Sepik Prayer Calendar for April – May 2019

Here is the Sepik Prayer Calendar April 2019 – May 2019.  Thank you for praying for the language communities in the Sepik.  God is continuing to work in the lives of these people.

Advertisements

Sepik Prayer Calendar for February 2019 – March 2019

Here is the Sepik Prayer Calendar February 2019 – March 2019.  Thank you for praying for the language communities in the Sepik.  God is continuing to work in the lives of these people.

Sepik Prayer Calendar December 2018 – January 2019

Here is the Sepik Prayer Calendar December 2018 – January 2019.  Thank you for your continued prayers for the people of Papua New Guinea.  They truly make a difference.

A Fresh Perspective

Sometimes you have looked at something so many times or heard the same story over and over and it seems all too familiar.  Oh, for eyes to see something new and a heart that is open to what God has to show you.

North Palei participants and staff

Recently Oral Bible Storytelling (OBS) workshops began for a new cluster of languages in the North Palei district, near Nuku, north of the Sepik highway.  Six language groups arrived in Wewak ready to learn what OBS was all about.  Trainers had carefully picked the stories for this first course.  Their desire was to give participants stories that wouldn’t be too challenging to learn and yet would also give them a good foundation to some of God’s talk.  They also wanted to do a couple Christmas stories as this would be the first time these groups would have some of God’s Word in their language at Christmas.

Michael leads singing during devotions

One of the Christmas stories picked was the Shepherds and the Angels.  A story familiar to most, but many of the participants saw it in a whole new way.  After the story was told during devotions, the group grappled with application questions so they could interact with the story on a heart level.  This is often the time where new insights are shared and eyes are opened.

When referring to Jesus coming to the earth and being placed in a manger (something dirty and lowly), one man said: “That is just like in my life.  My life is like the manger (a place that was dirty and no good), and now Jesus has come into my life and changed me.”

Aruop participants listen intently

Another man, as he grappled with who Jesus really is, said: “I can no longer worship anyone else.  I can only worship Jesus.”

As you come into the Christmas season, where things might have become too familiar, take some time to look at things in a new way.  Read them and hear them like it is your first time and see if God won’t speak new truth into your heart as well.

Beyond our scope

A Kwomtari man tells his story.

Knowing that the vision of SPES is to work with the last one hundred languages in the East Sepik and Sandaun provinces, we understand that we cannot do that alone.  Sometimes our partnerships include working with other SIL teams in these provinces.  Murray and Carol Honsberger have been working with the Kwomtari people in Sandaun province for twenty-seven years.  They have a desire to use Oral Bible Storytelling (OBS) to reach out to some neighboring language groups, to help them get some of God’s stories in a format that can be understood by the communities.

In light of that, they asked if the SPES project would have trainers who could come and lead OBS workshops with four language groups (Kwomtari, Nai, Yade, and Baibai) in the Sandaun province.  We give thanks that, at this point, enough training has been done, that we have several trainers who could go and run these workshops.  What a joy and privilege to be a part of getting God’s Word to even more people.

Nai speakers work on consultant checking their story.

Recently these four groups finished their first workshop and all twenty-one participants would echo the words of one Nai speaker: “The OBS course is a tool to use – pray that God will strengthen us. God is opening our eyes and changing our way of thinking. Pray that God will prepare our villages and the hearts of the people to hear. Pray that we will be able to finish all four courses and that we will see real change in our lives.”

Three Yade men came and are praying that five more will join them for the next course. One Yade man wrote: “In this first course I learned about what is involved in giving something to God, and about being a true friend to my wife.”

Baibai participants work on crafting their story.

A Baibai man at the course wrote: “I have been chosen to do church work but do not know how to preach. OBS is teaching me how to share God’s Word.” Pray that the Baibai group will find one more person to join their group. They really struggled through the course but God enabled them to finish all four stories.

Praise God for the united effort of the Baiberi people who hosted the workshop. They are already talking about the next course in February and the preparations they need to make. One of the Kwomtari participants wrote: “OBS has strengthened my faith. It has taught me how to put a story well into my thoughts and keep it there. I have learned how to tell a story with an opening and closing. I feel OBS is teaching and enabling me to do my work as a church leader.”

Yade speakers find just the right words to make their story clear.

Almost all of the participants were lay pastors – some were relatively new believers who had been sent to start a church – they felt lost. After the two weeks they left feeling like they had something they could share and a way to do so. Many were challenged personally by the stories.

We give praise to God for the impact God’s Word is already having on lives and will continue to have in the weeks and months ahead.  Will you pray for these groups to know God more deeply?

Photos by Carol Honsberger