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Archive for the ‘A Missionary Heart – God’s Heart’ Category

postheadericon PNG Gardening

I finally was invited to go work in a garden here in PNG. The folks here have to plant their gardens on the sides of mountains. Because of the steep terrain it is very difficult to keep the ground from eroding. A ‘terracing’ style of gardening is not practical for them because in many areas there is only a thin layer of dirt covering the stony mountainside. However, they have implemented various techniques that allow them to get the most out of their gardens given their limited access to outside resources. Basically they do all there gardening with a machete and a stick. Some are fortunate enough to have an axe as well.



From the little amount of time that I was able to spend in the garden I’ve learned some of their technique. They will allow a mountainside to grow ‘wild’ for 15 to 20 years. While they may not know the exact year that they last had a garden in that spot they can tell from the size of the trees on that mountainside about how long it has been growing wild. First the underbrush has to be cleared. This is usually done by the women and children. Then ‘suckers’ or small shoots are collected from other gardens. These are brought and planted among the trees on the mountainside. A 3 foot stick is cut about 3 inches in diameter. This is then used to jam into the dirt on the side of the mountain. If it contacts large stone just under the surface of the dirt then that spot is not suitable for planting. If they can drive the stick 6 or more into the dirt then they will put a young shoot into the hole that is left in the dirt. They will then drive the stick into the dirt 2 or 3 more times around the shoot to loosen the soil. One thing that surprised me was that they do not pack the dirt around the plant – they simply put it into the whole and let it sit there.


After the young shoots are planted the trees are cut down. That is where I got to come in. I like using an axe. However, I did not realize that there is a science to how they fell the trees in the garden. They want the trunk of the tree to lie horizontal to the slope. This allows the trunks to get caught by the stumps sticking out of the ground and keeps them from sliding down the slope. They also want the crown of the tree to fall so that when the leaves fall off of the dying tree they will fall onto the young shoots. This helps with erosion as well as gives mulch to the young plants. They also try to crisscross the trees when they can – this adds a network of branches and leaves which will help with erosion and add more mulch for the young plants.

I was able to use my newfound understanding of gardening here in PNG as an example the very next day. We headed out to the garden on Saturday morning at 7:30

and cut down trees until 11. We had a big lunch and then hiked 4 hours to a church plant in Aminowa. There I was able to illustrate God’s blessings upon a church by using my understanding of their gardening principles. I said that ‘You don’t cut the trees down first when you are making a garden. No, you clean the bush, plant the shoots and then cut the trees down. In like manner, if you want to receive God’s blessings upon your church you must follow His principles.’ I gave them 4 principles from Acts 2: Obey the Word of God, Pray, Be in One Accord, and Believe God’s Promises. The church was encouraged and I was happy. I then did the hike back home in about 3 hours.

postheadericon Busy Week!

The Gillispie Family joined our team here at the base in the Gulf Province last week. Since the day they arrived I have been trying to keep up with his pace of getting his apartment ready for them to move into. Their family has been living out of a suitcase for the last three years on deputation and they are ready to unpack for a change! There were only a few things that needed to be done…but nothing gets done without a lot of sweat here in the remote areas.

The purpose of the housing here at the mission station is to give new missionaries on our team a place to live while they are adjusting to the culture and language differences. It also gives them a place to get ministry experience in the PNG context while they are getting ready to make the next move. Some missionaries, like the Gillispies, already know where the next move will be.

To finish their apartment we needed to connect the hot and cold water to the existing plumbing, move over the wiring, solar panels, and batteries to run his refrigerator, connect the lights to that system, polyurethane one room, and move down a gas stove. Sounds like it shouldn’t be too difficult right? Since this is the first time that either of us had ever handled a solar electrical system there was some trial and error. I managed to let one of the sockets I was using to tighten the wires on the battery terminal touch the opposite terminal…NOT GOOD! The resulting sparks sent my national helper flying out from under the house! I hadn’t seen anyone move that fast in a long time. Getting the solar panels attached to the roof, connecting the wiring, and attaching everything together was quite a feat as well.

After a week and a half we are almost done. They just have the one room left to polyurethane and move the stove down from the upstairs apartment. I am very thankful to be able to serve God by helping our team member get settled into this apartment. I know that he has been waiting for three years to get here so that he can get started learning the language and culture. The Kapairope people whom they are called to reach are dying and going into eternity with very little light to guide their way.

I will admit that I am glad that this is almost over. Rebecca and I are having a hard time learning the Tok Pidgin language because of all the other things that need to be done on a daily basis. I was also involved on Friday on a hike up to the radio station – which totally wore me out!

Please continue to pray for us to be completely surrendered to God every day. We desire to be His instruments to bring the gospel to an unreached tribe here in the Gulf Province. However, we know that what we have been involved in the last week and a half was God’s perfect will for us.




postheadericon First Day in the Clinic -April 29th, 2014

We have been adjusting to life in PNG quite well. Recently two members of our team left to return to the States. Rachel Schellenberger has worked diligently in the medical clinic here for the last 4 years. With her leaving the clinic there is definitely a need for more help. Rebecca has been observing off and on for the last few weeks but this week marked the beginning of her regular clinic duties. She will be assisting in the clinic on Tuesday mornings from 9am to noon for now. This means that I got to watch the children for that time :-) As Ruth and Abigail become more independent she may be able to help more.

This is excellent experience for Rebecca as well as a help to the other workers and the people themselves. When the Lord shows us where He wants us to start a new church, Rebecca will likely be called on to administer basic medicines as well as suturing, etc. This will be an incredible way to show the love of Christ to people. Of course we will be sharing the most important ‘medicine’ – the gospel of Jesus Christ!

postheadericon Mob tries to burn ‘sorcerers’ alive

Police save ‘sorcerers’ after mob try to burn them alive in Papua New Guinea

Two women accused of being sorcerers have been saved by police after they were about to be set alight by a mob in the Pacific state of Papua New Guinea.

Police save 'sorcerers' after mob try to burn them alive in Papua New Guinea

On February 6 a young mother accused of sorcery was set alight on a pile of rubbish topped with car tyres Photo: AP
By Jonathan Pearlman, Sydney

2:18PM GMT 14 Feb 2013

The women were accused of killing an eight-year-old girl in Mount Hagen, the same city where a crowd burnt a 20-year-old mother last week after stripping her naked and beating her in a killing that shocked the world.

A police commander, Teddy Tei, said an angry crowd claimed two elderly women had killed the eight-year-old, but that police believed she had been “gang-raped and killed by two known suspects”.

The suspects were among the crowd attacking the women, who were tied to poles and about to be burnt. Also present was a “glassman” – a man who claimed to have supernatural powers and who had identified the luckless women as sorcerers and claimed they were responsible for the child’s death.

About 20 people were arrested.

The incident follows the killing two weeks ago of Kepari Leniata, 20, who was reportedly tortured with a branding iron and tied up, doused with fuel and burnt on a pile of rubbish topped with car tyres, while a crowd including children looked on. She was accused of using sorcery to kill a six-year-old boy.

The United Nations denounced the killing and called on the government and authorities to prevent attacks on alleged sorcerers.

“We urge the government to put an end to these crimes and to bring perpetrators of attacks and killings to justice through thorough, prompt and impartial investigations in accordance with international law,” said Cecile Pouilly, a spokeswoman for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Belief in sorcery and witchcraft is widespread in the poverty-stricken Commonwealth nation, which has a controversial Sorcery Act aimed at preventing attacks on people accused of practicing black magic.

The act is under review and the PNG Constitutional and Law Reform Commission has recommended that it be repealed.

taken from HERE



postheadericon March Update

“…Blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” Matt 15:14


Ministry Opportunities:

March has been a wonderful month of deputation. God enabled us to be in churches 21 days this month! We were in Colorado, Montana, Tennessee, Georgia, Michigan, Georgia again, Mississippi, and New Mexico. All I can say is that “God’s been good” to us. We had two churches vote to take us on right away and others promised to consider doing so down the road. We were especially blessed to be a part of two young people receiving Christ this month. One prayed with her pastor the day after we preached in a chapel service, and the other was a 17 year-old young man I led to Christ while out visiting in NM.

Some Highlights:

While we were in Michigan the Lord allowed us to be in a conference at Parker Memorial Baptist in Lansing. Calvary Publishing is out of Parker, and my family was able to help put together some John & Romans while we were there.

I was especially blessed to be in four churches this month where we knew members who were friends of ours from college. Some are youth pastors or assistant pastors and the others are serving faithfully as layman in the church. We were able to renew our friendship and learn about what God is doing in their lives. We pray that we were as much of a blessing to them as they were to us!

While we were in Espanola, NM at Valley Bible Baptist Church, I had my first experience passing out tracts and witnessing to people who were on a pilgrimage! This area is predominately Catholic, and roughly 10,000 people will make the Chimayo pilgrimage every Good Friday. They walk for miles in order to be blessed by a certain priest, pray in an old church with a statue of Jesus in it, and reach into a hole in the floor where there is ‘holy dirt.’ They will rub this on themselves and also save some of it. Supposedly, this dirt replenishes itself – but I’ve been told that the grounds-keeper uses a coffee tin to replace the dirt from a pile out back.


(see NPR article by clicking HERE)

VBBC uses this pilgrimage as an opportunity to pass out waters, give tracts, and witness. The surprising part about this was how many varieties of people were there. I witnessed to many different people over the four hours I was passing out tracts and bottles of water. While most were professing Catholics, some claimed to be ‘Christians,’ some were from the Sihk community in town, one claimed to be a Buddhist, and many were from the native Indian pueblos in the area.

After speaking with many people on that day, I was more convinced than ever that religion is simply the ‘blind leading the blind.’ How wonderful that I have a Relationship and not a religion! Another thing that stood out to me is how many people are searching for something and they don’t know what it is. They are looking to fill the void in their lives that only a relationship with Christ can fill. The next time you think to yourself that people in your area are satisfied with their lives – think of the 10,000+ people who made the Chimayo Pilgrimage along with the millions of others around the world seeking for fulfillment in religion and finding only emptiness. How sad to think that they will wake up in Hell after making so many sacrifices for their religion or ‘god’ on this earth.


We continue to thank God for the work that is being done in the Gulf of PNG. We recently had a request from our team members to share with you some very specific needs. The medical clinic there saw 9,300 patients in one year. Please click this link to see some specific needs you may be able to help with. (
Thanks for your support and prayers!

your missionaries,

Josh, Rebecca and Abigail Florence

postheadericon Friends

“A Man that hath friends must show himself friendly…”

I praise God for those Christians who come along our path and take it upon themselves to show themselves friendly to us!

postheadericon Missionary Motivation

What is a missionary?

As My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you. John 20:21.

A missionary is one sent by Jesus Christ as He was sent by God. The great dominant note is not the needs of men, but the command of Jesus. The source of our inspiration in work for God is behind, not before. The tendency to-day is to put the inspiration ahead, to sweep everything in front of us and bring it all out to our conception of success. In the New Testament the inspiration is put behind us, the Lord Jesus. The ideal is to be true to Him, to carry out His enterprises.

Personal attachment to the Lord Jesus and His point of view is the one thing that must not be overlooked. In missionary enterprise the great danger is that God’s call is effaced by the needs of the people until human sympathy absolutely overwhelms the meaning of being sent by Jesus. The needs are so enormous, the conditions so perplexing, that every power of mind falters and fails. We forget that the one great reason underneath all missionary enterprise is not first the elevation of the people, nor the education of the people, nor their needs; but first and foremost the command of Jesus Christ—“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations.”

When looking back on the lives of men and women of God the tendency is to say—‘What wonderfully astute wisdom they had! How perfectly they understood all God wanted!’ The astute mind behind is the Mind of God, not human wisdom at all. We give credit to human wisdom when we should give credit to the Divine guidance of God through childlike people who were foolish enough to trust God’s wisdom and the supernatural equipment of God.

- Chambers, O. (1993, c1935). My utmost for his highest : Selections for the year (October 26). Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House Publishers.

postheadericon Baptist Bible Translators Institute – Home

Perhaps you are wondering what we are going to be learning while we are here in Bowie, Tx. This is from BBTI’s home page and gives you a good overview:

Specialized Preparation – For the mission field

…:::Advanced Missionary Training

Hundreds of millions of people live in utter darkness without any portion of the Bible in their language. Most of the unevangelized people in the world live in areas where no language school exists. Who will reach these lost souls?

Do you feel God leading you to serve on the foreign field? Are you preparing for the rigors of language learning and culture adaptation? Baptist Bible Translators Institute offers a unique nine-month course that will equip a missionary for every aspect of mission work. We do not teach missionaries a language—we teach missionaries how to learn any language.

BBTI prepares missionaries to go anywhere in the world, learn a language, translate the Bible, and plant Baptist churches. BBTI classes cover the following:

✔Linguistics (language learning skills)

✔Culture Learning and Adaptation

✔Bible Translation Principles

✔Literacy Training

✔Teaching English as a Foreign Language

Language learning and culture adaptation can mean the difference between success and failure on the mission field.

via Baptist Bible Translators Institute – Home.

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