I went to see Hoax the other day to tell him we are going to Menya. He is happy for us.

While I was at his house, I asked him how things have been going and specifically asked him about “church.” I won’t try to recount the whole conversation, but here are my conclusions:

  1. Hoax is still clear on what the gospel is
  2. I’m not sure how frequently Hoax attends his “church”
  3. I’m not sure attending his “church” would be a good thing anyway
  4. I don’t think Hoax is growing in his faith and relationship with God

The disappointing part of this is probably pretty obvious. I wish that I could tell you that Hoax is “on fire for God” and sharing the gospel with all of his neighbors and relatives. Unfortunately the reality is that he is in a really hard spot and does not have a lot of positive input coming his way. I’m not letting him of the hook, however, because if he really desired to grow or to be taught and he made the effort, I’m sure that he could find a way. Please pray for Hoax and his desire to know God and pray for me to have wisdom in challenging him.

As I was thinking about this I was sad for Hoax, but also excited for our future. I’m excited because our plans for Menya go way beyond just sharing the gospel and having to move on. Our plans are to preach the gospel, translate the Bible, train leaders and teachers and establish a self-sustaining church. I’m excited to get started on something really big. So I’m thankful for the opportunity I had with Hoax (and with the COC guys) along the way, but I am also really excited to be pursuing a bigger goal in Menya.


  1. Shandi Stevenson

    Sad to hear this, but it’s important to understand the reality of what many new believers face so we know how to pray for things we often neglect to think about or pray for. I also like your point about how, God willing, you’ll be able to offer so much more long-term feeding and shepherding and support to the new brothers and sisters in Christ we will have one day in Menya!

  2. Totally agree with Shandi. This just highlights the great need that is in PNG, and will be a reminder for why you guys will be there for so long.

    We, too, are seeing firsthand the gap that is left when there is not a gospel-teaching local church.

  3. Kelley Haff

    I’m assuming the NTM bases at which Hoax and the COC guys work hold worship services. What prevents them from attending those services? Only in English? Base security? I will continue praying for Hoax and the others.

    • Joseph

      Kelley, there is a church service at Lapilo, but not at Sobega–the two bases are within fifteen minutes driving. I don’t know what the official policy is for the service at Lapilo but it is in English so that would make it hard for most nationals to follow.

What do you think?