“be better”

Every year our friends here in Konomala have a New Years celebration of sorts. For the most part it just serves as an excuse to get together, eat some food, and have a good time as a family. But as is the case with most gatherings, it’s too good of an opportunity for the leaders in the family and community to miss. The “big men” love to get their chance to stand up and tell everyone else what they should do. 

The new years rhetoric usually goes something like this: 
“Stop doing bad stuff.” 
“Do more good stuff.” 
“Last year you failed.” 
“This year, you need to do better.” 

Helpful stuff! Everyone gets to listen to new year’s ‘commands’ from people that fail to meet their own standards. Religious leaders often yell about how God is not pleased with everyone’s bad behavior. But then they talk about how it’s a new year and now everyone can become a new person. Everyone’s life is going to change for the better because the year has changed. “The old has gone, and the new has come.” 

Most of us have probably experienced the effectiveness of commands to ‘be better.’ But after so many failed attempts with no change and more of the same emptiness in life, it gets pretty depressing. It’s no different for our friends here in Konomala.

Now insert truth into real life! 
This new years gathering was a little different than years past because a few of the family leaders are now believers and have a growing clarity on what is true. As their hearts continue to be re-shaped by what God says, it’s awesome to see how He is working in their lives. 

Instead of saying all the same “motivating” things as before, they thought very intentionally about what they wanted to say to the mixture of people who would be there this year. There were some believers there, some hard working religious people, and some other people who just wanted to drink some coffee and eat some food. 

In humility the guys wanted everyone to recognize what we all truly need. They took an honest look at how ineffective their own prideful attempts to fix themselves had been in the past. Without demeaning anyone, they really brought some heart issues into tension. It was awesome to see the truth being applied in humility. 

Keep Praying for the church!

Thank you so much for praying over these last months as we have been working through the book of Romans with the church. Keep praying for us all as we keep growing together. It has been such a valuable time as we continue to understand how God has been seeing things all along. 

We want to KNOW our good heavenly Father. That’s the WHY for everything that we do, and it’s so important to keep that in the front of our minds. It’s all too easy for us to step out in independence and choose to follow our own ways of thinking. We want to always be striving to know our Father more deeply … realizing that our deepest needs can only be met by Him. 

We’re always adjusting what we’re doing and how we’re doing it in order to meet the needs of individuals and the church as a whole. It feels like we as soon as we find a good groove and get ‘comfortable’, God reveals some things that need to be adjusted. The adjustments are usually a bit unknown and uncomfortable. But that’s always where He works the most in us … He knows what is best. And just like we’re leading our friends to think differently, we need the exact same things.

Pray that God would continue giving wisdom and direction in how to best lead and equip the church. 
Pray that we would all be in tune with how God is leading us to live individually and collectively as a new family. 
Pray for us and our friends that we would continue to humble ourselves under God’s word as our authority in everything. And that we would all grow in living in the new life empowered by His Spirit!

Keep Praying for us! 

Some days it all feels like a grind. Never mind the monotonous, boring, exhausting parts … Our own heart issues keep coming to the surface and the battle feels never-ending sometimes. Pray especially for us as parents. The constant-ness at home can be the most uncomfortable revealer of our own hearts. The many needs, questions, desires … the middle of the night issues … the sibling squawking. Oh, for the silence of bed time. Probably more than anywhere else in life right now, we feel our neediness at home. 

Keep praying for our team. We are so privileged to live this weird life alongside our best friends in the Hodgdons. Pray that we would continue to be of one mind and heart as we live life alongside each other and our friends here in Konomala. Pray that we would love each other well and keep pushing each other towards Jesus.

Pray for our bodies. We really want six packs … Ha!
Actually, pray that God would give grace in keeping all the sickness at bay. And when we’re in the middle of it, pray that He would give the strength and grace that we need to endure the parts that are no fun.

14 thoughts on ““be better”

  1. Great update. Very encouraging but lots to pray about of course. Praying for you now.

    And that shirt. Us Indonesians see the problem since it’s mostly the Indonesian side with the weird extra part from the PNG part. Maybe there’s another problem too that I don’t notice.


  2. Thats great to read. Thank you for the update. So grateful the Lord has placed you there. Sounds like you are really embracing the people ?? Praying for you guys and families. Ineke

    Verzonden vanuit Outlook voor iOShttps://aka.ms/o0ukef ________________________________


  3. <

    div dir=”ltr”>


    p style=”box-sizing: border-box; caret-color: rgb(68, 68, 68); color: rgb(68, 68, 68); font-family: "Helvetica Neue", Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 15px; font-style: italic; -webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;”>I love seeing th


  4. Is it alright if I share your update text on our social media? Do you have a photo of you with some of the believers or perhaps a photo of the New Year’s speeches?


  5. Thank you so much for the update! You guys are so inspiring! Praying for you right now!! ________________________________


  6. great update Seth! ok, what’s wrong with the shirt?? It looks like it’s missing all of PNG & only showing the Indonesian side?


  7. Praying for God to give you the peace and wisdom needed for your families and discernment in moving forward. For your teaching to bring about the maturity of the church and salvation for others. And for you to stay strong in the faith as God is able to do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine.
    In His love
    Tammy and Rod

    Sent from my iPhone


  8. We will be praying through the things noted in your letter. Thank you for serving our Lord in PNG. The Lord is with you.
    Joshua 1:9 Was a passage that encouraged me when I faced a difficult challenge in the past. God was faithful to carry me through that time. He showed Himself strong and proved His faithfulness to provide whatever was needed according to the need of that moment.
    Praise Him!


  9. Hello Seth, I left a note earlier but don’t know if it went through. Rewriting this, my first one was really inspired, don’t know if I can duplicate. Lol. But happy for you all, it is a joy to be part of your family and Jonathan. You all have been a inspiration to us. Painting with Chad in his rec. room getting ready for the Super Bowl and their friends. We get to watch Alex the dog, lol. May God continue to bless and guide your steps. Penny and I are doing good. God is great. God bless the Porters.

      >    >


  10. One more time…
    Since the last response was in code (Thanks for pointing that out Chris S.!) I’ll try it again:

    I love seeing that house. I got to design it but never got invited to be part of the crew to help build it. It’s just nice to have been a small part of the project.

    As for the shirt, the counter outline looks like the outline of Alaska.

    Exciting to hear that the believers have a totally different worldview. That must be encouraging




  11. I think the outline of Papua New Guinea is inverted. Dave Meunier, Pastor, Plainville Baptist Church, Plainville, MA (John 4:34)


  12. We always enjoy your updates and knowing how we can specifically pray for YOU ALL. So exciting to hear the growth of Church. GOD is working and we do Praise His Name for all He is doing in and through YOU!


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