Pastor's Blog

A Trip for My Lifetime Posted 3.13.2015

The tickets have been purchased.  In all, eight flights have been confirmed, not including the float plane to get me into the bush and the jungle cruise to bring me to my final destination.  Just before midnight on Thursday, April 9, I’ll board a plane and begin a journey that will take me to the Waxe people in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and then on to meet Whinney and Flor Saniel in Manila on the way back home.  I will learn the finer points of a bunch of airports:  Brisbane, Port Moresby, Manila, Tokyo, and even Honolulu.  Now, don’t get all judgmental on me – my two hours in Honolulu will not allow me to surf or snorkel.  Or even munch on a chocolate-covered macadamia nut!


I am humbled to make this journey.  And to make it for you.  My thoughts go back to the faithful saints who have prayed and sacrificed for this hidden people in the Sepik River region of PNG for decades.  We sent out the Melendes family over thirty years ago and they learned the language, created an alphabet, taught the people to read and write, and introduced them to Jesus.  Along the way they planted three churches and grew them into healthy, vibrant reflections of God’s grace. 


And on April 15, these people will be presented for the first time, a complete copy of the New Testament, with Genesis.  Can you believe it?  Their first Bible.  It will be a day of celebration – and I will represent all of you on that day….and those who have now gone home to be with Jesus…as we lift up the Scriptures and give thanks to God for His Word.  It gives me Goosebumps!


That evening they will take back to their homes the unsearchable riches of Christ.  What we take for granted, they will enjoy for the first time.  Ever.  They will be able to be like those Bereans in Acts who searched the Scriptures to determine the accuracy of the message spoken that day.  You do that, right?  They will be able to commit to memory the precious New Testament promises – including those pesky ones about not worrying and considering it joy when faced with trials. Their lives will be now be able to be transformed daily by the rich truth of God’s written Word.


And what an honor it will be to look into their eyes when they open the covers for the first time.  What an honor to hear their joy as they praise God for His Word.  Granted, it’ll be in a language I will never speak.  It may well be one of the most singular moments of my life.  I promise to soak it all in and bring back some wonderful stories of God at work.


But to me, the greatest story is of a faithful church in Palos Verdes. Through good days and bad, they faithfully supported the work of God in PNG.  They never gave up.  You never gave up.  You never said, “Enough.”  And now the Word of God is on its way to the Waxe.  Amazing love. 



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