Who can utter the mighty acts of the Lord? Who can shew forth all his praise?
It is Sunday, May 11, 2014.
In the space of two hours, our national church rejoiced about some serious wins. The believers saw fruit from their prayers to God and their efforts in the ministry.
As the wins were defined, they were celebrated. And the name of the Lord was praised.
The radio tower, rebroadcasting Bible FM from Mt. Hagen, Papua New Guinea, was constructed in 2013. An immense amount of money, cement, sand, and labor went into its construction on Mt. Yimya, 1200 feet above our mission campus. Just about straight up, to be exact. After our church people carried over a ton of material up the mountain, the site was set up and ready to transmit—until the government refused to give the (already authorized) frequency. Delays, delays, delays. Finally the permit was issued, and the transmitter was set up. Matt flew it in here on last Monday; Pastor James announced to the church that we will all go up the mountain on early Friday morning to install it and turn the transmitter on. The long awaited broadcast of the Gospel in the Kamea region via radio is a reality.
The church celebrated with applause. Win! Glory to His Name!
The second of our new missionary families arrived on the field. John & Marci Gillispie (with children Nehemiah, Elijah, and Hadassah) arrived on a beautiful day. They join Josh & Rebecca Florence (with daughters Abigail and Ruth) who arrived a couple of months ago. Both families are orienting here at our campus in preparation for the ministries the Lord will launch them into in the coming months. Pastor James had special prayer today for our new families, that God would help them to learn the trade language and culture, and for us all to work together well in reaching PNG with the Gospel of Christ.
The church audibly rejoiced. Win! More praise to the Lord!
Jon & Julie Limmer from JAARS (a branch of Wycliffe Bible Translators) flew in to see our Bible translation work. Julie worked on the development team for a video production program that allows us to record our translation and put it into a “slide show” type video of the life of Christ. The results thus far have been wonderful, and they joined us to celebrate—and to see the way the program works in the field. They sat with us through translation, then through back translation checks with our people, and finally an live recording session. They watched the fruit of their labor (and ours) as we invited all of our people to come watch the first nine segments. We sat amazed as our people watched the pictures and heard the word of God read in the Kamea language. A couple we have prayed would come to Christ were there; they sat and listened, and then received a clear Gospel witness again from some national believers after the videos.
When this was announced in church today, God’s people celebrated again. Win! Hallelujah to the Lamb!
Pastor James and three of our national men returned from an evangelistic outreach to a neighboring tribe. They preached in markets, witnessed to many people, passed out many Gospel tracts, and saw a good response overall. On their last night out, two old men came to see them in the hut where they were staying. As they told their stories, Pastor James shared the Gospel with them. One of the old men shared his story: He was an old warrior, and told James that he had killed many of James’ Kamea people. Bare-handed, the other old man confirmed. The others concurred with his story. The man said, “I have no hope. God isn’t able to do anything for a man like me.” James went on to share the love, mercy, forgiveness, and grace of God that are found in Christ. After a while of sharing, the old man realized his need—more than that, he realized Christ’s sufficiency. Pastor James was able to lead both the old men to Christ. As he told the church this morning, they celebrated.
We all celebrated. Win! Praise to the Lord, the Almighty to save!
Defining and celebrating wins is important. But if we focus more on the wins than on the God Who gave them, we miss the point. Speaking of all His wonderful works should cause us celebrate the might of our God, the love of our Father, the sacrifice of His Son, and the glory of His name!