Manam teachers get help

The church has been struggling but the believers have stepped up.

Three Manam Bible teachers have been teaching the believers on a remote island off the coast of Papua New Guinea but now feel they need help from missionaries to understand some of the more difficult passages.

James, one of the Bible teachers, asked missionary Matt Hamb a penetrating question, “Romans is hard, and if I don’t understand I should stop teaching, shouldn’t I?”

James has often referred to the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8 who said he could not understand the Scriptures without help. Now he sees the need for help.

Missionaries Matt and Christine Hamb rose to the challenge of helping the Manam Bible teachers make the Scriptures clear to the believers.

Shortly after the Gospel was presented, two missionary families had to return home. Without the discipleship and guidance needed, the church foundered. Now as the Hambs help the Bible teachers to understand, the church is beginning to stabilize. As soon as Matt reaches language fluency, he will begin teaching literacy and developing Bible lessons for the Manam teachers.

Recently a group of Bible teachers from another tribal church planted by New Tribes Mission braved the rough seas to help the missionaries teach through Acts for the first time.

“One of the greatest encouragements has been seeing the faith of these three church leaders,” wrote Matt. “God has been faithful in their lives, especially James who has risen to the top as a true shepherd. With very little teaching or discipleship they have remained strong in their faith and desire to know God and His Word and are humbly asking for help as they realize their need.”

Though Matt and Christine are faithfully teaching the Manam people, they are facing some very serious struggles. There is an active volcano which erupted and caused almost the entire population of 10,000 to evacuate in 2004. Now 2,000 have returned but ash continues to fall, damaging trees and gardens. Lava continues to flow in some areas.

“Probably our greatest struggle personally is being so far from our son who graduated last year and is now back in the USA,” Matt wrote. “We still have a daughter here in Papua New Guinea with us but our family seems incomplete without our son.”

Pray for Matt and Christine who are facing one of the struggles that many missionaries experience. It is one of the sacrifices that Matt and Christine are making to help establish the Manam church.

Pray too that the Manams will continue to grow strong in the Lord and that the church will draw together as a family of believers and reach out to others.