortages have serious repercussions for the families who continue to minister in the country. For example, without a dentist, a routine dental concern can become a tremendous financial burden if it requires a plane flight to another part of the country, or even to Australia.

Perhaps you have a skill that could be used in PNG for a few months, or even a year or two. If you are interested in learning more about how you could use your training to help the people of Papua New Guinea hear the good news of Jesus Christ, send us a quick e-mail, or visit the NTM website here.

We can testify to the tremendous blessing that comes from using our meager skills as part of what God is doing to fulfill his Great Commission around the world!

NEWS FROM OUR OLDER BOYS

Just a quick blurb for you on how Ben and Andrew are doing in their respective schools.Thanks to those of you who pray regularly for them! Ben continues in his second year at LeTourneau University studying Biomedical Engineering. He has found the coursework to be tremendously challenging, but also rewarding (most of the time!). Aside from keeping his grades up, Ben was recently elected student body treasurer for the 2014-15 school year. He is excited about working in student government with some of the good friends he has made. We are grateful for the Lord’s work in his life and the growth he is experiencing.


Andrew is also having a rewarding year at the Joshua Wilderness Institute in Hume Lake, CA. Aside from the deep spiritual truths he is learning in his classes, he has also been blessed to take part in several mission trips. In February, he went to the Dominican Republic where he able to help out in a local medical clinic, helping to reach the people with the love of Christ. Just this past week, the group went to Los Angeles where they took part in a variety of activities including feeding the homeless, engaging in evangelistic conversations in a number of settings, and helping renovate an inner-city school. He was even interviewed on the LA evening news!(See at: http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/video/9940946-video-of-bmx-riders-bunny-hopping-over-homeless-near-skid-row-sparks-debate/) God is continuing to challenge him regarding his future plans and it is exciting to see the vision that God is giving him for his life. Thanks again for your prayers for our boys as they seek God’s continued direction in the years ahead.

 

Prayer and Praise Corner:

  • Praise the Lord for a refreshing time with Grace Bible Church in College Station this past fall.
  • Praise the Lord for the good school year that Ben and Andrew are having at their respective schools.
  • Pray for Ann’s complete recovery from Guillain-Barre. Pray for us as a family as we navigate the decisions of the next several months. Pray for our kids too as the uncertainty has been difficult for them as well.
  • Pray for the field of Papua New Guinea. The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few! Pray that God will raise up more workers, particularly pilots, accountants, teachers, and computer specialists! 


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If you desire to partner together with Neil and Becky through correspondence, prayer or giving, write and let them know of your interest. Their e-mail address is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Correspondence can be sent to Neil and Becky Burleson, 2508 Woodbridge Way, Schertz, TX 78154.

New Tribes Mission address is 1000 E. First St., Sanford, FL 32771-1487.

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