21 Nov 2011

Here’s an update from Wayne and Gail who are missionaries that CTPC supports.

Dear friends and family,

It’s been a while since our last update.  We know many are praying for Gail and her cancer treatment.  Gail and I have been listening to Matt Redman’s latest album “10,000 Reasons” and we are so reminded by the lyrics that God is deserving of all of our praise, in every circumstance.

Gail just completed her 6th chemotherapyfamily(2 more to go) and she is doing a lot better with the side effects.  She does go through spells of fatigue and experiences some joint pain but they are all manageable.  This is the first time ever that I have more hair than Gail and we made sure to get a “family bandana” day in.  After chemo, she will undergo radiation therapy, followed by hormone therapy (injections and pills).  The long-term prognosis is favorable and we are praying that the doctor will clear us to return to PNG by next summer.

Abby and Kala are enjoying school and life in the uber-urban Taiwan but they still ask us all the time when we will go back to Biem!  Wayne is speaking regularly in churches while working on language retention and Mr. Mom when needed.

Well, we can take a deep breath and share with you guys that things are “back to normal“.  What does “back to normal” mean?  Our life, family and ministry were all suddenly altered when we learned of Gail’s cancer in June.  Things changed.  It took us months to restore a routine, dealing with chemotherapy every several weeks, transitions and unexpected changes.  Things changed…butNOT everything.  In Christian theology, we learned that God is “immutable”…He is unchanging.  God’s grace is still enough.  He does not slumber nor sleep.  God was faithful before cancer and He is faithful after.  If our goal was to bring glory to Him with our every breath, cancer does not change that.  If anything, our bodily weaknesses have brought us closer to God’s unchanging character than ever before.  We are “back to normal” not because Gail’s cancer suddenly disappeared.  It is back to normal because God’s love is indeed unchanging and unshakable and it is on that firm rock we stand, no matter the circumstances.

These are exciting days in Biem ministry and we are inching closer to the day where the Biem people will hear the Gospel in their language for the first time!  The Busers and Depners have been working on bible translation and literacy.  The Biem language does not have a written form.  We have used phonetics to develop an alphabet/spelling system for Biem and we are in the final stage of fine-tuning before teaching our Biem friends how to read and write.  We are gearing up toward kicking off the literacy program in January of ’12, followed by gospel presentation in the summer of 2012.

Other Highlights:

  • CLANamu namu so, be God kubur be lang imujeak.  Ka dan bla butuang ipuat ka ipuat ramram bai.  Dan butuang ien la balnguk lo be God anunka ilal dan o atteat.”  This is the first translation draft of Genesis 1:1-2, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.…hovering over the waters”.  We got this rough draft via email from our coworkers a couple of weeks ago and it almost brought us to tears.  The Biem people have never in their history read God’s word in their own language.  We are inching toward that glorious day where our Biem friends will be able to read and know their Creator on their own.
  • I returned to PNG/Biem for three weeks in Sept/Oct. and had the chance to ride on the new boat.  A big thank you for giving to the boat fund!  To say that it is much safer and faster is an understatement.  We’ve named the big boat “Marau Pitik” (marau in Biem is where the ocean meets the sky so literally the name means Horizon Lightning) and the old boat “Marau Lamlam” (horizon thunder).  Lightning before thunder…the new boat is faster than the old one…clear as mud? 🙂
  • The Busers and the Depners are working on finding a suitable place to teach literacy on the island.  Ground/land is always in short supply on the this small island so please pray for this search process.
  • I’ll be making another trip back to Biem after Christmas for about 3, 4 weeks.  Gail should be done with her chemotherapy by that time.  Please pray for a profitable trip as well as Gail and the kids.

May all of hearts be filled with thanksgiving because of who He is, what He has done and what He has promised to do!

In His Lamb,
Wayne, Gail, Abby and Kala


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