As 2015 came to a close, I realized that God had been answering some really specific prayers for Kevin, me and and our ministry with Wycliffe. While in the USA, I re-learned the art of diligent study in order to succeed academically. I was reminded of 2 Peter 3:14 (NASV) —”Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless.” I found myself experiencing God while taking Research Methods and Statistics courses! I was reminded that just as I must study diligently to succeed in these, I must be diligent to to live in peace, spotless and blameless in my spiritual walk. I gained a renewed sense of dependence on God in the learning process.
When the courses were done Kevin and I changed gears and began travel through parts of the northeastern USA and southeastern Canada. It was late Spring and seing God’s handiwork in the beauty and power of Niagara Falls and resting in Him. We simply enjoyed the love and fellowship of family and friends. We met new friends as we went about telling of our mission experiences and experiencing the Love of God among supporting churches.
As we returned to Papua New Guinea I began a new role at the SIL PNG headquarters, so we were separated again only to experience God’s sustaining grace as we lived apart for the sake of the Gospel. I think the most painful experience was losing my pastor and friend of a lifetime in October. Dr. Eddie B. Lane showed so many how to live for Christ and now he has shown us how to finish well. We rejoice to have his wife continuing to serve the Lord with Bibleway Church in Dallas.
Reuniting with the Notsi in November was a definite highlight and especially so, after I suffered an infection in December. Even in that we experienced to love of the Notsi toward us and we witnessed the grace of God in medical care. I was especially blessed by exceptional TLC Kevin provided to speed my recovery! We closed 2015 with firm assurance that God is in control of all things. Of course, these few lines could not express the great love we experienced as we walked with the Lord through 2015 but we hope they give you a glimpse of God’s goodness.
As I was graduating from high school one of my prayers was to know God better. I believe that God placed Rev. & Mrs. Eddie B. Lane and the Bibleway Church in my life to steer me through the challenges of my young Christian life and even as I grew in faith. Through the Lanes’ ministry of preaching, teaching the Word, exhorting, rebuking, and discipleship, the Holy Spirit could do His work making God known to me. For these blessings, I will forever be grateful.
Through the years, I have experienced the great love of God as Dr. Lane showed us how to love family, and others in the body of Christ. Like me, the members of Bibleway Bible Church experienced a very personal and close relationship with our pastor. He knew us as individuals and showed himself to be a true shepherd and minister of the Gospel. He was a passionate prayer champion who truly taught us how to intercede for others and expect answers.
He was truly human and because he suffered much in his lifetime, I suppose that is why he could comfort others so well in their struggles. He could be gentle and he could speak the truth with authority. Dr. Lane was a wise and discerning spiritual father to me and to many, many others. I think I can speak on their behalf when I say, “Thank you God for the great work you have done through your servant, Dr. Eddie B. Lane.” To God be the glory!
It was only a month after first meeting Gertrude that I met Rev. & Sister Lane at a conference in Maryland outside Washington, D.C. Little did I realize the impact that this man of God would have on my life. The first event occurred six months later when he performed the marriage ceremony for Gertrude and me.
A few years later as we were living in Orlando, and traveling around the country to share about the work of Wycliffe Bible Translators, I began to think about going to seminary. I thought I could go to one of the seminaries in Orlando part time while I continued my work with Wycliffe. Since Dr. Lane was at Dallas Seminary I thought I would ask him about what he thought. He would not hear of me going anywhere but Dallas Seminary. So I sent my application in and to my surprise I was accepted. A few months later Gertrude and I were packing up house and moving to Dallas, TX.
As I started at the seminary, Dr. Lane retired from the seminary. I was sorry that he would not be there as I started, but he was always available to encourage me. I remember sitting down with him and telling him what courses I was taking and who I had for professors. He was always keen to know what was happening at the seminary. He had been there for over thirty years starting as a student and retiring after being the Dean of Minority Students. There are many pastors that have been under his tutelage who are serving around the world today and could share much the same testimony that Gertrude and I share about him.
How he loved the Lord and desired to see all those that he served to have the same love and devotion to the Him. As the Apostle Paul said, “As I imitate Christ imitate me,” so Dr. Lane, by his life, has modeled the same principle.
Here is what has been posted about Dr. Lane other websites
What was I thinking?! In January, I enrolled in two classes at Texas Woman’s University (TWU). It took some effort to figure out the modern process of enrollment. Nowadays you don’t have to show up on campus to do anything. I just wanted to take two classes so in the end, I found what I was looking for at TWU. Statistics an undergraduate course, and Research Methods (graduate) were both partially online courses. By God’s grace I weathered the onslaught of learning all manner of new knowledge! By April, I think I understood what it means to be a student in today’s society.
Why was I taking statistics and research methods? Well, the notion occurred to me in 2012 as I observed the poor quality of teaching and poor student achievement in elementary schools. Then, in 2013 the government in Papua New Guinea (PNG) decided to return to an English only policy in all grade levels—including English instruction in elementary grades. This decision triggered a variety responses from education researchers in PNG. One researcher told another that there was too little empirical (concrete) research to refute or support local language education. We see concrete results when we help communities start literacy programs for their children. In practical ways, teachers who have used local language instruction with relevant teaching methods have proven their validity. The problem is that too few have provided scholarly evidence to prove the results at university and government levels. How could I help this situation? I was advised to start with taking a couple of courses. Needless to say, I learned a lot more than statistics and research methods as I walked with the Lord in this venture.
What was I thinking? I was thinking about the big picture for Papua New Guinea. We do Bible translation and we do what we can to help people read the translated Word in their languages but we are not blind to educational needs of the rest of the country. People that have benefited from the translated Word and our literacy programs are now part of the Christian influence in the church, education, politics and business. I can help Papua New Guinean Christians impact future generations both spiritually and academically by not only training trainers of elementary teachers but also I can multiply my efforts with the academic community by providing them with concrete evidence of the value of local language education.
As Kevin and I look towards finishing the Notsi New Testament we would also like to leave concrete evidence in place that affirms the local languages of PNG as tools for initial literacy, as bridges for continuing education in English and most of all as a bridge to knowing the God of the Bible that is in their heart languages.
We have been home in the U. S. since September 2014. It is amazing how time has flown by. We have just a few months before we return to Papua New Guinea. We are so grateful for the time to visit supporters. So far, we have visited churches in Kansas City, MO; Austin, TX; Longview, TX; and a number of churches in the Dallas and Fort Worth, TX area. Besides being able to share about our ministry in PNG, I have had unique opportunities to preach 4 times. I look forward to preaching again at Bibleway in Dallas, and also at Greater New Guide in Baton Rouge, LA. What a joy to preach and share about missions in so many churches.
Gertrude and I continue to enjoy daily readings of Old and New Testament books while she studied at Texas Woman’s University. It was special to be here for her as she returned to school after 17 years. I was delighted to help her use an advanced calculator to compute statistical data. Quite naturally, she had to learn the special aspects of the calculator to get the right answers or know when she had gotten the wrong one! Another aspect of the TWU adventure included re-entry into the American society of college students. Even though the culture of young college students seemed most foreign to her, Gertrude began to pray that the Lord would keep her alert to opportunities to share her testimony with them. The opportunities came in short bursts of conversation—usually in tutoring sessions. It wasn’t until late in the semester that she realized the tutoring sessions were God’s provision of opportunities to bond with some of the students.
In June we plan to drive to New York—stopping to visit friends along the way as well as making a short diversion to see Niagara Falls. We will be in the Albany area from June 12th until June 22nd. From New York, we will drive to Virginia to visit another supporting church as well as my family. Our next stop will be in St. Louis, MO to visit partners in ministry. Returning to Texas expect to be give testimony of our ministry at four regional conferences of the 8th District of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in Texas.
Lord willing we will conclude our travels in the USA by visiting friends of our ministry in Los Angeles. Finally we board our international flight to Australia where we’ll have a short rest before the last leg of the journey to PNG on August 26. Please pray for the Lord’s help, guidance, protection, and provision for all our travels.
On October 26, 2014 Gertrude and I visited the Post Oak CME Church. The church is less than a mile from Gertrude’s family home. When Gertrude was a child she remembers visiting the church on occasions when they had revivals or other special events.
We were given a very warm welcome. The pastor, Rev. Mays, first learned of us from Bishop Bishop Reddick. He was very pleased to have us there to visit. He invited us to share with the church about our work in Papua New Guinea. He and others from the church were full of questions questions. We enjoyed our time with them.
As this church is in a small town where Gertrude grew up, she met many people that she knew even family. One of her elementary school teaches who had been a real encouragement to her was there. We look forward to visiting there again in the future.