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
I have been pondering the beauty of friendship and know that each person in our lives are a gift from the Lord. As I reflect on my journey through life I am amazed at how many special friends God has placed in my life and in Brian's and our boys! Our family has been blessed with absolutely beautiful people! We all have different gifts, skills, blessings and life stories and yet in the end it seems we are on a path that meets at some crossroads and our lives intersect in a special way! Thank you for your friendship!
If you are reading this, I'm assuming that at some point our lives intersected and we consider you placed in our life by God for a specific purpose. We hope you know that you are incredibly special and were created by a loving God. We hope you know how deeply Jesus loves you. He loves you enough to have died for you! Isn't that an amazing thought! He not only died for you but rose again and can forgive your every sin and set you free to live a life that's been completely forgiven, if you ask Him too! Honestly if you have questions about this amazing miracle of forgiveness, please ask us!
We are amazed at how blessed we are to have met you along the journey of life and how your life has helped us to grow. We look to Christ's wisdom and direction and ask God to teach us how to be the best friends we can possibly be!
Recently I have been enjoying the opportunities of reuniting with childhood friends that I haven't seen in 20 years or so and I'm amazed how the time has passed so quickly and the friends are even more precious to me. But then we have made some new friends in the past year that have touched our heart in the dearest of ways and I hope those friendships will grow into lasting deep abiding friendships!
We rest in God's perfect plan for our lives and yours, remember if ever you need an ear to listen to your heart we are just a call or text away!
Rachael - 508-817-2358
Brian - 570-980-4669
Thankfully if you can't get through to us we know your prayer will always get through to a loving God that cares about every detail of your life! Thankfully the one who is teaching our hearts to love is always available to hear your heart and heal your heart!
1 John 4:11 Beloved, if God loved us, we ought also to love one another.
1John 4:19 We loved Him, because He first loved us.
This is by no means an exhaustive picture gallery of our friends as half the time we forget to take pictures! Here are just a few pictures to represent the blessing of friendships! Thank you for knowing us and still loving us!
Packing our crates in 3 degrees!
I have to say you have all caught our heart! We have been so blessed by your generosity and know you are showing your support for what we do with your vote of confidence in your giving! As we plan and pack for the next two years we pray for God's wisdom as we pack with the intent of blessing as many people as we can! You have made it more than possible for Brian to buy tools, mower belts, tires, screws, and everything else that is needed to make our ministry in Papua New Guinea successful!
We are so thankful to be able to provide three airstrips with powerful commercial walk behind mowers and those free mowers speak to us of God's amazing love and provision for His people and for His truth to be brought to the nations!
We praise God for His provision!
You have heard our heart to provide quality books for the Papua New Guinea people and we have been completely blown away by people's generosity to not only donate books but help pay for the shipping of the container to get to PNG!
Our desire to provide encouraging times with the ladies of PNG has more than materialized through card making supplies and jewelry making supplies and we are so encouraged by your thoughtful giving! THANK YOU! I'm sure we will have some wonderful stories to come!
You not only have allowed God to use you in physical giving but you have blessed us emotionally as well as we have enjoyed absolutely beautiful times of fellowship with so many of our friends and family and your support and love has been filling our love tanks since the day we landed on American soil!
Wow, God has blessed us with an amazing dentist that helped us with teeth check ups, fillings and an extraction. I had a successful Dr. Appointment and I know You will be happy to hear my back Surgeon said "nothing moved and my back looks great" I was relieved to get the news as I've had a few falls and some residual back pain so to get a great report after two years overseas has been a huge blessing!
Our boys have been loving time with cousins, some time in the snow and the fun America has to offer! We have been so thankful for our boys easy transition back to the states and ask that you please pray our next month of traveling will be a time of adventure and learning for all of us! Please pray that God will prepare our hearts to return to PNG for two years and the hearts of our friends and family! Leaving is always so hard!
We will be heading back to PNG in early March, completely encouraged, restocked for the next two years and we are excited about jumping back into our ministry of encouragement and service!
We have such fun activities in mind to do with the MK's and all the people we minister to! I know we are all looking forward to getting back into our routine in PNG. We can't wait to be back in the saddle though we are thankful for a break from the heat and mosquitoes!
Thank you for making our ministry possible! Thank you for your generosity as it's friends like you that enable us to be "Friends In Action"!
We pray for wisdom and ask God that your gifts will have exponential growth!
We send our Love!
~Rachael and the Montei Men~
If you would like to join our support team as we support and encourage Missionaries in PNG please contact us and we'll let you know how you can support our ministry! Let us be your hands and feet in PNG, it's a wild and wonderful ride we hope you will be part of!
Home is a special place with incredibly dear people that know you at your worst, have seen you at your best and love you anyways! We are so blessed to belong to such a lovely family! We are thankful that Jesus is known and loved and it's a blessing to be surrounded by faith seeking, Jesus loving, believers! When we are home our hearts hurt because we know how much we miss the ones we hold so dear when we are apart! We sure love the times we get to all be together and they become even more precious as the days unfold!
Thank you for praying for our time at home! It's been precious and we are thankful for these priceless times of laughter and togetherness! We are all so blessed to have such a life to come back to and we know how very spoiled we are to have such earthly treasures! God has been so gracious!
Home at last, well one of our many homes! We have so many places around the world to lay our heads we have a hard time calling any one place home! We have been so blessed to have this time in New England to rest and to work on our presentation of our work in PNG! We can't believe it has been two weeks this past Thursday! Ok, so Brian did find a tree to cut down but honestly that's rest isn't it? We have so much we want to share about our ministry but needed some time to collect our thoughts and make them concise enough to share! Unless you wanted the unabridged two year version...it's been a fun two years but we will try to make it a bit shorter to share with you! :)
The boys have been so thankful to play outside without the thought of malaria or dengue, oh wait... that would be MOM is so thankful she can send the boys outside knowing they don't need bug spray every time! And the cool air is such a respite! Mom also found the lack of critters unbearable...oh right I was supposed to say the children are finding it unbearable but Brian just thinks it was Mom, so the boys now have traveling companions, a great little milk snake named Slither for Colton and a dwarf hamster named Pearl for the Josh! Six months is a long time to be pet free and the boys are enjoying caring for their little friends!
Thanks to the generous donation of a supporting church, Colton had the opportunity to get his eyes checked and his glasses needed to be updated! So by the end of the week our little guy should have a new pair of better than ever glasses! We are so thankful for the new Dr. we found in New England! Honestly we would recommend him to anyone! Colton was so cared for and was blessed with an extremely thorough exam!
Thank you for praying for our travels! If you would like to get together please feel free to write us or call!
Brian's cell:(570) 980-4669
Rachael's cell: (508) 817-2358
We will be in New England until around the 6th or 7th of October and after that we will be back in Jersey Shore, PA if you would like to get together with us! :)
Love to you all! ~Brian, Rachael, Colton and Joshua~
To this untrained eye this waterfall looks like a jungle paradise. A place all of us would love to discover and experience, an oasis of cool after a long hot hike…to the untrained eye. To a person who has been brought up in these mountains of Hewa territory this waterfall invokes pure terror in a locals heart. This is where the BAD spirits live, the ones that eat your soul and extinguish your life. This waterfall is to be avoided at all costs. That is the product of animistic thinking, there are places of bad spirits and of good spirits and the people are ruled by their fear of certain things and are required to appease the spirits.
To the untrained eye this is a stunning valley of beauty, an airstrip that offers life and a link to civilization and medicine, an incredibly lovely location to explore and experience God's beautiful creation…to the untrained eye. To the Hewan people that live here the deeper one travels into this valley the more terror grips their heart. This valley is filled with the worst spirits and the lower you go the larger and scarier they become. This is a place only a witch would live and this is considered a village of witches as only witches would live so close to the evil spirits.
This Animistic thinking is how the Missionaries truly know the people that have decided to live near them in this valley are true believers of Jesus. Only a true believer would live near such horrible spirits as they no longer rule their life and no longer strike terror in their hearts. We were privileged to live there for 8 days but the Missionaries have lived there for years and are seeing the fruit of their labors as people have come to a saving knowledge of Jesus and no longer live in terror of the spirits of the forest, waterfalls, trees and the fear of spirit eating witches. They no longer fear death as they know Christ defeated death.
Hewan Christians need your prayer as they are on a journey of truth and learning God's word for themselves. They just finished Romans and are taking a break until they all come together for the next study. Please pray for the Missionaries as the spiritual battle is very real and Satan does not want them to succeed. Please pray for the Hewan people that have not decided to believe, they are lost and hurting souls, afraid of spirits and living a life of terror.
Honestly if you would like to learn more of this tribes history and belief system the Missionary -we visited with and love dearly - Jonathan Kopf has written a book you can buy on Amazon, called Canopy of Darkness. It is entirely eye opening to the life of a Missionary and to the spiritual journey of the tribal people they minister to. If you would like an eye opening book that helps you know how to pray for our Missionaries this book is entirely gripping and honestly I couldn't put it down.
You can also buy the book at Entrust Source Publishers if you would like Jonathan's family to benefit from your purchase.
We have more stories to come but for now please pray for the Hewan believers as God's word continues to penetrate every aspect of their life. Please pray for all of our Missionaries in the bush, Satan would love to see them fail, he attacks our marriages, he attacks or mental health with fear, frustration and worry, and he attacks our physical health. Pray the Missionaries would cling to God's truth as they face each trial and sickness that comes their way as they are isolated and depending on co-workers and the availability of the next flight. Pray we would all depend solely on God and trust that everything that we face, pleasant or troubling, has come to us only after it passed through God's hand as He has allowed it!
This is a walk of faith, but God is FAITHFUL!
We want to thank you so much for your prayer for our ministry and our family in Papua New Guinea! Lately we have seen that trusting in God really does give us the peace that passes all understanding. We do rest in our Lord and we let the boys know that no matter what happens in their lives, good or bad that God is in control, He has a purpose and a plan for our lives to bring Him Glory and we can trust Him no matter what! We can trust Him when the firecracker let off in the middle of a day sounds like gunshot, we can trust when the ground shakes with an earthquake, we can trust when we are not in control of the unrest around us, we can trust when friends and family suffer and we can't be close to comfort! We can trust Jesus when our cat is having kittens for the very first time and w We really have seen God's hand on all our lives and we trust Him for your life as well as our own! God's word is such a comfort to us, Jesus salvation is an amazing joy as we know we are saved from a Christ-less eternity! We pray that as we walk in our Journey of life no matter what God allows that we will trust Him for it and we know the final outcome is for His Glory!
Santa's Elves have been hard at work as our family and friends in Wewak have been enjoying getting gifts sorted and wrapped for all the Missionary Boys and Girls and their Parents, celebrating Christmas in their tribe! We want to thank everyone who sent us packages to bless our Missionaries here in the Sepik! It's been a blast to sort out everything you sent and to make Christmas special for so many! I enjoyed shopping in town as well, to supplement what was sent to us!
Besides individual gifts for each family we put together a tribal team activity cookie kit. The kit included cookie cutters, cinnamon, ginger and special sprinkles to help make great cookies! The children helped me decorate ginger bread cookie recipe cards for our cookie kits.
Honestly it has been such an immense pleasure for us to put everything together and anticipate Christmas excitement as we celebrate the birth of Jesus! Thank you so much for supporting our ministry here as we are so entirely blessed to love so many missionary families!
I am constantly amazed at the gift of forgiveness! I liken it to the picture of Colton jumping off the cliff into the pool of cool water below! Forgiveness is not clinging to the past or the hurt or the injustices done it is freely leaving the past behind and jumping forward to claim healing and God's grace and forgiveness. I don't know about you but it seems my mind is my battleground and it is so easy to hold onto a thought pattern of ungratefulness, and the sins of wishing for something that isn't mine to have! This morning I was encouraged reading Discover The Real Jesus by Bill Bright. On page 88 I found His exercise in faith, He likens it to breathing.
Exhale - Confess your sin by agreeing with God concerning your sin, repent of what you have done and, and thanking God for His forgiveness (see 1John 1:9; Hebrews 10:1-25) Repenting is changing your attitude and actions.
Inhale - Surrender the control of your life to Christ and ask Him to fill you with His Holy Spirit. Trust that He now directs and empowers you according to the command in Ephesians 5:18 and the promise in 1 John 5:14-15.
I know it's not surprising we Missionaries need forgiveness, We all have such a responsibility to be God ambassadors to so many. How I regret my failures and that makes me all the more grateful for second chances, and thirds, and fourths, and honestly I have an amazing God to share with others because I know the healing power He has had in my life! I hope you are encouraged today knowing no sin is too great for our Savior to forgive and honestly He's waiting for you to call on Him! Yeah I just got off my knees... again!