We sometimes wonder why God places us in certain geographical locations. For us, God has placed us in Papua New Guinea. He has placed certain people in our lives for certain purposes according to His plans.
Stanley is one of those people that we are very close to here in PNG. He is a living picture of a godly servant. He works tirelessly translating the Bible and worked with us doing audio recording of the Bible. He has been such an encouragement to us by his godly behavior under extremely difficult circumstances. Always serving others just like our Savior.
This past Friday night we were going to meet Stanley for dinner and discuss future plans. We were all excited about the plans God has for us and then tragedy strikes. Stanley informed us by phone he could not meet us for dinner. His younger sister had suddenly died. He would call us later with more details. His sister had died while giving birth to these twin boys. The twins are alive at Vunapope Hospital and in excellent health.
Because of God’s plan for us to be here in PNG we were able to minister to Stanley and his whole family at their time of loss. Their way of mourning is called a house cry. Large amounts of people come to the house cry and this creates a large burden on the family as they provide the food for the crowd. As God sends he provides. Because of being sent and our partners, we were able to help relieve some of that burden by sending a bale of rice, bale of sugar, rolls, tin fish, biscuits and flowers for the house cry. This is how you show Christ’s love in PNG.
Thank you all for this privilege of serving others
Tim and Gina Matthews
Jeremiah 29:11 –“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
“This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
I’ll be clinging to this promise as I board my flight on Sunday afternoon and start a journey to the other side of the world. Only this time…I’ll be going without Tim.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as though you were working for the Lord and not for people.” Colossians 3:23
At 52, I’m excited that God has opened up another opportunity & I can’t wait to see how He will work through us (you & me). He has proven over & over to exceed all my expectations. My prayer is that everything I do & say will point others to Christ and that Tim will be able to join me soon.
I couldn’t leave without saying THANK YOU! These last 5 months I have seen God’s love through so many of you. 18 different families opened up their homes to us. We were given 3 different vehicles to use. We spoke at 8 churches and feed countless meals. I am so thankful that God brought us together to do His great work!
Much love & blessings to you all!
For months we had been praying for the Jesus march. Eight different circuits from the United Church all across Kokopo & Rabaul coming together for one special day. We were to pray for the youth (the next generation) that the youth would rise up and that God would shine through them and they would live their lives for Christ. It’s the same prayer we pray for all our children & grandchildren.
That Sunday morning finally arrived. We dressed in our circuit colors (each circuit was a different color). It was incredible…for as far as you could see in every direction the youth marched by color singing God’s praises. There were over 5000 people there and when we arrived they asked Tim to lead the march. What an honor to be called the child of the King and be here at this time to share the love of Christ!
After everyone entered through the gates and settled on mats under trees they asked 30 people from each circuit to come and perform the opening song & dance. It was beautiful to see these eight different colors mixing together creating a rainbow effect singing & dancing full of the joy of the Lord. The day was full of God’s word that challenged the youth to rise up, songs, dancing and a feast. It lasted over 6 hours but it felt like just a short time.
Throughout the day they would mention that this was an international event because they had special guest from the United States. We didn’t realize at first that they were talking about us, just thankful that we (YOU & I) get to be united in Christ here in Papua New Guinea to pray for the next generation around the world!
Thanksgiving morning we prayed that God would lead us to just the right person to take care of Titus after we leave. Someone who would love him and in turn Titus would become their watch dog. You have to remember that we are in PNG….it’s a whole different world for animals here.
So, that afternoon Tim tells our Pastor that we’ve been praying for a home for Titus and would he pray about it with us. His sweet wife speaks up and says “we don’t need to pray about it….this is an answer to OUR prayers!” So, while we were praying for a home for Titus they were praying that God would bring them a dog…..
This is Titus & Richard (our Pastor’s grandson) who has come to join his grandparents on the mission field and go through the Bible College here. Titus & Richard have become fast friends and Tim & I have peace knowing that God handpicked this family. Our concerns are His concerns…and our sweet Titus is precious & valuable in Gods eyes too!
Thank you to all those who prayed for Titus!
Tucked away in a little village along the eastern shore we completely missed celebrating Thanksgiving as we recorded God’s word in the Lote language last year….This year we made up for it!
Our Pastor – We are thankful for Pastor his wife. They have been serving faithfully here in PNG for over 30 years. Only God could have lead us to this wonderful Baptist Church that would become the source of feeding our spirit with solid teachings straight from the Bible. Being a fellow American (wontok) they created a Thanksgiving feast and we thanked God for his great abundance in our lives.
Our Friends – That night we were invited to another Thanksgiving by dear friends from Australia, Germany & Papua New Guinea that wanted to help us celebrate. We are so thankful for their friendships, cultural teachings, listening ear and sharing their passion of Kokopo with us. Through some really hard times…these were the friends that picked us up and showered us in love.
Our Staff – The next day we had a PNG style Thanksgiving. The Kokopo center is the heart of where so much work for Christ is being done to glorify Him. From multiple language translation projects, dubbing the Jesus film into the different languages, to audio Bible recordings and so much more…for this to happen we provide a place for everyone to come together. A clean, organized, safe location with water & electricity. A place where you can feel God’s presence and see His beauty all around you. It’s been our act of worship to work tirelessly on your behalf through Christ and with an amazing staff. We are so thankful for Lati, Nelson & Bob. To work beside them. Their integrity, commitment and desire to show the love of Christ in all they do.