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Summer Zimmer, Communication Manager
Papua New Guinea: December 2018
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This forest of trees represents the team of people partnering with me to send me to Papua New Guinea. The trees are made from the proof pages of Bible translations in tribal languages.  Pray for these translation projects going on around the world.
So, I’m getting close. In less than 3 weeks now, I take off and arrive in Papua New Guinea to start the real journey- living in a new culture with all new people and learning a life different from what I’ve always known.  Plus doing a job I don’t necessarily know how to do!  It’s going to be uncomfortable at times, but I’ll actually be living in a nice area with good weather in the mountains, with running water and electricity, some normal food, and internet access. . . that isn’t quite what we’re used to but a connection nonetheless.  I’ll live in a Christian community with people who are all working to support God’s Word going forth and being known among people who don’t know Him. 
 
The real troopers are the tribal missionaries I’ll be helping to support.  They don’t have all those comforts.  They live among people who don’t think or believe the same way they do.  They live with them to try to understand how to communicate with them at a heart level and to understand the way they view the world.  They do this so that they can one day present God’s truth to them in a way they can understand and relate to.  It’s intentional.  It takes a long time and patient endurance.  One missionary I’ve emailed with has been there for over 30 years learning the language, translating scripture and teaching so that a church can be established among that people group.
 
It’s similar to the way Christ came to live among us. Jesus left the comfort and honor and power and holiness of His position in heaven to live among our sin and dirtiness.  He lived among our wrong thinking and wrong treatment of one another.
“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:  Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!” Philippians 2:5-8
For these missionaries there’s a long wait before the gift of what they’re offering is recognized and appreciated.  It’s a long time before they know the language and culture well enough to share the Gospel.  Just as Jesus was not at first received and recognized, neither is the message of His messengers. That is why, as these missionaries face rejection, misunderstanding and frustration over not seeing more progress, it is essential that they feel the support of their brothers and sisters within the Church. Through them they could have the encouragement, prayer and affirmation that they need to keep going and reminders that what they are doing is worth it.
“The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. . . The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.”  John 1: 9-12, 14
God came to live among us- Immanuel, God with us (Matthew 1:23), so that we could have a high priest who empathizes with our weaknesses and who is able to relate to our temptations and our lives.  (Hebrews 4:15).  And so we too must go and live among those who don’t know of His saving grace and love for them.  They don’t know freedom from ancestor and spirit worship.  They don’t know the truth of His Word and the guidance of His Holy Spirit.  They don’t know the name of the Lord.
“ 'Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’  How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?  And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’” Romans 10:13-15
Even as I consider myself and what I’m going to do, I can see that as I desire to serve missionaries and support them well, I need to become one of them to really be able to relate to how they might feel and what they might need.  I already see things differently.
 
Thank you to so many of you who have prayed, spent time helping me learn and prepare, have given gifts, have poured wisdom, truth and encouragement into me and who have supported me financially to make this journey and my support of other missionaries possible.
 
Have a Merry, Merry Christmas, appreciating that God came to this world to be among us- not to condemn us, but to save us (John 3:17). 
Again, just a reflection on how blessed I am to have these people in my life. Top left, a beautiful group of ladies that God provided around 8 years ago when I asked Him for a group of friends to grow spiritually with.  Top right, my pit crew!  Bottom left, family shot from our family weekend getaway including Legoland.  Bottom right, WCC's Mission Committee, a pretty awesome group of people.
There will be a going away open house for me at Warsaw Community Church on January 4, 6:00-8:00 p.m. that you are welcome to come to.  I will warn you, there will be some tears! 
Praises
I met a family that I will work with in PNG- in the same department and I really enjoyed getting to know them.  They were also interested in starting a pit crew, which is really what I want to help others do.

I was finally able to put my ideas and research so far down into a "Plan of Action" for my time in PNG.  It's been a blessing to have good feedback from the missionaries there so I know my direction.  Let me know if you'd be interested in reading it.

I have been assigned Mission Mates to help me transition to the field and they're people I've already been communicating with and was looking forward to getting to know!

I am grateful for people within this community with skills and experience who have been helping me learn new things and walking me through things I don’t understand.

In the midst of taking care of all of these tasks, I’ve had beautiful opportunities to be with the people I love.  This preparation time has been a beautiful season.

I'm going to be staying in the house of a couple who is on home leave for the year.  This means a lot of good things- like I don't have to worry about buying a lot of stuff because they already have it, it's more space so I can host others and it has a porch!
If you did not receive a printed newsletter in the mail in the past few weeks, and you would like to, please email me your mailing address and I will add you to my mailing list.
Prayer Requests
Pray for health!  After 2 colds in 3 weeks, I took some advice and got a bunch of immune boosting vitamins.  But really over there, there’s a lot of extra illnesses.  Please pray for protection.

Please continue praying for my use of time as I wrap things up and prepare to go.  I whittle away at what needs done each day but there’s still a lot to be done and also people I want to spend good quality time with.

Pray that I can prepare well as far as getting the equipment and software I need before I go.  Also that I can learn from people here what they are able to teach me before I go.

Pray for wisdom in packing and what to let go of.

Pray God would prepare a place for me there: someplace I can feel at home, friendships, groups to grow spiritually with, activities I enjoy, and opportunities to have people over for dinner! And specifically a Bible Study group.

Pray for my ability to die to myself and what is comfortable for me and surrender what I love and be grateful for what He brings my way.

Pray for smoothness of travel through 5 flights, favor through Customs and safety for my luggage.

Pray for my orientation period for at least the first 4 weeks I am there, that through it I would be able to learn language quickly and be flexible in adapting to the cultural differences.
My phone number will change after Jan. 7.  I'll try to send out an update.
More stories of what God is doing can be found by following Ethnos360 on social media.
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My mailing address is:
Summer Zimmer C/O New Tribes Mission
PO Box 1079 Goroka, EHP 441 Papua New Guinea

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