halfway mark for 2022 - some progress in the jungle

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Ordinary Guy (TM)
2022 Is halfway over. In the past 6-8 months what has transpired?:

1. The New Samuel Boy’s Dormitory has been built. More kids keep being added to the Korowai school, a great problem to have. There are more than 4 times the number of boys in school than girls, but we are working on that (Korowai girls were at first forbidden to go to school and some even got threatened). We gave up our old home for the girl’s dorm and dorm parents to live in, and the original dorm and the new boy’s dorm now both house the boy students. So 3 buildings full of Papuan students, who are learning to read whereas when we entered the region there was a 99% illiteracy rate. The “curse” of missionary success is that we are running out of facilities (and money) to keep pace with the expansions, especially in Biden’s economy.

2. We provided some solar cells/panels/lights to evangelists in the Korowai and Fuau villages. Still not as many as we’d like, but getting there.

3. We shared clothes and food to the dorm kids’ parents in and around the Korowai region. Much of these clothes were given by Indonesian donors.

4. 3 students from the Mamberamo River region who got scholarships in Junior high have graduated and now continue to senior high school. 3 students from the Samuel Dormitory have graduated from junior high school and are ready to enter Junior high school. It is nice to see these higher grades advancing. We’ve also had 2 bible school graduates in the past 3 years and these are leading Korowai churches. This was, after all, our end-goal – to see Korowai Shepherds leading Korowai Sheep. One of these Bible school graduates was mentored by the Papuan Dani evangelists and the other was one of the first youth I baptized, Wahyu. This shows that in missions today it is vital to work with indigenous church structures and national evangelists, the Dani evangelists from the GIDI (Evangelical) Church have done good work.

6.Yames (Samuel Dorm kid) and Penina (evangelist Bastian’s daughter from Fuau village in the Mamberamo river region) are accepted into an elite Christian senior high school, Calvin Christian School, in Jakarta. This is their first week of school.

7. Evangelist Meiron is back in Dabra (in the Mamberamo river region) to teach informal school and serve in the church after their child recovered in the hospital.

8. Evangelist Meiron has started training from the curriculum provided by Thirdmill Ministries in Indonesia. We are trying to get this training to all our evangelists we work with.

9. Evangelist Meiron is building his house by hand in Dabra. These guys are tough dudes.

10. Perin is healthier now after getting treatment in Merauke Hospital. She’s worn herself out in the ministry.

11. We have built collaboration with the regional government - head of the Bovendigul district and got promises from the government to help the Korowai kids future. The head of all government education in Papua is now also our friend and ally.

12. Our work will be featured on a national radio program in Indonesia. Several months ago an article about our school received a readership of 2 million readers, and a journalist flew to Malaysia to interview me this week about education in Papua.

13. My 2nd book was translated and is now being sold in stores in Indonesia, to include the GRII library – the largest reformed congregation in Indonesia. The last book is now translated, but is a little “wooden” in translation and we will revise it to be published as well. And another book is in its final stages.

On the personal and family front:

  • Noah graduated Missouri Military Academy with good grades, and was sports captain of his football team. He will now go to college majoring on Sports Medicine.
  • Teresa is a certified Teaching English as a Second Language teacher. While we are working to get a visa back into Indonesia, this certification opens doors into many countries as a Plan B.
  • The kids are mostly doing well as school. Gideon gets bored (6) and says he learns more from Youtube, though. And Alethea (14) struggles with math.
  • In the past 6 months I had hand surgery in both hands, and am now healed. I am in the middle of fixing 6 teeth that I’ve endured for several years due to high dental costs in the USA. But the 2nd part of my 2-part surgery has been delayed twice now because it was either money for my teeth or supplies for the Korowai dorm. I have had metal nubs where the implants should go now for 2 months, but money is just too tight to finish the process.
  • We moved into a cheaper apartment that is about 620 USD a month. It is plenty big even though affordable and allows for the decreased economic situation in the USA (which is only going to get worse) and for me to still spend the majority of funds to Papua for the projects.
  • This new apartment allows pets, a new joy for the kids, since we ended up eating all of our pets in Papua. We won’t eat these.
That is encouraging. It's great that you're training indigenous ministers. The Serampore Trio (Carey, Marshman and Ward) sought to do exactly that when they laboured in my country. Praying.
That is encouraging. It's great that you're training indigenous ministers. The Serampore Trio (Carey, Marshman and Ward) sought to do exactly that when they laboured in my country. Praying.
We are trying to model their approach as well as that of Nevius.
Fantastic account. Thanks much. I only wish I had as much to write about.
Countless lives are saved by you and your books have helped others (including us) preserve the lives and health of tribal peoples. Your info was our go-to for the hard cases and, more than once, made the difference between life and death for the sick. My hats off to you.
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