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December 2016

Dear Praying Friends,

Our family is on "vacation" as we write this newsletter.  Because of the high cost of flights in and out of the jungle, Christi and I are often the only ones to get out to buy the 2 months supplies.  We alternate flying to Port Moresby to do our banking and get supplies, and usually try to take one child.  So, this vacation has been a great time being together as a family in the BIG city and doing things that "normal" Americans do (drive a car, rent a hotel room, eat at a restaurant, take a wife out for a lunch date, walk around in a store, swim in a pool, sleep in an air-conditioned room, go to the Mall, etc.) for 8 days.

Tabitha has now reached the age (18 years old) where she can no longer be under my personal Work Visa as a dependent.  My Work Permit was renewed the first week of December and our Visas have been renewed with the exception of Tabitha.  Until we can secure a different Work Visa, she will only be allowed to stay 60 days at a time on a Tourist Visa.  By the 18th of December, she will need to leave PNG, fly to  Australia, and return to PNG with a Tourist Visa.  Also, as we start the process of a more permanent Visa, Tabitha will need to return to the USA for a certain amount of days before the US Embassy will permit her to return with a different class Visa.  Please pray for her during this time of transition and the extra flights.  This is an emotional time for us as Tabitha begins a new aspect of the life Father has given to her.

The man that was leading Tok Tru Baptis Sios (Truth Baptist Church) has stepped down, and asked me to continue the work without his help.  The last 2 months have been the most challenging, without a man willing to help me in the ministry.  Jorim was such a good interpreter and did well with the people, but due to various reason (of which I do not know), he decided he could not "feed the sheep".  Because I do not know how he perceives the true ministry of the Christian and pastorate, it has been hard to communicate to Jorim the seriousness of being a steward of God's Word.  As he said several times while he was preaching, "It is not in my blood to witness to people".  Thanks be to Christ that has given me new blood and a new covenant that is worthy of being a witness for.   All Christians have a new purpose in our life: proclaim the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ everywhere and anytime.  Be faithful to our calling, even in the face of adversity.

The few people that have been "born again" are struggling with the change of leadership in the church, and some have left because Jorim stopped "feeding" them.  The world view of these Hamtai people is often in opposition to the Word of God.  To cleave wholly to the principles of the Bible is to leave all they have ever known, especially deceit.  Lying and fraud are key ways for them to get money/land/women, and even to destroy the reputation of anyone who stands in their way.  Manipulation is another tool they use to get what they want.  Taking, even by force, is a virtue, and "giving" is only used to receive something in return.  It is only a truly converted person that will be able to overcome this world view and see things from the Father's perspective.  Suffering for Christ and His Cause is not what they want, and only one woman at Truth Baptist Church has welcomed the suffering of the cross.  Please pray for Odette Benakato, for she has received many trials since her conversion and baptism.

Christi’s Corner: God has been so good to me.  Yet, I often complain.  I am blessed to have 8 children.  My oldest, Tabitha, is now  an adult! She is the biggest blessing to me and truly treats me as Prov. 31:28 says, : "Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her."  My oldest has shown her maturity lately in her arising up and calling me blessed!  I surely am undeserving.  I am not the perfect mommy, but it has blessed my heart for her to honour her mother and father!  We have a good relationship and it is a thrill to my soul!  It is with mixed emotions that we see her separate a little bit from us.  It is normal but not easy!  Yet we are thrilled she desires to serve our heavenly father.  To  all those struggling mamas, hang in there!  Keep doing right!  It's worth it!! 

For His Glory,
Mark and Christi Helzerman
Tabitha, Titus, Samuel, Hadassah,
Grace, Hope, Serenity and Glory


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