Trevor and Judy Clarke, NZ New Tribes Mission representatives, first met Stephanie during a class where they shared about the work of NTM at Shepherds Bible College. She had taken the whole of the 2015 year off from school teaching so that she could do a full year at Bible College, with every intention of resuming teaching in 2016. The Lord had other plans for her though. A few months later, we were there for the Impact conference, with more than 1000 people in attendance, and I (Judy) was with Stephanie at the breakfast table one morning and just happened to say to her that we have a huge need for teachers in many locations, actually 87 teachers needed at that time. A week after the conference Trev and I were on our way to PNG to help out in the Interface program.
Almost immediately after arriving there, we were presented with an enormous load of needs of personnel, especially for our Wewak Center. Families there were struggling with not enough workers on the base to fulfill the needs of the whole Sepik Region and added to this, were the demands of schooling their kids. There were even considerations that the Center of Operations may have to close, and the straw that was breaking-the-camels-back, was lack of a teacher. This weighed pretty heavily on Trev and my hearts, so we sent an email off to Stephanie, thinking that she could just be the one!
Yes, Stephanie prayed about it, asked a lot of good questions and saw that this was exactly what God had for her. It coincided with some previous thoughts that she would like to teach somewhere where teachers didn’t normally go (or possibly not want to go).
All the pieces began slotting together, right down to how she couldn’t go to PNG before finishing her Bible college year which would mean she wouldn’t arrive in PNG till early/mid-January. Little did she know that was no problem because all the necessary paper work, visas, work and entry permits would take up that time anyway!
This is a HUGE relief and a massive encouragement to the families working on the Wewak Center. It is huge for Stephanie, and just one of those privileges that keeps Trev and I excited about our job. We just have to keep going places sharing about Missions and God nudges His people to GO.