School: NCA has begun!
Finally August 3rd arrived and we got to start school. I had been waiting for so long to be back into the classroom and I was thrilled to get started. I am teaching grades 4 and 5 again this year. Right now there are 15 students—8 fourth graders and 7 fifth graders. The class is currently made up of 2 Australians, 2 Germans, 1 Canadian and 10 Americans. Of course most of them know little about living in their home countries. They are great kids and I have been enjoying getting to know them over these first three weeks.
This part of the school year is a little bit difficult. Everyone is trying to learn new routines in my class as well as in music, art and PE. We will all get them down soon. The work load is a bit of a jump from 3rd grade to 4th grade, but they are all doing well.
This first term is shorter than usual because we postponed the beginning of school as we waited for some of our teachers to arrive. Just last week we found out that there is a new national holiday this Friday and so we have lost yet another day. I am not sure how we will get all this term 1 information digested, but I am sure my students are up to it. Plus it will make term 2 seem like a piece of cake. Please be praying for both students and teachers as we try to learn/teach all that God would have of us this term.
Tribal Update (excerpt from Gary and Esther Smith’s letter)
A couple weeks ago some religious leaders threatened some of our tribal missionaries. Though things looked a bit concerning this was the outcome..
This morning after a not so good night sleep I looked outside and saw men walking around our houses to protect us. Then the plane came in with the NTM leaders and left to go get the police men. We all met together and prayed and reminded each other to respond as Christ would respond.
The police arrived at the same time as the delegation. So we gave the floor to the religious leaders and they accused us of all kinds of falsehood and they said we had to leave and gave us a 2 month deadline to get out. The police men then gave us (around 120 people) the floor and they listened to testimony after testimony of how God has changed their lives and that Jesus is the only way to God. I literally cried as a listened to them give God all the glory. The police man had to stop people as hand after hand went up wanting to give testimony!
After these men heard the testimonies one man proposed that we can stay until we finish the translation. They literally changed their demand and said, “We never said they had to leave.” The testimony of God’s working in the lives of these people silenced them! So they even apologized to us and we shook hands. Our houses are still standing and we are safe, but more importantly our faith is stronger!
We are excited to hear of the faith in the Lord that is developing in our new brothers in Christ.
• Praise for the many believers in the remote areas of PNG who are growing in Christ.
• Pray for my dear class as we continue to grow academically and spiritually.
• Praise that our 3rd grade teacher has her entry visa. Pray that she will be able to arrive in the next few weeks.