During May we’re focusing on hoping in God to complete. Please see the Monthly Prayer Focus page to read our strategic prayer request for this month.
By Hannah Paris
Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?”
Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”
God will complete. God is sufficient. God is all powerful. God will complete. God will complete. Will He???
I remember the rigorous season of partnership development before we first came to Papua New Guinea as a family. The stretches of time when every response seemed to be, “We would love to support you financially, but no.” The constant battle to hold onto our conviction that we were supposed to be in PNG when those weeks of inability to pull the funds together stretched into months, and even years. It was gut-wrenching; a trial of trust, a season of doubt, and full of tears. I spent little time wondering if God was able to do the miraculous. I know He can and does. But for me? That’s where I always falter. In the small, quiet moments when I felt His overwhelming peace and assurance surrounding our family’s future so thickly that He might as well have been standing right in front of me, I often didn’t fall into that warm promise. I laughed, bitterly, as I imagine Sarah laughed. How many countless times had I read that passage and never ceased to pass judgement on her for her faithlessness. The LORD was standing right there speaking His promise into her family’s life, and she laughed! What a silly woman!! But that’s who I was being. I was Sarah.
This month we are praying for God to finish tasks that we know align with His will. We are asking for the completion of the Waran New Testament, the Apal New Testament, the Mborena Kam New Testament, and the Aruamu Old Testament. We’re crying out for Him to make His Word accessible to the people we know and love in each of these areas, to their families and friends who are rejecting Him now. We desperately want to see these four translations published and being used, despite all the vicious attacks of the devil to thwart the work. We believe God can do it and wants to give these people access to Him through their own language, but we struggle to hang onto the hope that He will. In the midst of the battle to finish, we find ourselves being Sarah.
We are also praying for the branch as we find ourselves in the middle of a building development campaign. We see the needs here in town, and we see how those needs are part of what the devil is using to thwart the completion of translation work. We believe that God wants to grow our branch in a way that is healthy and glorifying to Him, in a way that will move the work forward, but we see the monumental task of raising funds for that growth and we become Sarah.
Pray with us as we seek to remember and cling to the hope of His completion. We know He has a perfect plan here in PNG and that He is required to use imperfect people to implement that plan. People that tend to be more like Sarah and less like Christ. Pray with us that He would complete the translations and provide for branch growth. If you would like to see more information about the four programs close to completion, see the Stories tab above. If you would like to see more information about the building development campaign, click here.
Hannah is wife to Brian, Branch Director, and mother of their two girls, Ray and Willa.