PAPUA NEW GUINEA
NEWS FROM PNG...
The Gandep Bible College classroom was filled with cheerful voices as leaders from across the MECOC churches gathered for a five day retreat. “This is the first time in many years where we were able to get our wives together to study the Word and pray together as one team along with the men,” says Yabru Jerry, Melanesian Evangelical Churches of Christ Director in PNG. John and Johannes began each day with devotions around the theme ‘Unity of the Body’, followed by studies on team work led by Yabru. The discussion focussed on improving team cohesiveness with feedback generating energy and ideas. Cathy Fiam coordinated a series of sessions especially for the women to share their insights. “The Lord spoke to us very clearly through the morning devotions and the studies,” reports Yabru. Sunday morning was a special time of celebration and included the induction service for Cathy Fiam as she joins the Gandep staff this year. Each left with a growing desire for unity amongst the leaders and an accountability to see growth and development within their spheres of leadership.
• Praise God for the rich fellowship enjoyed at the Melanesian Evangelical Churches of Christ (MECOC) Leaders Retreat on January 22-26.
• Pray for Cathy Fiam (lecturer) and Caleb Nibo (intern) as they adjust to life as part of the teaching staff at Gandep Bible College.
•Pray for all the staff and students at Gandep in 2014.
Cathy Fiam and Caleb Nebo CLTC graduation
MECOC Leaders retreat at Gandep
I am continually thankful for my supporters, of which you are such an important part! I was really blessed and encouraged by our brief meeting and fellowship time last November. I left with a wonderful sense of joy out of our shared bond and grace in Him. Your support and encouragement are vital to all at Bright Solutions. Some of our workers in response faithfully and humbly remember those in Australia who appreciate and support their work; you included! I am so encouraged moving into this year as I recognize the One who is continually at work. We started on production of some new products last month with the aim of raising up new team leaders and coordinators. Despite initial nervousness, the leaders have really embraced their new roles with enthusiasm! After a year of reluctance, change is now inevitable due to two pregnancies and other issues. I am grateful for growing some new partnerships. My relationship with a local French NGO agency is helping to source and reach women in the local district who are in line with our target groups. From one of my faithful distributors in Victoria I have been introduced to a new potential distributor in the US. Out of their visit last July, my home group has initiated a youth project to assist with marketing. A team from Happy Valley embraced the Bright Solutions' women with such love and acceptance during their first visit last November. In all of these connections, I am so aware that He is central. I value your support in upholding these exciting new developments. I am continually at peace despite the fragility of these matters. I need to stay close to Him, seek His wisdom and discernment in all decisions and thus allow His light to be reflected into this community. I am so proud of what the women at Bright Solutions have achieved, not just in work but in character and heart. It's a constant joy for me to serve here. Thank you for allowing me to continue to do so.
NEWS FROM ZIMBABWE...
Elizabeth Church has been one of our faithful supporters for many years. We send special greetings to you and pray that God continues to bless you as you faithfully serve Him. We are encouraged by your commitment to His work and share the joy of knowing that you and us are one in Christ Jesus. You have contributed immensely to our work in Zimbabwe and we hope you will continue to think of us in your prayers. May His grace and peace prevail amongst your congregation. The following student pastors graduate in June and I asked them how they feel as they prepare to enter full time ministry in a few months' time. All of them said they couldn't wait to go to ‘the fields which are ready for the harvest'. They are most grateful to Australia for contributing towards their Bible college education. Byron Muzembe is President of the Student Representative Council, and is the fourth student leader sent to Bible college from the Associated Churches of Christ. This shows we have quality preachers joining the service soon.
Pray that God gives the student pastors good health and insight as they prepare for their final examinations.
Pray for Takuranashe (whose name means “let’s pray”) who has been struggling with a viral infection.
Pray for growth in the churches that the students have been working with during their training.
Byron is in his final semester at Zimbabwe Christian College and is the current president of the student body. He has worked with the rural churches in the Zvimba and Chegutu areas. When the second biggest church in Harare approached needing someone to preach we did not hesitate to recommend Byron to them. This young man, obviously gifted in evangelism, has helped to encourage the church as he works with the local minister. Takura is now in his final semester at Zimbabwe Christian College. He is also very active with one of the local churches in Harare where he is working closely with the local minister. He helps in preaching and evangelism as well as leading Bible studies. Thank you for the support given which will see this young man graduate and return to Zvishavane to work with the local churches.
NEWS FROM CENTRAL ASIA...
Warmest greetings to you all and our continued thanks for your love and support as we continue to serve the people in Central Asia. We praise God for our visa extensions again which are increasingly more difficult to get. This, along with good health, safety in travel and the joy of being able to present God’s Word in written form to the people here keeps us aware of God’s continued faithfulness. Translation was completed on a number of NT books last year and recently 1 & 2 Peter, Jude and Hebrews have been reviewed. Though we have distribution points in a few countries, our website, which thankfully remains unrestricted, is the main conduit of spreading the Word. Please pray that this will remain so. We are grateful for the education our three girls receive at their international school here in Thailand. Our lives move between the two worlds of Thailand and Central Asia but we enjoy the challenges and joys of each place. Your prayers for continued safety in travel, visa renewals, the on-going translation work and the message of God’s Word to penetrate the hearts and minds of the Tibetan people is much appreciated. Thank you again for being a special part of this work with us.
MIKE & ANN HEY
NEWS FROM MIKE AND ANN...
Greetings from India. We have had a full time of ministry here; an amazing response to the gospel and huge need for support to pastors on the front line in places like Uttar Pradesh where there are 200 million people and only 0.1% Christians. We thank God for the fellowship, prayer and support of God's family at Elizabeth Church of Christ. It has been encouraging to walk the road with you and we look forward to the coming year. In this last year we have ministered to missionaries and mission leaders in East Asia Pacific with a focus on dwelling deep in the Father's love, travelling light under the Son's yoke and enduring in ministry in reliance on the Holy Spirit. Our passion is to see leaders grow under God's calling and be effective in serving the church for His glory. A highlight last year was to gather with 50 Asian leaders from China, Korea, Philippines, Thailand, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, Philippines, Nepal, Sri Lanka, PNG and Indonesia as well as a few Aussies and Kiwis for a time of leadership development and spiritual renewal. Pray with us as we prepare for the coming year. Leaders in India have asked us to come alongside their leadership development programme for one month a year. We need wisdom in responding especially with the leadership responsibilities in East Asia Pacific. Pray that we will move forward in the rest of Jesus. Thanks for your Partnership.