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August 2014

In my last update I eluded to the fact that my hospital visitation ministry will look different this term than in the past. Here’s the scoop on that: Samaritan Aviation now has a float plane in our part of PNG and they have developed a tremendous ministry transporting critical patients to town, then visiting them once they are admitted to the hospital! Erika -- a single gal from Florida, missionary with SA -- lives here on our center, works in the SA office, and goes to the hospital a couple of times a week. When she goes I can tag along on her shirt-tails -- yet not have the full responsibility of visitation as I did before. SA also has 2 PNG citizen employees – Lillian and Paps – who go in to the hospital every day to visit and encourage the patients. This is by far a step in the right direction of seeing such ministries incorporating the local Christians to be involved in the Lord’s work.

 

 

 

SA team – (L to R) Lillian, (patient & his guardian,) Erika and Paps 

As I’ve accompanied Erika, Lillian and Paps on their hospital rounds, it’s been good to be back having contact with patients and nursing staff again. Our 1st stop one day was to see Rosa -- a woman we suspect is dying of cancer. (I’m still not sure how much patient information the hospital staff will be willing to share with me since most patients who come out with SA are NOT from our NTM centers.) What a precious opportunity though to share with Rosa that yes, God CAN heal her, but if He has chosen a different plan for her, she can know the certainty of eternity with Him if she is trusting in Jesus alone to have paid her sin debt. It was hard to interpret how much she was really taking in, but if the Lord leads you to pray for her, let’s pray that her heart will be open and she’ll see her need of the Savior.

Stephen

Another patient we talked to had burned his leg when he fell unconscious (from malaria) into the family cooking fireplace. Stephen said little but his “waspapa” = guardian was very open, quoting scripture and talking about God. At first it seemed he really maybe was trusting in Jesus alone – but as we shared he began pulling in comments that sent caution lights flashing in my thinking. When I asked him his religious affiliation, it certainly shed light on his works based, reward-motivated beliefs. We talked at length and there were many opportunities to share that only the blood of Jesus is sufficient to make us right with God, and that when we try to add any of our own efforts on top of His blood, it is like saying His death for us wasn’t sufficient to pay for our sins, that we need to do more too, in order for God to call us His own. After sharing this several times, the elderly patient began waving his hand in an “Enough!” motion. He may have just been overly taxed and needed to rest but it was obviously time to leave it with the Lord and hope to have further chances for conversation later. Stephen too could use your prayers.

Besides the routine visitation, Erika has some dreams for having more of a ministry at the hospital, particularly on the pediatric ward. It will be exciting to see if God does open the doors for this to become a reality. Follower that I am, it would be fun to be a part of this with her, should God lead in that directionSmile

For those of you who have contributed sheets, towels, etc. for the local hospital -- be assured that as soon as they are in my hands I will begin sharing them with those in need on the wards. At present almost everyone on the maternity ward has a sheet, but on the other wards bare beds continue to be the norm. Many local PNGers will be benefiting by your generosity.

Regarding my totes in transit bringing those sheets, towels, etc. – the mission group GMS (Global Ministry Supply) in Pennsylvania handling them for me will be loading a container this coming weekend – Aug 8-9th. I still do not know if ANY of my items will be on that shipment – but I’ll keep ya posted as I hear and will be beggin’ your prayers once they are on their way and as they go thru PNG customs.

News from the May River Iwam front: Tomas – a longtime friend, brother in Christ, Bible teacher, discipler of young men in Iwam land, was in town and came by to see me. His willingness to visit was uncertain as reports of late indicate that he has drifted from the Lord. We had a very honest heart to heart chat. He has taken a 2nd wife, and also begun attending church with another group in his local village. This group is in no way on track with the truth of the Gospel and the light Tomas has should be showing him that. He says he just wants to know what they teach – yet his attendance with them will be seen by others as approval of their doctrine. Though his motives may have some merit, it is a dangerous position for him to be in. Having been a former Bible teacher and now associating with such a group he could potentially lead many others astray. Please be much in prayer for him!

Tribal Resource Center work has been slow – giving me time to figure out the ropes on ordering supplies, become more familiar with the new computer programs, “cloud” storage (which is slower than evaporation here Frown ) etc. Right now my only BIG project is getting Volume 1 of the Foundational Bible Lessons (Creation to Christ’s death, burial, resurrection & ascension) formatted and reprinted for the May River Iwam. Fellow NTM missionary Jason Stuart will be making another trip into Iwam land in September and will take the books along. He’ll then do a Bible teachers training / refresher course with the local pastors and teachers in how to follow the lessons and present the evangelistic lessons. We can be praying that this will help motivate & challenge the Iwam to reach out to the numerous Iwam villages beyond where the May River Iwam church has long been established.

Literacy has also been brought to the forefront anew as I try to get back up to speed on what I’ll need to know and have ready for some upcoming work. We will hopefully have primer construction workshops in 2 new language groups within the coming 6 months. Also a possible teachers training course for some local pastors who want to be able to help their people learn to read and write in the National Language. I don’t know what I may be getting into with that so will appreciate prayer! Words come up short in expressing my appreciation of you and your part in allowing me to be back in PNG once again. Your prayers, e-mail notes, financial gifts and all the other evidences of support make me ever more thankful for the “team” God has brought together to surround me for continuing His work here. Thank you for “being there” for me and those God wants us to reach in PNG.

Co-laboring together with you for the 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

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