One of the churches we have been attending is pastored by a widower, and early last year, the church encouraged him to seek a wife to support his ministry and to be a mother to his two young children.
With the support of the denomination’s Mt Hagen Bible College, Ps Parker met with a female graduating student, and the relationship progressed to a marriage proposal. Arrangements were made for payment of the bride price, and a February 2016 wedding.
Much of this may clash with our perceptions of the role of romance and courtship in the marriage preliminaries, but the lead up to the event was still full of obvious excitement on the part of Ps Parker, and the females in the congregation were delighted to host a wedding.
The youth of the church made up the contingent of attendants, and Ps Parker’s spiritual mother and father walked him down the aisle. The officiating Pastor spoke from Genesis 2, acknowledging that God created woman to be a helpmate to the man and applied this to the way in which He had brought these two together.
Pray for this family that they would honour the Lord in their life together and in their ministry.
Last year, we met a couple in unexpected circumstances. We were looking for a church that we had dealt with in providing accommodation for a visiting pastor, and got hopelessly lost! Following directions from a helpful local, we eventually arrived as people filed in for worship… then soon realised this was not the church we were seeking. We stayed and enjoyed the fellowship, meeting Edward and Elizabeth afterwards.
Since that ‘chance’ encounter, we have shared a meal with them, discussed the state of society and the church in PNG, and compared notes on our respective adult children. These times have been all too few, as we both tend to lead busy lives.
Last Saturday, 6 February, we were invited to celebrate with them as Edward dedicated a new office building at his timber yard. Those gathered were family, friends, a number of pastors from the Lae PNG Bible Churches – and two waitskin missionaries! It was an honour to be included. This wasn’t a token event. Edward has staff devotions every Monday morning lead by Pastor James – who commented on the difference of an employer willing to pay their workers to study the bible. There were prayers for Edward and the staff, and all were exhorted to acknowledge God as the source of all blessing.
Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labour in vain. Psalm 127:1
And then came the highlight….. Elspeth was asked to cut the ribbon on the entrance to the new building!
The warmth and acceptance we have experienced from so many PNG folk is the lasting impression we expect to have of our time in Lae.
Please pray …
- thankful for every opportunity to connect with our PNG brothers and sisters
- that we see the Lord working in all of these unexpected events