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June 2007
Dear Praying Friends,

Thank you all for praying for my father-in-law Cliff Taylor and I as we were in Papua New Guinea. The Lord gave us a prosperous time in the country and supplied our every need. There were several who gave specifically for the trip and we appreciated all that was given. We could not have gone to the “Land of the Unexpected” without the provision from the Lord through his people.

The first night we spent in Port Moresby—the Capital of PNG. In the morning we took a smaller plane (Heavy Lift, INC) to Kerema (in the Gulf Province). In PNG, the flights only allow 16 Kilos (about 30 LBS) a person before they begin to charge 6 Kina per Kilo of excess baggage (about $2 per Kilo). Well, Bro. Cliff and I were over this by almost 65 Kilos. The flight was great, and we arrived into Kerema safely. It was in our plans to catch another plane to Kaintiba that afternoon, but a rainstorm kept us from going. So, we waited two more days for the next scheduled flight (on Wednesday, May 9, 2007).

As I look back, this was of the Lord to have us wait. Because of all the time traveling, “loosing a day”, and “jet-lag”, we needed the rest. Bro. John and Mrs. Mary Gray (our missionary friends in Kerema) allowed us to participate in instructing the school children in a few classes (music, chapel). Wednesday finally came, and the weather was great for flying up to Kaintiba…the second steepest airstrip in PNG. Upon our arrival, Bro. Jerry (a national pastor) met us to take us to Watitako where he has started a Baptist church. He told us it was only about six hours to walk to his church and house…but it took us 8 hours to walk there. The time was 12 noon when we started, and by 7:00pm the sun light was nearly gone. Another missionary (Matt Allen) had come to be with us during our stay. He and my-father-in-law stopped to spend the night in a bush hut given to them to use for the night by a stranger. Bro. Jerry and I walked the last hour in the dark so Jerry could get home to his wife. Many people had gathered at the church waiting for us to come, but had left shortly before we arrived because of the lateness of the time.

The Church family met twice (each day) the next two days for services and a baptism of 13 souls. It was amazing to see their hunger for the Word of God and a great desire to learn more about our Saviour. Many came early and most walked a long distance to come and listen. I was humbled by their care for me during my stay. They listened intently through the interpreters (Pidgin and the local language) as we preached. Please pray for the converts in Watitako as they grow in the grace of the Lord and come out from pagan influences. Avoror, Jerry’s wife, had a stillborn child before we came and was still recovering from the surgery. Pray that God will bless their labor of love.

When we walked back to Kaintiba, Bro. Matt and I were able to meet with the few that have been saved from the outreach ministry of Jerry (and some of the men in Watitako). This is where God has impressed our family to start a Baptist church. There seems to be a great interest in the people to see us come. Some in this area have been praying for two years for our family to come. Both those there, and our family also, anticipate our return to Kaintiba. On Sunday (May 13, 2007) the people gathered for two preaching times…Matt Allen translated for me in Pidgin. He was a great help to me while we were together and gave me much advice in preparation to come and things to know when we return to PNG. He also helped in the meeting we had with the men in leadership positions in Kaintiba. I was able to express my desires to them the goals the Lord has given to me for the Baptist “Mission”, as they call it. This Government Station is the door to many lost souls blind to the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is also the only way into the Catholic Station an hour away (walking), in Bema. May this be the beginning of many souls coming to Christ. Without God’s Provision, we cannot prosper in this labor…

For His Glory,
Mark Helzerman and Family

 

 


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