It is good to be back home again in Indiana. I had a wonderful time on my sabbatical. While in Papua New Guinea I taught the “Doctrine of Holiness” class at the Melanesia Nazarene Bible College in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea. Our pastor at Southport, Bill Swesey served for several years as the Principal of the Bible College. To get there, I flew from Indianapolis to Los Angeles to Brisbane Australia, to Port Moresby PNG, and then to Hagen only to have to turn around and fly back to Port Moresby because of inclement weather.
While in Papua New Guinea I preached in the chapel on campus. I spoke at two larger meetings, a national Nazarene women’s conference, and a community/college holiness crusade. I spoke in several local churches, and I talked at district leaders’ meeting and the Bible College faculty and staff retreat. I had many interactions with the church leaders in PNG. I had lunch with the National Board and thoroughly enjoyed my interactions with the leaders and people of Papua New Guinea. Friends, old and new were a part of the experience. The students were a particular highlight. The caliber of the students at MNBC spiritually and academically was superb. They are bright and articulate and serious about their studies. They have a love for God and the Kingdom. I believe the students will be excellent pastors.
It was a wonderful experience to preach in several local churches. I will never be the same. The church is growing and thriving in Papua New Guinea. It was like living in the book of Acts. I saw God move in mighty ways while I was in PNG.
The Nazarene Hospital in Kudjip is a beautiful testimony to the faithfulness of Nazarenes around the world. My trip to PNG also included an overnight stay at the Nazarene Hospital. As I lay in the room that Sunday night and remembered reading about the hospital, I thought to myself I do not regret a dime I have ever given to missions, as a matter of fact laying there that night my only regret was that I wish I had given more! You can be proud of Nazarene Missions and the impact that your prayers and dollars have made throughout the world, but I saw for myself up close the difference that Nazarene Missions is making! You can be proud of the work that your church is doing around the world.
There was quite a celebration as I was in PNG for Independence Day. They have been an independent country since 1975. It was fun to be there and to celebrate with the people. There were parades, and people wore the colors of the flag. They gave me a hat with the map of Papua New Guinea on it, and I wore it the weekend of the Independence celebrations.
The leaders I interacted with were some of the most wonderful men and women you could meet. It was thrilling to listen to their stories of God’s grace and protection. You would quickly pick up on the passion and zeal that they have for the Lord. Servant leadership was evident in the way they led and operated.
My life is richer and fuller for having been able to spend time with the people and our church in Papua New Guinea.
In a few days, we will celebrate the birth of Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Please have a great time celebrating and enjoy the time spent with family and friends. Also, as we approach the New Year, I pray that God gives us a renewed passion for the lost, and the zeal to see all believers discipled. May we encourage believers to be sanctified. We need to get our churches organized to pray! Pray for the Lost, pray for our nation and our world. Pray for the persecuted church, pray for our relatives and friends who do not know Christ. I am praying for a worldwide revival. I am asking God to touch my heart and make me tender and sensitive to spiritual things. May our passion for heart holiness be renewed.
Thank you for your faithfulness to the Lord in 2018. May God bless you and meet your needs throughout the new year. Let us believe God has great things in store for us in 2019. Do not be paralyzed by fear and doubt. Reach out in faith and let us move forward in the power of Christ.