Perservering in PNG... Or Anywhere

The Merriam Webster dictionary defines "persevere" as: to persist in a state, enterprise, or undertaking in spite of counter influences, opposition, or discouragement.

If that doesn't sum up life in the time of COVID for many of us, I don't know what does! As we reflected on our ministry here in Papua New Guinea at the end of 2020, perseverance was the theme that kept coming up. This was not the year where we accomplished anything groundbreaking. We didn't accomplish all of our goals. Many of our plans fell apart. But we persevered. Through the Lord's grace, we were able to remain in Papua New Guinea. We were able to persist in this undertaking, despite discouragement and challenges. Many of our colleagues have returned to their home countries due to family challenges, medical needs, their age, or other factors. They have persevered in other ways, as they continued to trust the Lord through unexpected upheaval and found different ways of partnering with Bible translation remotely.

God Continues to Work!

December 2020: Gizrra New Testament Dedication. Photo credit: Jonathan Federwitz.

Welcoming some of our first returnees back to the community! An exciting day for all of us!!! Photo credit: Anita McCarthy.

August 2020: A local village near SIL-PNG’s Ukarumpa Centre signed a ceasefire, a significant first step toward lasting peace after an ongoing conflict.

October 2020: Isaiah and Nehemiah were baptized by David in our local river. One of our family's biggest highlights of the year! Photo credit: Anita McCarthy.

We are grateful for each one of you, and know that you have had your own challenges to persevere through this year. You have faced unique uncertainty and loss, different from what we have faced here, but no less challenging! We have been praying that God would continue to strengthen and encourage you during this time. If there are specific ways our family can pray for you, please hit "reply" to this email and let us know! It would be an honor to stand alongside you in this way.

Melissa Smith