The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

from missionaries Marvin and Patty Thrasher in PNG

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Rec’d this update from friends Marvin and Patty in Papua New Guinea. I publish it here with their pethrasher-marvin-patty-1.jpgrmission, along with this map. Maybe you’d like to pray along with them . . .

Dear Friends and Family, It has been too long since we’ve sent you an update on what is going on in PNG and in our lives. God has richly blessed us in many ways and we want to praise and lift up His name.District Assemblies were held in March with Dr. Nina Gunter presiding as our General Superintendent. She was very well received by the people of PNG, blessing and inspiring all of us with her powerful sermons. There were three ladies ordained at the Western Highlands District assembly. They were the first women ever to receive elders credentials in PNG. [Hooray! – Monte]

The MNBC building projects are progressing at a satisfying rate. God has been faithful to provide funds in so many different ways. The first six new houses for married students were completed in time for the new intake of students in February. And Marvin’s number one building crew are currently building six more houses, with a Work and Witness team coming from Australia and New Zealand in October to help build a toilet and shower block. There are plans for another six married students houses when the current six are completed. We are trusting God to supply the funds as needed. He has already brought in over $200,000 in the last two years, but we still need over $800,000 in the years ahead. Please pray that God will continue to supply the finances as they are needed.

The number two building crew is currently building a single women’s dormitory which will house up to 40 single women. This will be the first two story building on the campus. The top floor will not be completed until funds come in sometime in 2007. These new buildings are necessary to house the 25-30 students a year, who will be attending the new teacher’s training program. We have received over 200 applications for that program, which will begin in 2007. Help us pray that God will give discernment in choosing the right students. We want to train Christian people who are called to teach elementary school and are willing to go to the rural areas of PNG, where life is often very difficult.

We are thankful to God for two good men, Joe Esila and David Aipanga, who are a great help to Marvin by supervising the two building teams. This has allowed Marvin to be available to teach three classes so far this year. One to Certificate students, which is in Tok Pisin, one to the Diploma students and one to the Bachelor students, both of which were in English. He also will be teaching three more classes later this year. Being able to teach these men and women has been a joy and privilege for Marvin. Please continue to pray that God will give him strength for each day as he continues in both of these important ministries.

Last Saturday was a great day of celebration as MNBC College Church baptized 12 people. We all gathered at the Chapel and walked through gardens and down the mountain to the river. The candidates sang a song and then the circuit pastor brought a short message. The current in the river was so strong that the Chaplain, Rev. Michael Mann, needed a big, strong man to help anchor him while he baptized the people. As each candidate came out of the water, the congregation sang a song of praise and young girls threw flower petals into the river. It was a wonderful time of celebration. The day concluded with the traditional meal of chicken, sweet potatoes, corn and bananas steamed in a pit lined with hot stones and banana leaves and covered with more leaves and hot stones.

Patti continues to keep the missionaries going by her work as PNG Mission treasurer. She was privileged recently to work with many of the PNG district treasurers. She was able to help them to understand the accounting process, problem solve and get caught up on their work. It’s time to submit budgets for the new year and she was glad to be able to help in that process with a class for both treasurers and district superintendents. Please pray for our district leaders that God will give them wisdom and direction for the future. There are many challenges to face and discouragement is always close at hand.

Next week the Papua New Guinea Church of the Nazarene will be celebrating 50 years of ministry in PNG. The PNG Nazarene National Board has worked hard to prepare a very special week beginning on July 12. Many retired PNG Nazarene Missionaries and a few General and Regional Church leaders will be coming to help us celebrate. We will be looking back to where we started, looking at where we are now and looking forward to where we are going in the future. Join us in praying for this time of celebration and for the future of the Church of the Nazarene in PNG.

We’ll be home again in just nine months for another three months of Home Assignment—April through June 2007. There is still plenty of room in our schedule if you’d like to have us speak at your church. Please contact Mary Johnson in the Deputation Office at Kansas City for open dates. She can be reached by phone at (816) 333-7000, email mejohnson@nazarene.org or by letter at 6401 The Paseo, Kansas City, MO 64131. We’d love to see you.

You have encouraged and blessed us with your cards, letters, gifts and prayers. Thank you for letting God use you in such special ways. We pray that He will continue to pour out his blessings on you as you faithfully serve Him.

Rev. Marvin & Patti Thrasher

Melanesia Nazarene Bible College

P. O. Box 376

Mt. Hagen,

WHP Papua New Guinea

naztreas@daltron.com.pg

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Written by Monte

July 22, 2006 at 9:10 am

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