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July 2015

Tribal Resource Center

Books have always been a major part of my life. From an early age I began to see blank sheets of paper as “potential” to become something interesting and exciting! Maybe that’s why the TRC is such a “good fit” for a ministry for me!

This past month was a busy one with projects for the Bisorio, Biem, Hewa and Iwam language groups. Some printing projects take a mere matter of hours. Others take maybe a week to complete. How precious it is that we can be involved in producing materials that will help our tribal folks learn to read, and then also printing Bible lessons and translated scripture portions to help them grow closer to our Savior!

 

Finance Fiasco

While anything “books” related is a good and easy fit, counting currency is NOT. Things "seemed” to go well while Beth was away and I attempted to fill in on the few duties absolutely necessary to keep things going. The last day though – oh my. If anything could go wrong, it did. Even straightening out a small error in the pay roll paperwork took hours – and still  wasn’t “fixed.” This remains a daunting duty for me to endeavor to learn. Beth will be around now til sometime in the fall so little by little
she’ll be showing me more and more of the ministry. God has promised to supply ALL we need for whatever work He commits to our hands. I’m counting on that and will welcome your continuing prayer too!

 “I’ll fly away …”

 Wednesday Bible Study with the ladies who work on our mission center has been sparsely attended of late, but right now that’s actually better! We’re up to verse 21 in Philippians chapter 1: “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” The 3-4 ladies who have been coming faithfully are all believers so we have been able to talk at length about the certainty of heaven.

There have been good times reflecting on the truth that “to die is gain.” Lisa, forced into marriage with an unsaved man, faces constant opposition as she tries to raise their 2 children according to Biblical rather than traditional standards. After our last study she began talking about a song she heard at church the previous Sunday and said, “That’s what I want sung at my funeral. I don’t want them to sing anything else, just that song!” It’s one you all probably know too – “Some glad morning when this life is over, I’ll fly away ….” We are so privileged to have the assurance of what’s ahead. That does indeed bring hope and encouragement to these PNG gals as they carry the heavy burdens of their grueling lives.

The young & the restless …. 

The school kids’ attention span in our English reading classes seems to be in direct correlation to the importance of the material being read to them. When we read (what I consider to be a very boring) fact book about sharks – they are totally tuned in. We switch to reading a chapter from The Lamb – a book written specifically to share the Gospel with young kids – rubber bands start flying, discussion groups splinter off in the back of the class, elbows begin bumping and begging for space.

With only 2 chapters of the book to go, guess what. Yep. School break. Supposedly for 3 weeks but you never know. That could last as long as 3 months ….. These students are all steeped in traditional legalistic religious teachings. Oh that even on holiday they would think back on the truths of the Good News of Jesus, understand their need for the Savior, and see the total sufficiency of Christ as their only hope for salvation!

May River Iwam

Iwam are in town. Tomas Wili and his #1 wife Hwanu, daughter Veronica and baby are currently here awaiting some sort of female surgery for Hwanu. The hospital has been overflowing lately though so Hwanu is continually being turned away and told to return a week later. They are NOT happy campers. I have had only limited contact with them and Tomas monopolizes the talking. He was once more of a missionary than I was, but he fell away from the Lord and has been walking the ways of the world these past 30 years. Trying to discuss spiritual things with him is nigh on to impossible. He just changes the subject asking me to relay messages on the 2-way radio to the Iwam back in the bush. Or loan him money. Or check to see that I have relayed his message and tell me to do it again. Or tell me to find out what the Iwam are doing about all he wants them to do.

Please be praying that there will be opportunities to talk with Hwanu one on one. She is a longtime friend who has not had an easy life. Though a sweet believer and one of our ladies’ Bible study leaders back during my Iwam era, she has now forgotten howto read. Whether or not she can and/or does attend church, I do not know.

It would be so good to get to talk with just her and that can conceivably happen once she is admitted to the hospital. Let’s pray, and see what God will do!

Work on the Iwam New Testament concordance is again finally underway. This massive project will probably fill my spare moments for the years to come. Learning the program as I go makes it a challenge. Once a preliminary draft is done there will be lots of fine tuning as at present it would take volumes to print. This is probably my last Iwam endeavor other than spell checking and tweaking the formatting on all the Bible lessons created for them by my former coworkers, and getting those materials ready for reprinting. How good it will be to have this all finished before eventual retirement!

Hospital Visitation

We have had very few patients sent out from our bush locations of late. The ones who do come mostly are
brought out via the Samaritan Aviation float plane and are visited daily by their staff. This has been most helpful as with so few missionaries on our center, it’s been very hard to get a ride to the hospital to visit them myself. A man from the Sorimi tribe recently brought his daughter out for diagnosis and treatment. This seems to be a “right of passage” in his family as he has brought every one of his children out with a “failure to thrive” illness sometime during their early years of lives.This little girl was diagnosed with TB and sent home with
appropriate meds. Won’t you please pray with us that her parents will be faithful to finish her full course of treatment and that this will indeed bring her back to full health.

What’s ahead ????

Jason, Jedidiah and Ella Jo are enroute back to Wewak due to arrive July 6th. They are all doing well but now will be navigating the new challenges of living in PNG “alone” since wife & mummy Toni is with the Lord. Jason’s ministry here is to do checking of Bible translations in progress. He also gives ongoing support, teaching, and encouragement to the tribal churches where missionaries are no longer on site. In the past that has meant traveling to the numerous village locations and being away from his family sometimes for several days at a time. Do please pray for wisdom for him as he looks to the Lord for how to continue this vital ministry with the current family dynamics.

The children’s schooling too remains a matter for prayer. Rumor has it that a retired teacher has volunteered to come! That news resounds to much praise and thanksgiving to God for sorting out those details!

Having just spent about 5 months in structured classroom situations with a variety of educational opportunities and outings however, returning to home schooling will be an adjustment for these two ultra-active youngsters. God certainly has Jason & his kiddos in the hollow of His hand. He knows what is best for them and how He will work things out so that they can continue to be a part of the Lord’s work that’s still in progress here. Your ongoing prayers for this family are valued beyond words.

My grateful thanks to you for being a part of the team effort needed for the work God still has underway here in Papua New Guinea. Your prayers and other marks of support are greatly appreciated!


Co-laboring 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

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

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