Well done good and faithful servant …

2015-12-helenHelen initially came to work as a casual housekeeper in the Lae Regional Centre managers house, then in 1982 began employment as a housekeeper for the Lae Regional Centre, serving the Wycliffe community using the centre as a temporary base.

On Thursday 22nd September, our Lae team of six permanent staff and ourselves travelled to Ukarumpa for the combined retirement gathering to honour seven retiring PNG national staff, and to celebrate their contribution to the work of Bible translation. There were many heartfelt farewells and stories of how those retiring had been an encouragement to others, training younger staff, or simply providing a smile during a tough day.

With 34 years working in Lae, Helen was the most senior staff member retiring this year.

On 30th September, the last day before the set time for retirement Helen was there to join in our morning prayer and team debrief. She was there to be a support to a trainee housekeeper having a difficult morning. She was there to share a final staff farewell meal before we commenced a six-month furlough period.

Sometimes that is what faithfulness comes down to … being there.


“Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” Matthew 25 v 23

One body, many parts

Elspeth was reconnecting with some PNG friends this morning via Facebook, and this prayer request popped up. [edited slightly for clarity, name withheld]

During a single day at the clinic ……. lost a 6-month-old baby girl, she saw a 2yo girl with a tumour behind her eye that’s pushed the eyeball out of her head and has spread to the other eye, the brain, and likely elsewhere. There’s nothing we can do for her. Then a 15-year-old girl came into the clinic with a congenital heart or lung problem. Her current oxygen levels are only 50%. She gets exhausted just blinking her eyes. She is unlikely to make it another year without God’s intervention. Then there was the little baby with sepsis (a terrible life-threatening infection), and another 1-year-old with bad pneumonia. They all showed up so very sick, some too late to save. …….. spent her lunch time counselling an 18-year-old who wanted an abortion. That night, ……. spent much of the night lying awake in bed wondering what she could have done differently to save the little 6-month-old baby girl. I’m telling you, watching a little baby or young child die in your arms under your care is very hard to deal with. Having 6 hard cases back to back… she is a mighty strong wife, but needs your prayers.

We spoke at our home church yesterday during a luncheon, and a mission friend previously based in PNG highlighted the valuable work done by Regional Centre managers in supporting them in Bible translation. He noted how tough the manager role can be and the heavy workload required.

It’s all a matter of perspective isn’t it?

We are thankful that God has enabled us to serve in whatever way we can, and praise Him for every individual that He has gifted, and inspired, and moved, and continually strengthens to be a part of His kingdom work in PNG.

But God has put the body together, giving greater honour to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.  1 Corinthians 12:24-27

Please be praying for the team in PNG, your fellow ‘body parts’, in what can be a very challenging role.