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December 2016

Remember the song “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth….”? I don’t generally itemize or publicize my desires but I have quite a wish list this year -- things that YOU can be a part of seeing become reality by praying with us!

  • For J&BD’s newborn to be okay so they can return to PNG early next year
  • For the TI family’s house to sell so they can come fill the gap as our supply buyer in Wewak
  • For CH’s US citizenship papers to come thru so they can return and do liaison work with the tribal church’s where missionaries no longer live on site
  • For Cade Holmquist – young teenage MK who has been VERY sick since spring with Lyme’s disease
  • For the Wabuku team of missionaries as they plan toward moving into the village in January
  • For a new team of missionaries currently looking for a definite location where God would have them work
  • For MORE new missionaries to come over and join us in God’s work here around the Sepik
  • For Rosama – a young Nakwi gal whose family tried to kill her because she wouldn’t marry the unsaved guy they picked out for her. With her life in jeopardy she was brought to town and lived with missionaries for a year. She recently decided it was time for her to return home. Pray for God’s protection for her as she lives with her family in the village and possibly under the same difficult & perilous conditions again.

Some matters for praise--the "presents already wrapped under the tree!"

  • Employee Wili just became a papa again – a son to go with his 3 daughters! Wili’s wife Lillian had problems with eclampsia toward the end of her pregnancy but she seems to be doing well now. Baby Wili is, too!
  • Employee Rosie is expecting her first child in March. It’s hard to say who is more excited – Rosie or us! She likely has reservations about getting too enthusiastic as firstborn babies often do not live. She will be going to her husband’s village for Christmas and it is uncertain when they will return to town.
  • Employee Susan’s awareness of God has been growing since the death of her husband about 2010. She still has lots of misconceptions stemming from her works oriented religious background but she is sure of Christ dying to pay for her sins. This seems to be more than just head knowledge or rote reiterating and we pray that the seed will grow and blossom into a fragrant faith in our Savior!

  • Employees Lisa, Paula and Rosie each recently took a week to lead our Wednesday Bible study, sharing on truths God has made come alive to them from Philippians. They each thought thru the lessons very well. This is good practice and hopefully an encouragement for them to think toward doing community Bible studies in their neighborhoods.
  • Several fellow missionaries recently had doctors’ appointments in Australia. Each one got the “all clear” and can return to work in PNG!!!! Thank you, Lord!!!!

To close with some down home Christmas memories: My most memorable PNG Christmas! – It was one of those years…..

  • I NEVER get homesick but that year – well, let’s just say it’s good that God in His wisdom had so arranged things that going home for the holidays wasn’t an option.
  • Meals were cut back to just one a day – which was really NO hardship for me as I often don’t eat more than once a day – but somehow when once-a-day-dining is necessary my heart rebels!
  • A key supporting church sent word that due to cutbacks in giving they might be dropping my support. Some Merry Christmas.

Then God at work became gloriously apparent!

Proof # 1 -- At our local Christmas party white elephant gift exchange I chose a small packet obviously wrapped by a child. It looked interesting. It was! K20 – about $15 in US dollars at that time!!! No one EVER puts money in a white elephant gift exchange – but that year someone did – and God marked it for me! “Money for cat food!” was my immediate thought. God had provided for food for the not so healthy cat I was permanently babysitting for coworkers!
Proof # 2 -- A few days later - on the way home from the office one of the missionary children stopped me and asked, “Did you get what I left on your porch swing? “ I hadn’t been to the house yet so I told him no. “You’d better hurry,” he said, “or it might blow away!” On my swing sat a K5 note – about $3.75. I was baffled and took the money back to his mother. “Oh no, that’s yours.” she said. “That’s his tithe money he’s been saving up and he wanted you to have it.” Wow! None of the missionaries knew of the need but God used them AGAIN to provide more kina for cat food! God must really like felines!
Proof # 3 -- In case I was still doubting God had things under control – (vegetarians might want to skip this paragraph) 2 days before Christmas I went to our mission supply store to pick up some toilet paper. (Even debtors are permitted to buy such necessities!) The missionary supply buyer met me saying, “Have you gotten your gift from Garamut (a store in town) yet?” I didn’t even know there were any gifts from Garamut. “Which would you like,” the missionary asked, “a hunk of meat or a tub of ice cream? No one is sure what kind of meat it is but ….” He didn’t need to say more. There had been months without meat! Need I say it? I took the meat! Took it home, laid it on the kitchen table and cried. Finally I put it in the freezer – but would go back every few minutes to make sure it was still there! It was! … Christmas day arrived. My glances into the freezer and overwhelming gratitude to God were still producing buckets of joyful teary responses. “Well, Hope,” God said that Christmas morning, “you could cook it and EAT it!” What a thought! I did. Cooked and ate some, froze half for a co-worker family who were returning to the field soon, and still had meat to eat for weeks to come! A whole BONELESS leg of lamb! Yes, the Lamb of God whose birth we celebrate provided lamb for daily sustenance that year!

Certain proof – He died not only to save us for all eternity but to save us from our sinful doubting hearts here and now.

Such lessons are precious. I’m sure YOU have such stories you could tell, too! That’s our God at work, proving Himself over and over and over again … Words fail me in trying to express my gratitude to Him for our Savior Jesus and how He sustains us thru the years! “Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift!”

And a big thank you to YOU too, for your part in praying, providing and standing faithfully together with us in the work God has committed to our hands here in PNG!!! May this Christmas be a season of refreshing reminders for each of us of how greatly God loves us – enough to send His only begotten Son on our behalf to save us for all eternity. Send Him as a human being so He would understand all we go thru in life. And to now walk continually beside us through all the days He allots to us here on this earth before He calls us to join Him in glory! Perhaps today!

Co-laboring with you to bring back Christ as King!
Hope Sharp


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Contact information:

Field Address: Hope Sharp, New Tribes Mission, P.O. Box 625, Wewak, ESP  531 PAPUA NEW GUINEA

Business address:  New Tribes Mission, 312 W 1st St., Sanford, FL 32771 USA. 

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