HOSEA NEWSLETTER DECEMBER 2022
Papua New Guinea
Hosea's ministry in Papua New Guinea is growing slowly but surely. God has demonstrated his power through miracles and by healing people of various sicknesses. There is a lot of witchcraft in PNG; our churches have to fight against the influence of occultists, shamans and paganism. In Enga, where our main church is situated, seven people who had been involved in the occult were just recently delivered from the dark powers of the enemy -- they came to faith and are now serving the Lord Jesus Christ. Hosea's pastor Sauan Emec is being used powerfully by God. The story of one of these seven new converts was like that of the Gadarene demoniac, in that he was delivered from a legion of unclean spirits.
Then Jesus asked him, ‘What is your name?’ ‘My name is Legion,’ he replied, ‘for we are many.’ … When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid.
Mark 5:9,15 NIVUK
Also several sufferers from cancer have received complete healing, and as people have witnessed God’s powerful acts, many have come to faith.
Hosea mission work
Vava'u Island on Tonga has suffered hard times. A second volcanic eruption in the Vava'u group of islands resulted in an earthquake of 7.5 on the Richter scale and aftershocks. A tsunami warning was also announced but thankfully the island was spared. Our teachers were prepared to evacuate the pupils to the island hospital which is close to the school. Our team has gone through huge difficulties, catastrophes and epidemics, and the latest viruses have affected many children on the island. Sadly the hospitals are ill equipped to help as their medical supplies are often limited to simple painkillers such as paracetamol. In spite of all these hardships our pupils have learned to read, achieving good results in their studies, in sharp contrast to results of pupils in the state schools.
The Department of Education has expressed concern about the low level of literacy in Tonga, and has decided that preschool education will become compulsory across the islands. At the same time the Department has ruled that all schools must become part of the state system: private schools are allowed to function only if they own both their buildings and their land. We, like all the other private schools on the main island, are renting both our school buildings and the land they occupy. Shouldn’t it be easy enough to resolve this issue? Not at all because there is no land available for sale on the island. All I can say about this is that corrupt officials there have secretly sold land at twice its value to an eastern nation which seeks to gain ownership of many territories in the Pacific area in order to use them for military purposes.
Friends please would you join us in praying that God would do a miracle here for us? The only way to prevent the sole Christian school on the island being closed is through God's intervention on our behalf. Hosea has worked on the island for several decades and has overcome great obstacles through the Lord's mighty acts, so that Jesus Christ might be proclaimed in that place. Please pray that God would grant revival to Tonga.
Hosea school pupil
I am so glad about what God is doing in the Philippines. Our ministry is growing fast and many of our churches have outgrown their premises. People are coming to know Jesus all the time and we have arranged several baptismal services recently for the new converts. Many sick people have been healed and Hosea students have successfully passed their obligatory state tests. All thanks to the great work of our teachers! In addition to their teaching, they have also been able to preach the gospel in remote areas and negotiate through the challenges of coronavirus and the natural catastrophes that have hit the islands.
Hosea school pupil
My sincere thanks to all our donors and intercessors: I pray every day for you, asking for God's presence, favour and blessing to rest upon you, as you play such a vital part in our ministry. Thank you to all our ministry partners! May God's miracle-working power carry your lives to victory in Christ.
Mangyans had bravely formed a choir and even composed a song. We have now more than 40 adult students in the school, their ages varying from young to old. They told us that they were now able to vote for the first time in the elections. Earlier they had had to give their voting slip to others to fill in, without knowing what they wrote in them, because they could not read or write.
When the Mangyan students were singing their song, I was standing in the back of the church. Suddenly I noticed four small children hiding between benches. Our teacher said that they were our students, and she then went and asked why they were not among the other children. One of them explained with tears, that they were so hungry that they could not go to sing. I was so surprised to learn that they were already 6 year olds, even though they looked more like 2 year olds, skinny and bony small children. Nheng commented that this is due to malnutrition, which is the reason why all these tribespeople are so small: their continuous lack of food stunts their growth. We brought a 40 kg bag rice with us and also other foodstuff and fed them all after the meeting, thanks again to the donors! We made so much food that there was enough for evening meal as well.
Last spring Hosea organized a medical mission for the Mangyan tribe. We also left some medicines with the local Pastor, so the tribespeople could be given help later as well. The Pastor said that some Mangyans come even at night begging for help in their desperation. Also some people from other tribes turned up for medicine and were given some, for it is hard to turn desperate people away without help. Now we are in the process again of collecting funds for another medical mission, which should happen sometime next year.
While we were in the Mangyan village, I recognised that most of them were walking bare foot again. I wondered what had happened to all those sandals which had been donated for them a year earlier. The Pastor laughed and explained that the Mangyans have a peculiar walking style, they step heavily on their heels and that wears out the heels of the shoes very quickly. That means that they will need a new pair of sandals every year. One man had a good pair of sandals slung over his shoulders, so I went and asked him why he didn't use them. The man replied: “I don't want to use them as they would wear out. When they hang on my shoulders everyone can see that I have shoes.” So this man had still good shoes, while others had worn theirs out”¦ Now, who is the wise and where is the wisdom here?
We also distributed a bag full of clothes. Birgit and Ulla went to buy some more and as always the Mangyans put the new clothes on top of their old rags. They can't see any reason why the old clothes should be taken off, so they carry their whole wardrobe with them all the time. The same clothes are worn day and night and the extra clothing keeps them warm at night on the mountains. The price tags are also left on, so everyone can see they are new clothes.
Hosea's second fishing boat is now operating on the eastern side of Mindoro Island (Oriental Mindoro) where it is manned by our Mangyan pastor, thus serving the Mangyans also. There are more fish now on the Oriental side of the island because big Indonesian fishing trawlers have appeared close to the Occidental Mindoro shores (the western side of the island). Occidental Mindoro is facing the open ocean, so Indonesian factory ships come close to the shore and take in all fish, big and small, diminishing the fish population. Locals usually fish with spears, sparing spawning fish for reproduction. They understand the laws of the nature and know that spawn fish are needed to keep fish stocks -- you cannot empty the ocean of fish. Local small fishing boats can't drive away large foreign fishing vessels, so locals are deprived of their fishing livelihood.
The Hosea Filipino team want to send their heartfelt thanks to all the supporters and prayer warriors. They and also our students keep praying for you. They understand that it is because of you, your prayers and your donations, that they have this wonderful opportunity to get an education and thus a good start to their lives. It was really great to meet some of our very first students, the ones with whom we started this ministry in the Philippines. It was so wonderful to see the fruit of this work. Many parents are also saved as they attend our weekly Bible studies.
Great blessings from the islands,