January 9, 2017

The Year 2017

Happy New Year to each of you!   We are 9 days into the year 2017.    It is a year full of hope and promise.  What took place in 2016 is now behind us, it is finished.   We cannot change anything about 2016 now.  I hope for you, 2016 was a good year.   There might be some who would say 2016 was not a good year and are happy to see it end.

No matter what kind of year 2016 was for you, I want you to start off 2017 knowing that God is faithful!   We can trust Him.   My hope is that you are looking forward to this new year.   I know sometimes stuff in our lives may cause us to doubt God's faithfulness, cause us to doubt His presence in our lives, but that is the work of the devil.

My message for you today is the same as the message Moses gave to Joshua in Deuteronomy 31.

The children of Israel are about to cross over into the promised land and God has told Moses that he would not lead the Israelites into the promised land but that Joshua would lead them and go ahead of them.

Moses tells the Israelites what God has said to him,
"The Lord your God himself will cross over ahead of you." Deut. 31:3

Moses goes on to tell them that the Lord will defeat their enemies and that the Israelites will take possession of the land that God has promised them.

Then Moses gives them a very big challenge.  This is our challenge for today!

"Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or terrified because of them for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."  Deut. 31:6

Satan wants you and I to doubt and think that you and I walking alone in this life, not true!   In Deut 31:7, "Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, 'Be strong and courageous.'" And in verse 8, Moses tells Joshua, "The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."  Praise the Lord!

You may be thinking to yourself, that's great, but Moses spoke that to Joshua thousands of years ago.   Correct, but this is the word of God.  2 Peter 1:21 "Above all you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophets own interpretation.  For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit."   So if the Bible is the inspired Word of God and if the Bible in Hebrews 13 says, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever," then you and I can be confident that the very words that Moses spoke to Joshua were included in the Bible because they are important for you and I today!

Be strong!
Be courageous!
Do not be afraid!
Do not be discouraged!

"The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."

Moses knew that the Lord would go with Joshua and the people of Israel because in Exodus 33:12-14, Moses has this talk with God, 
"Moses said to the LORD, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’ If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.   The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.

God loves us and just as his presence and Spirit went with Moses, Joshua and the Israelites his presence will go with us because He "is the same yesterday and today and forever."   Rest easy because God knows your name too just as he knew Moses name.  We can believe the Word of God!

When we face battles and trials in our daily lives remember Deut. 20:1-4, "When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the LORD your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you.   When you are about to go into battle, the priest shall come forward and address the army.

He shall say: “Hear, Israel: Today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not panic or be terrified by them.    For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.”

We could say, when you face someone who is trying to hurt you, God will be with you, because He has been with you before.

When your money is short and you need food, God will be with you, because He has been with you before.

When you face a situation and you don't know what direction to take, God will be with you because He has been with you before.

When we face death, God will be with you because He has been with you before.

In fact, Isaiah 43:1-2, states: "But now, this is what the LORD says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze." 

The Lord did not promised that we would never have pain, trials or hard times!
His promise was simply that He would be with us!

As we look to a new year remember pain and trials will be a part of our lives because we live in a sinful world, can't change that.   What we can change is how we look at the times of pain and trials.   We can remember that God is with us and he will not leave us or forsake us.  We may doubt but God is faithful and true.  He will empower us with His Holy Spirit to stand strong, to be courageous.

This is why as Christians it is important we are filled with the Holy Spirit, because by the power of the Holy Spirit, we will stand strong.   Sometimes I have had doubts, and I would guess that there have been times when you have doubted also.

There is no sin in doubting unless that doubting makes us turn our back on God.  The Bible has many examples of people who questioned God, the book of Psalms records many times where doubts arose but the Psalmist always comes back to God's faithfulness, God's goodness.

In Psalms 46, the Psalmist says, "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.   Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging."

And verse 7 the Psalmist says again, "The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress."

As we look forward to 2017, let us move forward with courage and strength, trusting that our God is with us always.  Let 2017 find us busy doing the Master's work as Jesus commanded us in Mat 28, 
"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” 

In Romans 8 the Apostle Paul states clearly, " If God is for us, who can stand against us."

Go in the strength and courage of the Lord, knowing that no matter what you face in 2017, GOD WILL BE WITH YOU!   

May 16, 2016

One Month and Counting

We are getting very excited about heading to the US!  We depart PNG on Wed June 15th and arrive in Akron, Ohio on Thurs June 16th.  We certainly have come to call PNG our home and we love our mission family and national friends but that doesn't lessen our desire to spend time with our Stateside family.  Especially our Jessica!!!  We haven't seen her since the end of January last year 2015.  Can't wait to get our arms around her!!
Please keep us in your prayers in these areas:
Our time of sharing in your churches.  We have updated our speaking schedule here to the right of the screen. As you can see we have several Sunday evenings open yet and numerous week-days.  If you are interested in hearing an update of what is going on here in PNG please contact us.  We are happy to try and find a time to come to your church.
We feel blessed to have a place to stay again this HA at our District Camp Center in East Ohio. That has been our second home throughout our 15 years of missionary service! Thank you East Ohio District!
We don't yet have a vehicle to drive while home.  We are confidant the Lord will provide this need. He has always made a way.  If you are feeling Him tugging at your heart to fulfill this need, don't resist Him!:)  Or if you have any leads on a car we could use, please contact us.
Looking forward to seeing you all soon!
Jeff and Susan

February 16, 2016

PNG Missionaries, Peter and Jenny Isaac

The Church of the Nazarene has been in Papua New Guinea 61 years.  Throughout those years the National Church has sent out missionaries to the Solomon Islands and East Timor.   Currently, Peter and Jenny Isaac are in Vanuatu where they have been serving as PNG Missionaries for the past 10 years.   It is hard to believe that 10 years have past already.   I was privileged to be at the Isaacs commissioning service back in 2006 on the Chimbu/Eastern Highlands District.  It is also neat because Peter and Jenny were also a big part of the team that started the Radio Ministry here in PNG before the left to serve in Vanuatu.

Jenny and Peter Isaac, PNG Missionaries to Vanuatu

People coming forward to give to Isaac's deputation offering.
They are presently here in PNG on their Home Assignment going around the country sharing about how God is working in Vanuatu.   Recently we were able to attend one of their services here at the church on station.   Jenny shared how through the years on the field there have been challenges but God has been there and the Holy Spirit has been with them.   Even during the Cyclone that went through the Islands a year ago God was faithful.  Jenny said, "If we lose our lives it is OK, we've a place in heaven.  We've given our lives to Him."  

Peter stated that the first goal was to teach others how to follow Christ.  At the last district assembly, the district set a goal of planting 50 new churches.  At the present Vanuatu has six churches and eight preaching points.   In 2015 they graduated 3 students from Bible College and Peter mentioned that more are wanting to attend.   Pray that God would raise up more pastors to meet the vision of 50 new churches set by this past district assembly.

Peter challenged the church to stand up and do whatever God calls us to do, he went on to say, "Don't be afraid of what God may ask you to do, or where He may ask you to go.  Doesn't matter where you die, God will take care of your family, be obedient."

Please pray for Peter and Jenny and the family as they travel around PNG speaking and sharing what God is doing in Vanuatu.   Pray for God's blessing upon their lives as they faithfully serve Him and are obedient to God' leading in their lives.

The People We Work With!

National Board Exec. L to R.
DS Peter, myself,Ds Yambe, Rose, Mioame
As Melanesia/South Pacific Field Church Development Coordinator, one aspect of my work is being a part of our annual National Board meeting and being a part of the quarterly exec. board meetings.   The end of January was the first of this years quarterly executive meetings.   On these boards are some great people and it is a blessing to work with them.   But as is life on a board, the members change from time to time.   This past National Board Exec. meeting we honored Rose for her six years of faithful service to her church and the National Board.   Rose is a very sweet lady with a servants heart.   Pray for Rose and all of our National Church Leaders as they lead the PNG Nazarene Church.   Pray that God will give wisdom and vision as the National Church continues to advance across this Island!

January 8, 2016

Home Assignment 2016 here we come!

God is good!!   We have had a very good term of what will be just over 31 months on the field when it comes to a close towards the end of June.  It's hard to believe it is nearing an end.  As we think back over all that has happened and how God has worked we will begin to formulate what it is we should share.  We, of course, will be praying for the Lord's direction.  Isn't it great that as children of God we don't have to worry and fret about the details but can simply seek, listen and trust for Him to show us the way.
There are a few needs we would like to take this opportunity to share with you.  It is our hope that you will partner with us in prayer as we seek God's direction.
*Please pray that we will be sensitive to His leading in what we share!
*Please pray that even now God will prepare our hearts and minds, along with those we will share with, to be open to the Holy Spirit's still small voice!
*We will need a vehicle of some sort to drive while home in the US traveling about and sharing what God is doing in PNG.
*Posted to the right side of our blog are the dates of services/events we have scheduled thus far.  There are many open dates.  We are confidant that God has a plan for those dates and we want nothing more than to be where God wants us to be according to His time table. Pray for God to lead us, each church, and each pastor, missionary president and/or event coordinator to schedule where He wants us!
*Please pray for Ethan as he will graduate from HS in May and begin his studies at MVNU in the fall.
*Please pray for Jeff and Susan as we return to PNG the end of October as "Empty Nesters"!

Thank you so much for your prayers, love and support of us over the years.  You are priceless!! If there are others who you believe would be interested in joining us in His ministry, please pass this blog along to them!!
Blessings on you all!
Jeff and Susan

January 7, 2016

NHM (Nazarene Health Ministries)

Happy New Year to you all!   I hope that as you start this new year that you will greatly feel the presence of Jesus, our Lord and Savior working in your life!

I wanted to give you the web address for Nazarene Health Ministries.   This is the website of your Nazarene Hospital in Papua New Guinea

Lots of articles and information there.   If you are looking for stories or other information for your self, your church, Sunday School or a missions service, check and see what http://nazpng.org/hospital/  has for you.  

If you recall a couple of stories ago on this blogsite, I wrote about the ministry of the Cornerstone church in an article entitled, "Blessing the Heart of God."    There is an article on the NHM website that goes into even greater detail about all that has been and is going on with this ministry.

Lord bless you as you seek to do His will in 2016!

December 22, 2015

A Christmas Thought

Christmas Rejoicing

Merry Christmas to you all!   It is the Holiday Season and the time that we celebrate the birth of our Savior.

Christmas is a time of celebrating family and happiness, it is a time of joy and festivities.   Yet, there are many people today who are experiencing pain, sadness, feeling the burdens and stress of this life.   It might be that you are reading this and feeling that way in your own life.   Jesus came to this earth because of His love for us, because He desired to restore a relationship with us, He came to give us hope!   Even, if we call Him our Messiah, it doesn't mean we will be free from the pain of this life on earth, but it does mean He is, “Immanuel, God with us.” Mat. 1:23

 I believe we all know the Christmas story.   The angel Gabriel appears to Mary and says “Greetings, you who are highly favored!  The Lord is with you.” Luke 1:28   The angel goes on to tell her that she, who is not married yet, will be with child, that this child will be called the Son of God.  I got to believe that Mary, as this scene is unfolding , has to be processing what this will mean to her.   She is a young unmarried woman who is betrothed to Joseph.   She is facing loss of reputation, great shame, and possibly much worse, and yet she says, “May it be to me as you have said.” Luke 1:38  Incredible!

Just in case we think a few days might change her attitude toward all of this, we see her with Elizabeth when she declares, “My soul praises the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has been mindful of the humble state of His servant … for the Mighty One has done great things for me, holy is His name.”   Are we willing to be like Mary, and rejoice in spite of how the circumstances look, when God calls us to His service, remembering that, "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (NIV Isaiah 55:9)

We see in Luke 2, shepherds in the fields, doing what shepherds do and what they have done for many, many nights, they’re watching their sheep.   It is a night like all the other nights that have come and gone, until, on this night, when God sent an angel to proclaim “Good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” Luke 2:10   At that point this night became like no other night, before or since!   The angel said to the shepherds, “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”  And then an amazing scene became even more spectacular when the angel choir joined the first angel saying, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests.” Luke 2:14   The angels were rejoicing and praising God for the birth of the Savior.  I pray that you will know God’s peace this Christmas season, I pray His peace would fill each one of us completely!

Now we look at the shepherds.   Oh, how I pray that in my life this Christmas I will be like one of the shepherds!   God chose to reveal to these humble men of the country and plains, the Good News of the birth of His Son.   That the Messiah had come!   These men should be a challenge to each of us.   What did they do after the angle choir left them and returned to heaven?  Did they stand around and talk about it, try to convince each other of what they had just seen? No, they did not hesitate but said, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened; which the Lord has told us about.”   There was no question in their minds where this message had originated from, it had come from God and they wanted to be a part of the action taking place that night!   These simple shepherds were excited and spilled the story to everyone they met and to all who would listen. 

“When they had seen Him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.” Luke 2:17-18   There are still people waiting to be amazed this Christmas.  Will we be like the shepherds?  Are we like the shepherds?   I like the shepherds, I pray my life reflects the joy and excitement of the shepherds, who “returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.” Luke 2:20

I know that life throws at us struggles and pain and that at one time or another, we all will experience it.  But, like Mary, the angels and the shepherds, choose to rejoice in the true meaning of Christmas!  This Christmas I pray that you and I will sense the power of, “Immanuel, God with us!”

December 18, 2015

Blessing the Heart of God!

Pastor Merilyn
Cornerstone Church Congregation
 This past Sunday our family along with others from the mission family and NHM (Nazarene Health Ministries) went to the Cornerstone Nazarene church.   Following the service we had the privilege  of going to Kuprol and praying with the village people there.   You may have heard in the last three months or so about tribal fighting that took place near us in the Highlands of PNG.   It was back in September that another tribe attached and burned all the houses and killed the pigs in Kuprol.  Many of those involved in the attach are in jail and awaiting their trial date.   NHM has also been ministering to those who are in jail.   This remote village is recovering slowly from those dark days.   Pastor Merilyn from the Cornerstone church along with the people of the Cornerstone church have been ministering to the people of Kuprol.    They have been going out and holding services with them and have been helping out with resources as they become available.   Kuprol is a poor village and rebuilding is coming along slowly.   They are currently in various stages of rebuilding their homes and in some case more than one family is living in thrown together houses.   We were able to go out after the morning service at Cornerstone and spend some time with these precious people.   Some remarks were shared by their village leaders and some remarks were made by Dr. Scott Dooley and Baru Dirye, our              Hospital Administrator and our Health Secretary along with Pastor Merilyn.  
One structure that survived and building material
for the new structures.
 I was asked to close our time
The road to Kuprol Village
together with prayer.  Please pray for these people as they recover.   Also there is currently no church in their village and because of the ministry of Pastor Merilyn and the Cornerstone Church they have requested that the Nazarene Church come to their village.   We praise God for this, I believe the ministry of the Cornerstone Church pleases the heart of our Savior!
Members of the Kuprol village.

December 17, 2015

God Working in Remote Places!

PNG is a remote place!   Not just the country itself, but within the country there are many remote places.   The wonderful news is that God knows the people in those remote places and He cares deeply for each one.   But, if they are so remote, how do we know how God is working in their lives?   Communications within PNG is still tough at times, but praise the Lord it is better than it was when we arrive over 14 years ago!   Almost two years ago the Melanesia/South Pacific Field was able to secure iPads for each of our DSs on the Melanesian Field and through cell phone towers we are able to connect with our DSs.   That is, as long as they are able to receive a signal from where they are.   It is by this means and cell phones, that I, as the MSP (Melanesia/South Pacific) Field Church Development Coordinator, am able to stay in touch with our DSs.   It is also by this same means that our DSs are able to share with us what is taking place on their districts and we are able to see how God is working.

Today, three emails came in form DS Kamda Kanzpena, a short man in stature but a mighty man in faith and God is using him on the Bromley Memorial District in the Jimi Valley of PNG.

Below in bold are Kamda's emails and the pictures he sent.

DS Kamda is front right.   Those in white shirts were the ones baptized.
"In the first week of December, Makin Local Church got 14 Christians ready and we baptised them. It was a wonderful day and the event was witnessed by the surrounding villagers. God was with us."

DS Kamda Kanzpena in the center.
"Last week Friday we opened this Church building at Gukum Nazarene Church. God spoke to many people at the same time. The pastor of the Local Church was commissioned to MNBC (Melanesia Nazarene Bible College) as a student next year. He has completed 2 years EBS (Extension Bible School.)  God is still calling more people for his field."

"The Jimi Valley is unique in creation. Mountains are high and steep, however, God has placed his people at those places. This beautiful sight is the Pind/Yemi circuit (zone) towards the Madang border (North Coast of PNG). The mountain range there is the Bismack range. We have six local churches behind those mountains. We are calling it Upper Ramu circuit but only a shadow circuit. Maybe, in 2016 district assembly we will declare it a circuit."

DS Kamda Kanzpena
Bromely Memorial District

Please keep Kamda and our DSs in your prayers as they travel hundreds and hundreds of kilometers over 12 districts in PNG, and a lot of times where there are no roads to follow.   Pray for the people in these places as God works in their lives.

Thank you!
Rev. Jeff Myers, Field Church Development

December 14, 2015

A Christmas Dinner with Our Chaplains.

 Left side top: Moses, Lucy and Regina and their family
A time of Caroling, reading the Christmas story & gift giving.
It is that time of year, snow is falling, sleigh bells are jingling and lights are a twinkling!  Well, at least two of those things can be experienced here.  We have some sleigh bells on the door and Ethan and I hung some lights outside the other day.  As for snow, the imagination will have to do for now.  But during the Christmas season it has become tradition for us to have our hospital chaplains over for a time of fellowship.   Our Christmas party with them took place last week and it is always nice to have them come over to our house.   They are always very appreciative of the Christmas party.   This year we decided to have a sit down dinner around the table as the menu was lasagna, salad and garlic bread.   Desert was one of my favorites that Susan makes, it was an Eclair.   This eclair is made with pudding, graham crackers and a very nice chocolate topping on it.  Trust me, it is way better than I can describe it!   Following dinner we had a time of caroling (in Pidgin) and I read the Christmas story.  It was a very nice time of being together with Chaplain Moses and Chaplain Lucy (husband & wife) along with Chaplain Regina and their families.   Pray for our chaplains as they work with our patients.