Posts

Showing posts from 2018

Lasting impact

Image
The past two weeks have been very busy in the Hovey household.We have had visitors (YAY!) and others who have come for various reasons this past month. It has been delightful to welcome fellow servants in the Lord here!Our routines changed slightly though and so we weren't able to blog last week.A HUGE thanks to those of you have been praying for us extra in spite of our lack of communication.It has been a BIG week here in PNG!There was the First of its kind Bena men's meeting (bung) that saw 33 men give their lives to Jesus.....to GOD be the glory!!!This may not seem like much to some of you, but let me tell you it is a true miracle.These men are warriors at heart and even their own government considers them hard headed and problematic people.Will you join us in praying that they will continue to grow in their walks with Jesus and transform their families and ultimately the Bena region of PNG with the light of the Gospel??We are believing and praying that God will continue t…

Lessons

Image
Sometimes test time comes and there is success.  Sometimes test time comes and there is failure.  This past week found me feeling both success and failure in the same evaluation.   We had our first language evaluation after being in class for a little under eight weeks.  There has been a lot of growth and progress.  However, there are still those areas that need to be improved.  
I (Phyllis) felt pretty good going into the test.  I have grown in confidence and have been out among people more.  However, I still have a long ways to go!  Honestly?  I broke down crying in the middle of the whole thing and couldn't seem to recover.  Failure.  That's all I could hear in my mind.  We've been here for how long and I'm still no where near proficient?  I told myself all sorts of things like, "I'm never going to get this....this is supposed to be an 'easy' language....I've never been a bad student, so why is this so hard?....."  As you can see, not produc…

The reality of Ministry

Image
I (Brian) have been thinking about how much stuff is covered under the blanket of "Ministry". It is really hard to comprehend if you have not experienced it first hand.  In my mind it is a bit like running in a marathon or a big sports event.  Generally people only get to see the end result.  They don't get to see the training that takes place everyday, the sacrifices that are given up in order to accomplish the goal.  I am not a runner....unless someone is chasing me of course, but I can only imagine the hundreds of miles someone puts on in their preparation for a marathon.  I am sure there are days they don't want to get out of bed to run or have aches and pains, but they press forward because they keep the focus in mind...the end result.  
When people think of missionaries is generally about preaching, winning souls for Christ, starting churches, and so on...however those are all end result things and we seldom think about all the "training" that is done …

Hero for the Day

Image
To define a 'hero' is a matter of perspective.  There is usually criteria that needs to be met to obtain the title.  In the Hovey home, Gunner was our hero of the day.  Why? Let me explain.... Today we had team meetings in the morning at another missionary family's home.  Gunner and Moriah were to stay at home with a friend and national partner that they are quite comfortable with.  Meetings started at 8:30 this morning, and we stopped for a break around 10:00 am.  Not too far into our break we were all surprised to hear little footsteps running up to the house and a little hand knock on the door.  It was Gunner!  He had run through the morning drizzle and was clearly out of breath.  "Mom!" He exclaimed, "Ms. D. is locked in the bathroom and you need to come quick to let her out!"  I put down my snack foods and ran after him back to the house (which thankfully was next door).   Moriah was getting shoes on and preparing to follow Gunner outside, and sure e…

Change my heart, O God

Image
As I was doing my devotions with Brian last night we were reading from Romans 4:20-21.

No unbelief made him [Abraham] waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God,fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. (ESV)
Abraham was SURE of God’s promise.  I wish I knew that delicate art!  I confess, I’m not there....YET....I am convinced though that God is still working on me.  This week has been full of ups and downs emotionally.  I have been praying that God would be the stability of my heart, but I would really enjoy external encouragement at my beck and call sometimes!.....sigh.  This verse however, testified that Abraham's faith had to GROW.....it wasn’t like he just decided to have faith and wa-bam!  It was there.  No.  He had to learn and his faith 'grew strong as he gave glory to God.'   This Sunday in church I was given the privilege of sharing a song with the congregation.  I have to confess, I was supposed …

Men's Conference

Image
The Bena district is a large region adjacent to Goroka Baptist Bible College (where we live). This area is known for sorcery and fierce tribal fighting. The culture in PNG is very male dominated, and Papua New Guinean men are much less likely to be in church than women. There are few men worshiping and taking leadership positions in the churches across the country, but these men need to know Jesus Christ; they need to be leaders of their families; they need to be leaders in the church. A vision our ABWE team has is for God to raise up men in the Bena district to take a stand for Christ. We are praying for GOD to call 100 Bena Men to Himself so that they can be saved and discipled. God is answering these prayers in a mighty way as recently 15 Bena men came to know Christ as their personal Savior. These men’s lives are truly being transformed!  We, in partnership with a large group of Pastors in our area, would like to give out 200 personal invitations to the Bena men to attend outreac…

Deep Roots

Image
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, 
whose trust is the Lord.   He is like a tree planted by water,  that sends out its roots by the stream, And does not fear when heat comes, For its leaves remain green, And is not anxious in the year of drought, For it does not cease to bear fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8
This passage speaks of bearing fruit In ups and downs 'cause of its roots They’re deep, they’ve dug down to the soil That cannot be disturbed or spoiled
It offers life from underneath Regardless of the sun and heat I’m challenged thinking on this truth Because I have neglected roots
In leaving for the mission field I forfeited 'familiar' yield  Transplanted 'cross the ocean wide I’ve been surprised at what’s inside
My heart seems frail at best sometimes Because my roots need to abide In soil rich....the Words of God Not settle for the greenish sod
If trials ceased I would not grow Because they make me crave to know The waters that will yield a crop That will bring life and never stop.

Learning Tok Pisin

Image
We have been struggling a bit with learning language....not so much with the difficulty of it but more the time management needed to learn it well.  We have been doing an independent study method with some helpers, however the needs around us are plenty and our study time quickly gets pushed to the back burner.  We know this has not been beneficial for our learning, but we were unsure how to do it differently.....so we have been praying that God would help us with the changes we need.  Well God did just that....in His perfect timing He opened a door for us to take part in the Ethnos 360 new missionaries orientation in their culture and language course.  This is a like minded mission that has a much larger presence in PNG.  It means that we take a 30 minute morning drive to attend class at a different site and then come back around lunch time three mornings a week.  This allows us the the separation from our busy world at home and puts us into a classroom setting.  It’s an accelerated …

Trip to Simbai

Image
This last week I (Brian) had the opportunity to visit a team member and the ministry that takes place in Simbai, PNG.  This place is only accessible by air as all road that have been created have been washed away by landslides.   I was able to start the jouney a day later than planned as we continue to learn we live in the land of the unexpected and flexibility is key. I was able to go with Pastor Jack who is the President of Goroka Baptist Bible College (GBBC).  We wanted to look at the current ministry and assess future ministry needs. The landscape of this country is truly breathtaking!  Even through the thick jungle canopy the signs of smoke coming up from cook fires are everywhere.  I have often heard PNG has the most unreached people groups in the world for the Gospel......I understand much better now that it's not only the 800+ languages but the isolating terrain. This is the view coming into the Simbai airport....just a grass runway. We were able to stay in some mission houses …

Fighting Entitlement

Image
I wish I could say that this post wasn’t about me.  I would really rather focus on my children as they were what triggered the thought and realization at all.  However, that would be unfair to them and unreal to those of you who will read this.
Tonight at the dinner table, I battled with my children about eating their food.  There was nothing wrong with the food that was placed before them.  They just didn’t WANT it.  Ugh.  Entitlement.  They felt entitled to what they wanted rather than what they were given.  It’s dry season here in Gororka, Papua New Guinea.  There are families all around us and friends we know who don’t have food because it hasn’t rained on their gardens.  Not to mention, they don’t have drinking water because again, it hasn’t rained.  My children don’t realize the privilege it is to have food at all.
Now, me?  My entitlement battle was different.  I felt entitled to grateful children.  After all, my children had a mother and dad who were eating the SAME food.  We…

Gods Promises

Image
We were reminded afresh this week as we saw a rainbow stretched across our sky.... "I [God] have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds,I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.” So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.” Genesis 9:13-17While there is a group of people who would like to twist the meaning or even the thought of what a rainbow stands for The Bible makes it very clear as to its origin.  This is the truth with so many of God's promises.  The words of God saying "I will never leave you or forsake y…

A Rookie

Image
A rookie, by definition, is someone in their first season of a professional sport.  Man, do I feel like that sometimes.  The game?  Life.  The team?  Hovey.  The stakes?  High.  The coach?  God, Himself.  The first season there is a lot of fresh, new spark and love of the game, but there is also the steep learning curve that comes with how to manage a familiar sport on a public basis.  To a watching world, the rookie can either make it or break it for the rest of the team.  As I have been reflecting on that and my own sense of feeling like a 'rookie,' I have also been struck with the idea that while I can't 'bring in the win' for my family, I can bring heart, soul, and passion to the ranks.  Success or failure isn't necessarily based upon who 'wins' the game.  REALLY winning can be accomplished in the attitudes of the heart, the integrity of the players, and the overall inspiration to the crowd. For example, in the classic Disney film Cool Runnings that …

Firsts

Image
Firsts....we all have them.  These past two weeks marked a couple notable 'firsts' in the Hovey household.  To start?  Gunner.  He had his first day of school in PNG!  He is attending a play school here on the Goroka Baptist Bible College campus with PNG national children.  So far, so good!  It was a bit of a rocky start as Gunner had to come home several times to go to the bathroom, but he is doing very well.  He is starting in the middle of the PNG school year, so his first letter he learned was the letter 'M.'  However, he is starting at the beginning of a term, which helps.  He is making friends, learning rules, remedial reading skills as the school is taught in English, and we are pleased.  Today is his first 'sick' day too.....he has a bad cold, so we kept him home.  It was Moriah's first time being an only child for awhile now that Gunner goes to school in the mornings.  She has adjusted well and has become quite a helper!  Her favorite task is washi…

The Ordinary opportunity

Image
Life here is full of ordinary things that give us opportunities to learn.  For instance, laundry....clothes inevitably get dirty.  However, washing here is more involved than it was back home.  You don't just put the clothes in the machine and then transfer them to the next.  You scrub them in needed spots (which are plentiful with two littles), then you put them in the machine, it soaks up soap and sloshes them around, then you rinse them by hand and spin them with a machine.  Lest you think that's  it, then you hang each piece to line dry and then you wait to fold and put them away before the process is complete.  Whew!  Since we are entering dry season, we have decided to do laundry once a week to conserve water.  However, that makes for a full day of laundry when the time comes!  We know it can be an easier process as our experience in the States has been, but we also know it could be more difficult too.  Many of our neighbors don't have the luxury of a machine to help…

Lessons from Littles

Image
The greatest.....who is the greatest?  If Jesus were sitting at the table and you and a group of friends were discussing it, who do you think he would say would earn that title?  Maybe someone from the Old Testament? Maybe Moses?  Maybe Elijah?  Perhaps John the Baptist or Peter, his contemporaries?  Or maybe, just supposing it could have been the Apostle Paul?  No.  None of these would do.  They weren't 'qualified' enough.  They didn't minister 'effectively' enough to earn it.  Jesus taught that the greatest in His Kingdom was the least expected.....children.  “and [Jesus] said, "Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”  Matthew 18:3-4 ESV Brian and I read another passage in Luke this past week.  It, too records this account saying,  “An argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest. But Jesus,…