We are pleased to tell you, much to your prayer and all because God's mercy, our friend is home recovering. My friend Esther very much wanted you to know their names so that you could pray specifically for their family! Her husband Clem was really struggling to sleep due to his upper torso injuries so we brought him a bed and a pillow to get him off of the ground. I also gave him some painkillers to help him.We are seeing many people in our area visiting Him and praying for him and we are all hopeful this might be the event that gives him a change of heart as he sees how God spared his life.
We have been thankful for God's hand of mercy on this event as it could have gone so differently.
Brian is out bringing the boat to the dock to be loaded with Cargo for the Biem Island missionaries. Brian won't be driving the boat this time but is helping the guys load the boat for this trip and will go pick them up this afternoon. Please pray for their safety.
We had found two kittens when we came back in March and now four months later they are nice cats. Great news!!! We allowed them to stay for the evening in our house and they killed their first rat! So thankful to have rat killing cats! Bonus Kill:They also killed a huge roach. :) this makes me very happy!
Another area to pray, right now we are hosting a family from the bush, they get to Wewak by many hours of river travel and a couple hours truck ride. They are out in town for a week to resupply their work in the village and word was sent to them that there is a group of men waiting to hold them up because they typically travel back with a great deal of cargo. Because of this news they will fly back to their village that they minister in. We are so very thankful they have the option of a plane ride it's just much more costly than taking their boat up and down the river.
Please pray for our safety as missionaries, we all are very soft targets as we are here to promote peace, forgiveness, God's love and goodness. We don't travel with weapons but trust for Gods intervention and for His protection. We all understand the risk and we pray God is at work in mans heart here in PNG to see what we do as beneficial.
We are so thankful for our ministry here in PNG! Thank you for your support!
Love, Rachael, Brian, Colton, Joshua
Sequel, though it’s still the middle of the story...
My friend has healed nicely over the weekend; her face is back to normal and her leg just a bit sore. Thank you for praying for her, I know your many prayers have been a huge part to her overall healing. I did my best to make sure she had ibuprofen, rest, good food, and love! I am so thankful to see her feeling better. She came limping in on Tuesday her face once again downcast and her eyes were heavy with a new sadness. I hugged her and waited for her story wondering why such a wonderful person and dear friend had to bear so many sadnesses. Some who got my last letter concluded such sorrow were hers because she didn’t know Jesus but her faith is true and strong, her love for Jesus carries her through her trials. She cries out to Jesus to sustain her and give her strength and wisdom and yet for some reason God continues to allow the sadness and the trials.
As her story unfolded I was sad to hear, Her husband had been in a car accident with his brothers and cousin. They had all been drinking heavily and the cousin driving drunk had rolled and totaled the vehicle driving incredibly fast. All four men were rushed to the hospital Monday afternoon.
To be brutally transparent....Honestly my heart was hard when I heard the news. I am ashamed to say, my thoughts ran along the lines “don’t drunk men deserve to crash, don’t wife beaters get what’s coming to them, are people not judged for their sin and do they not suffer the natural consequences for their sin. Do we not all bear the consequences of sin and if we make horrible choices isn’t it only just and right to suffer for our choices”. My heart was black that day…oh I hate to admit it but I completely lacked compassion. My friends here actually were the ones to display God’s mercy and love, care and concern by going to the hospital and visiting their brother, father and husband in the hospital. They were my examples of Christ’s love and forgiveness.
While it’s easy to feel sorry and have compassion for a sweet child sick with malaria I struggled to feel anything other than regret when I heard two men walked away with nary a scratch. My thought was, “well those boys will be out drinking again tonight without learning anything.”
My friend’s husband, the man that gets drunk and beats her in a drunken rage is now laying in a hospital bed, they say He may have internal bleeding or terribly bruised organs. It’s not home so the medical care here is not what it could be. The other brother lies in a bed flat on his back wearing a neck brace three sizes too large, while he’s been in the hospital for three days he still has not had an x-ray but they guess he has a broken neck even though he can still move all limbs. It’s an interesting mix of guessing and medicine; the story you first hear is most likely not the final word on the matter.
I went to the hospital today and it’s sad to say, not because of my compassion for the two men in hospital beds but because of my deep love for my friend. She wanted to bring her husband some dinner and I didn’t want her missing her bus home so I offered to take her to the hospital. I offered some soup I had made with the ladies in our cooking class today and heated up some leftover rice to save my friend some time. Oh my black unforgiving heart, God had a divine appointment for me today. I walked into the hospital expecting my heart would continue to demand justice and God brought me to a place of deep compassion. My heart broke seeing the pain of these two men. They may be drunks, they may be helpless and habitual sinners but they need God’s forgiveness and compassion. Haven’t we been where they are, while we were yet sinners Christ died for us! While we were yet slaves to sin and enemies of Christ yet God sent His son to die for us! Oh my heart was broken when I saw the broken bodies of these men and saw their amazing need to be saved from their circumstances! God’s word became a bit clearer seeing so many broken, bloody bodies lying on hospital beds and it was just a tiny picture of Christ allowing His body to be bruised and beaten for our sake, He allowed himself the horrible pain and humiliation of crucifixion and did so for us to be redeemed so He could call us His own. I am no better than these men and I am in need of a Savior just as they need our Savior Jesus. When they turn to Christ, heaven will rejoice over them!
Please pray for healing, not so these men can go back to lives of drinking and abuse but so that they can live lives that Glorify our Savior. Please pray this experience brings them to the end of themselves and makes them reach out for true healing that only Jesus can offer.
Pray for me that I would be compassionate in all circumstances even towards those that scare me, hurt my friends and bring great pain to others. Pray our hearts would not be hardened working here amongst such great pain and need! Pray that we would continue to minister God’s grace to mankind that deserve nothing but death and yet can look forward to heaven if they but turn from their wicked ways, repent and turn to Jesus.
Thank you for praying, We sure need it!
Pray we would maintain a Godly perspective!
Love, ~Rachael on behalf of the Montei Men~
She sat on my dilapidated chair but in that brief moment of assessing the damage she made the couch look new. Her eye was blackened, blacker than her skin color with a bright hue of purple shining through. Her knee swollen twice it’s normal size. I glanced back at her face and noticed her lip and cheek were much larger than they should be and she winced in pain as she repositioned herself in the once comfortable chair. She showed me her dirt covered foot with a large gash and I could see the despair in her eyes…the kind of despair that only comes when someone you love and invest in, hurts you in such a terrible and final way. What was her story, her crime, why was she on my chair is such pain and misery?
Her crime, was reaching out and taking a chance in loving an orphan, taking in a boy with no food, no family and no love. She raised him like he was her own, clothed and fed the child, paid for his school feeds and put a roof over his head. The boy became one of her children and they all sacrificed to add one more child to their home. The child grew up and then almost a man, found the all too easily accessible drinking and drugs.
It’s the plight of mankind across the globe not just in the country we serve. Man has such a void in his heart a space only Christ can fill. We look for something to fill that space, to meet the need of something more. We turn to everything and anything, that in the end, just adds to our misery and aloneness.
This boy-man has filled his life with such harmful substances and will loose his home, his self respect and has badly beaten the only mom he has ever known.
I soaked and bandaged my friend’s foot, gave her ibuprofen to fight the swelling, I made her a fresh smoothie to aid in healing from the inside and made up our water bed for her to take a nap. I made a fresh chicken soup for lunch and then did the only thing that can actually make any lasting difference, I prayed with her. I prayed for her adopted son and her husband and once again turned over the plight of our friends back over to the Lord. I prayed for comfort and wisdom and asked God to lead them as they navigate the troubled waters of physical abuse and emotional pain. I needed the prayer just as much as she did as I desire to change the world and it weighs heavily on me when I see such need and can do nothing but trust God for his perfect plan in His timing.
Sometimes life here is so overwhelming and we can only cry out to God for wisdom. Honestly the fight between our flesh and spirit is fierce, my first reaction was a great desire to hurt this boy-man: to have instant justice! As I talked with my boys after they watched the drama unfold they too were up in arms, arming themselves mentally with bats and sticks and electric fences and hand scanners to scan friend or foe. They were preparing for a great fight to protect their very dear friend, they are my little warriors. We had to take a moment and review what God would have His followers do. We must pay back evil with good, vengeance is God’s, not ours! It’s our place to forgive and lead people back to Christ and His forgiveness. It’s a tall order but God knew through His strength we could follow His plan for His disciples.
Pray for our friends here as domestic violence is entirely too common. Pray the boys here would rise up to be men of honor and want to live differently than the many poor examples they grow up with.
Pray Dads would look to Jesus and that our friends would find courage to stand up for what is right in a loving and kind way. It is such an art to speak truth with compassion and love, without condemnation.
Thank you for Praying! We love you all so much!
Love, Rachael, Brian, Colton and Joshua