"Where The Son Still Shines!" 2 Corinthians 4:6

Missionary News


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Oh my stars, where does the time go? You have probably already guessed that I, Mark, am writing this newsletter as most of the news we have is fresh from Papua New Guinea. It’s already the beginning of March, marking one month since I arrived back in the USA.  I’m pumped to fill you in on my trip and would have done so sooner, but I hit the ground running with trips to VA, TX, and MI.  As well we have been taking care of few medical things in our family these days.
My trip to PNG was so exciting with all the days packed full…no better way to travel.
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The trip had 3 main PURPOSES:
1. VILLAGE SCHOOL START UP

2. URBAN CHURCH ENCOURAGEMENT

3. "HAUSBOI" CONFERENCE FOR TRIBAL BOYS & MEN

READ about the NEW SCHOOL:
It’s surely not a new concept but education can be a big part in assisting the local church in the areas that we work.  That is why we wrote an alphabet & developed curriculum for the Bagwido language.  The purpose was to teach whoever wanted to learn, how to read and write in their own language, so that they could read & study the Bible for themselves.  
But . . .  the rest of the story is that PNG is changing and tribal churches, just like you and I, want their kids to have an opportunity for education.  What about the basics like math, reading, writing, problem-solving, and Bible?  Papua New Guinea does have some schools in the town areas, but what about the remote places?  This question remained for our village.  There is a reason they have been an “Unreached People Groups” for years … because they are hard to get to.  
Imagine if this was your school bus.
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In short, our church leaders from Mariama and Anganamai villages came to us a few years ago and asked if there was anything that we could do about bringing a school to their village. We have been praying and looking for the right school teachers to teach in this remote location for the past few years.  One year ago, we found the right fit and began working on logistics. Meet Soma and Misel, trained PNG teachers who we are now paying to head up this school start! 
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Last month, I was able to take 2 teachers into the Mariama village to START THIS SCHOOL.
They received a great welcome to the village, complete with singing, dancing, and a traditional mud smear. 
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80 village kids are super excited for this school launch.  The school year on that side of the globe goes from early February to late November so it worked out just right.   Keep your eye out for a video we are working on in the coming months; it will explain the ins and outs of our heart for this school.
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I will save the stories of the HAUSBOI conference for the next letter. 
Suffice to say, it was a week-long event of teaching boys to become men in with a Biblical foundation.
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It was incredible to be among the Papua New Guinea believers once again, in both the urban context and the tribal context. 
Truly, God went before me and made the weeks in PNG extremely profitable. 
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Seeing my tribal dad, Rafail Bawek, in the village of Mariama, was a sweet time.
He reminded me of this, “Son, my body and skin are dying and going more toward the ground, but okay, I still trust my Great Creator Being and am still his kid on the inside.  I don’t feel like I’m sharp like an arrow like I once was. My thinking and my outer body are falling down, but I look with ready anticipation for my real home heaven. When will it be? I don’t know. No one knows. We hold death in our pocket and God will say when it is time, it is time.”
These guys don’t long to stay on earth forever. Earth is a hard life for them. The main thing about my pops, Rafail, is that he knows he’s failing, and he’s not afraid of death.  How many of us can truly claim II Corinthians 4:16-18 and say that?
Holly and the kids held the fort here in Tennessee while I was away. During that time, they were able to “get the band back together” for a weekend. What a great opportunity to reconnect with our village coworkers, the Holmquist fam … and especially to have Cade doing so well & able to hang out with everyone. 
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From the bottom of our hearts, thank you so much for all that you guys do with us and for us!  We realize, daily, that we have an amazing team in you guys and we are pumped to be doing what we do, being your hands and feet.  Many of you already know, but as of this month we have shifted to a slightly new ministry with Ethnos360 where we can be in the USA more and still go to PNG to check up on village churches, still do church plant consulting, still get the next generation excited about missions and be the voice for Unreached People Groups, while still keeping one eye on my mom and dad in Michigan.  All our logistics remain the same in that we are still full time missionaries – in a couple different places.  We had back to PNG again from the end of May through the end of July this year.
We love you guys!
THANK YOU,
Mark, Holly, Allie, Brandt, Bryce, Brock 
GIVE at ethnos360.org/missionaries/mark-and-holly-woodard







 
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Ethnos360 / New Tribes Mission · Box 1079 · Goroka, EHP 441 · Papua New Guinea

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