NEWSLETTER JUNE 2019
I am safely back in my apartment in Norway after some amazing weeks in Papua New Guinea, visiting the schools and churches of Hosea. It has been a challenging trip in many ways, but without any doubt been worth it. People dedicated their lives to the Lord as they bowed their knees, and a lot of people got physically healed in their bodies.
After arriving and waiting in Port Moresby for a couple of days, I went by plane up to the Highland region, landing in the province of Enga. There I was met by one of the congregations and schools of Hosea as they welcomed me to their town. This is a place that consists of tribal people only. Some are somewhat modernized, but compared to the Western World this whole country is under developed and primitive.
Paralysed man is healed
I was so pleased to see that the local pastors have continued the work that you started there many years ago. Even though there currently are three Hosea churches and schools, they are in the process of planting several churches in many provinces. The head pastor of Hosea in PNG has personally planted more than 150 churches in the country. I found the pastors and members to be humble people that loves the Lord sincerely.
Lady is praying
The schools and the students were amazing. Several permanent church and school buildings has been built, which oﬀers free education to students from kinder to grade two. I also saw a project site where they are waiting for the funds to build more school buildings, a health center and a church. The government supports the schools with school supplies, the salaries and some ﬁnancial help to build the buildings, but I salute the pastors for having the faith and knowledge to build the churches themselves.
The trip started out with a healing crusade in the ﬁrst town I arrived in. Already the ﬁrst day people starting getting healed. One of the people that got healed was a paralyzed boy, as well as other people with bad eyesight, pain throughout their bodies, crocked bodies and so on. One lady was barely able to walk because of her back, which was not straight at all. After prayer she walked perfectly upright. This resulted in the church being ﬁlled beyond capacity during the second day, and Jesus was gloriﬁed! We also conducted a water baptism where several new believers got baptized in a small river not far away from the church. This was joyfully celebrated.
This boy was paralysed too and is healed
The day after the water baptism we went to visit a small tribal village a few thousand meters above sea level. I had to climb nine mountains, cross rivers and walk through the jungle to get there. It was worth it. I was met by some tribal leaders that came to me weeping, falling at their knees. They were crying loudly! The tribal chief ended up lifting me up while he was shouting in tears, full of gratitude for ﬁnally receiving a missionary. Apparently I was not only the ﬁrst missionary to go to that place, but also the ﬁrst white man.
People responded to the altar call, and some testiﬁed of getting healed. Being there on the mountain top surely ﬁlled my heart with gratitude, as I know I got to see things that most people only will read or hear about. It was like being in the book of Acts! Sleeping there was a whole experience in itself, and the next day we walked for closer to seven hours to go back to another tribal town. I thought for sure I was going to die as I climbed down a cliﬀ and had to walk all the way back with lack oﬀ food and water, but God protected me. So did the guys walking around me with machetes.
Being met by people in village after village that were weeping as they received me was an experience like no other. People testiﬁed that they had been praying for year after year that somebody would come and preach the Gospel to them. Some people, like one pastor, has actually gotten saved by God taking them to heaven and hell. God is working around the world, and just seeing and observing what He is doing to bring in the harvest is an honor in itself.
Hosea teacher and some students
In every church I visited they said the same thing: they felt like orphans that ﬁnally got their parent back when I came. It has been a challenging trip in so many ways, and I am sure that most people from the Western World will never do what I had to do and experience, but it was worth it. Even just for one soul, it was worth it. I am sitting here with my heart full of gratitude after not only seeing the work of Hosea, but because the harvest of souls is coming in, and I got to be the answer to the prayers of hundreds of people in one of the most remote and dangerous places in the world.
Now I am preparing and getting ready to go back to Hosea Philippines in August, and I am excited to see what God will do next. Please continue to keep PNG in your prayers. It is a unique country in so many ways, and so are the people. They might be primitive, and some violent and dangerous, but there are so many humble and kind people that are crying out in prayer to God both day and night. I believe that God will do great things in PNG, and that His light will shine through Hosea in every province throughout the country to bring the tribal prodigals home.
Yours 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,