As everyone here in Konomala would say, “Happy Christmas!”
We hope you all had a good thanksgiving and are enjoying the Christmas season! If you’re living in a white Christmas, take a moment and enjoy it really hard for us. If you’re living in some other colored Christmas, don’t be sad, we’re all in this together.
We are all ONE in Jesus
Though it seems like 6 months ago already, we had a great thanksgiving. Kaitlyn and Ellenie made an amazing meal as always. And best of all, we all got to be gluttons together with Grampa & Gramma! Having them here for a visit was so much fun and such an encouragement for us all. We had been anticipating it for months, and our time together was all that we had hoped for. One thing that we didn’t fully anticipate was how much it would mean to our friends here in Konomala. Culturally, a Konomalan person should always be welcoming and friendly. But it was actually quite an emotional event for the church here.
We were actually right in the final days of wrapping up the big story of scripture with our friends. As a little church here in Konomala, it had been exciting and motivating to all of us to start seeing the true reality of who we are now in Jesus. During our time in Acts, one of the things that our friends really latched on to was the fullness of Jesus’ work to bring us ALL into God’s ONE family. “We are all one” has been an exciting truth for them to deeply consider. Regardless of whether we are from America or PNG, we have truly become one. We are all looking to one God as Father; we are all trusting in one man, Jesus; we are all indwelt by one Spirit; we are all in one family; we are all called to one mission. Nationality, skin color, language etc. etc. become such small things in light of our true identities in Christ.
Now insert visitors from America … even better that they’re the patriarchs of the family! We all enjoyed multiple days of remembering God’s word, sharing stories, eating food, drinking coffee, and sitting on flat wooden surfaces. It was so cool to see our friends truly view our American family as their family too. It was yet another little taste of what we will all get to experience for eternity together … minus the translating back and forth in multiple languages!
Properly handling the word of truth
In 2 Timothy 2:15, Paul implores Timothy to make every effort to present himself to God as an approved workman who properly handles the word of truth.
Now think about all of the other declarations and promises about God’s word. We want to live as if those promises are actually true! Those words to Timothy are actually critically important to the long term health and growth of the church here in Konomala too! We too want to make every effort to be approved workmen who properly handle the word of truth. Only a chapter later in 2 Timothy, Paul says that God’s word is sufficient for all things and it’s able to equip us to live this life.
So that’s what we’re working towards with the church here in Konomala. We’re continuing to meet 3 times a week with anywhere from 10 to 20 of our friends (or should I say brothers & sisters!). But now, they’re not just coming and listening to God’s word being taught each time. Now they are working hard to properly handle the word of truth for themselves! We’re only in the beginning stages, but we are now studying through the book of Romans together. Two of the days that we meet are focused on purposefully observing and properly interpreting whatever text we are engaging with that week. Then the third day, we teach the passage and apply it to our thinking so that we can continue to grow together in properly seeing things the way God that does.
These are the days that we imagined when we left home to come to PNG. We’re getting to see our friends growing right before our eyes. It’s so much fun to spend the many hours with our friends as we slowly work through Paul’s words in Romans. God masterfully communicates the gospel through Paul. And He continues establishing and building the most important heart level issues that He started building back in Genesis. Now our friends are getting to engage with scripture in a way that they never imagined that they could before. It’s a lot of work and a lot of hours, but it’s beyond worth it.
Pray that our friends continue to grow in their love for God and His word. And pray that they would continue to be faithful in doing the hard work of submitting themselves to the truth … in their hearts as well as in the practice of properly handling the word of truth.
Pray that God would continue to give us wisdom and guidance as we look to Him in equipping the church and discipling our friends.
Pray that we are all able to stay healthy. There’s a lot of sickness going around. We are tired, our bodies are feeling the weight each day.
Pray that we would be faithful within our families and as a team to love each other and prioritize well. We desire to be growing every day, and we want to live a faithful life that models the gospel to our kids as well as to our friends.