Tomorrow David and Nathan leave on their first official survey to an unreached people group. We cannot believe we are finally to this stage and are excited to see how the Lord leads our team through this survey. We wanted to share some details of the trip with you all as well as ask for your prayer during this ten day survey!
David and Nathan fly out Tuesday morning to a town called Mt. Hagen where they will spend two nights before catching a flight Thursday morning in to a tribe called Yifki. Once in Yifki the two will pick up a missionary named Jonathan Kopf as well as a Yifki believer by the name of Fainbat, to assist them in this survey. They will then all fly out to an airstrip in a village called Wanakipa. From Wanakipa they will then hike an intense 10 hours, descending and ascending numerous moutanins, in order to reach their final destination of Mali. They will be passing through three other villages, all with different languages, in order to get to Mali and will more than likely overnight in at least one of them before they reach Mali.
The men will spend a few nights in Mali to assess their language, hold a meeting of intent, and gather as much information of surrounding influences or problems that could arise if we were to allocate into this tribal location. We don't know if this location will be able to hold an airstrip or if it would be helicopter only, so they will also scout out the area to see the potential of either or. Their intentions for conversation are based around the fact that some will be able to understand at least some of their Tok Pisin. The rapid assessment that was done a few years ago by the PGA (People Group Assessment Team) said that there were only five men in Mali that spoke/understood Tok Pisin. Nevertheless, after all the hopeful conversations they intend to have, they will hike out from Mali and back to Wanakipa after a few days. They will more than likely overnight in Wanikipa or some nearby village in order to catch their flight out and back to Wewak on Thursday the 22nd. This survey has so many unknowns but we are trusting God in those unknowns and are excited for this endeavor to be underway.
The men will be gone a total of 10 days to accomplish this survey. Mali could potentially be the place that we end up spending the next 15-20 years of our lives in order to see these people liberated from their sins and to be transferred from the domain of darkness to the Kingdom of Jesus Christ! This survey is a big deal! We have been talking about this for years, finding a tribe to share the good news of Jesus with, and it is now only a day away.
Please pray with us concerning the logistics of this trip. The men will have to take a total of five flights, hike countless hours through the thick jungle, find a place to sleep that will accommodate them along the way and arrive back at the right time to be picked up. Will you please pray that all goes smoothly and if not so smoothly pray that they will be confident that God is in control of that which we are not.
Pray with us concerning Mali. We are so excited to finally see this people group! We have been praying and reading through the two assessments done years ago but we know this is a place that needs to be investigate more and therefore are excited to finally meet the Mali people. We don't know exactly what we are walking into but we know that the Lord has lead us here. Please be praying for us and our time in Mali.
Pray for us wives back here in Wewak. Being away from our husbands for 10 days is not going to be the easiest thing but we are confident that the Lord will steady us and make this time sweet as David and Nathan are away. Pray for peace and comfort for us as our husbands are away.
Pray for the men on the hike. This hike will be one of the most grueling hikes they have ever done. This place is known to be ridiculously rigorous in regards to the overall landscape that they will have to hike. Pray for their bodies to be energized, fueled properly and for perseverance to make it there and back and not fall victim to injury or illness. They are heading out not knowing the food, water or living situation of these people but will be depending on the Lord to provide along the way as He does for so many people who live in PNG. Please pray for them.