Partner Through Prayer

May 28, 2021   

Thank You for praying for the Covid-19 outbreak at Goroka Baptist Bible College (GBBC)!  We praise God for his  gracious answers!  The 30 infected students have all recovered and returned to classes.  There have been a few new cases, including nurse Lori and her husband Bill.  Praise God both have recovered and resumed ministries, and praise God he staggered our 2 nurse’s infections so we always had a nurse on duty!  We also praise God that symptoms on campus have been mild for most.  But we need to continue to pray for the Covid pandemic in our area around GBBC, and throughout Papua New Guinea (PNG).  With 2020 lockdowns and precautions, PNG had almost no Covid-19 cases.  But cases popped up in early 2021, and now they are experiencing what the U.S. was going through a year ago.  Growing numbers of infections (now 15,500+) and deaths (162) are reported from every province.  The numbers have more than doubled since last month!  I’m sure the numbers are much higher.  Remember what that was like, a year ago?  Remember the uncertainty, lack of information, fear, masks, the hoarding of basic supplies, the projected lack of available equipment and care?  These points all seem more troubling in PNG, with fewer medical resources than America, a poorer (subsistence) economy, and over 80% of the people living in rural and remote areas where medical information and care is mostly inaccessible.  But there is some good news.  The median age in PNG is about 23 years, which means a large part of the country is young and may be less affected by Covid-19.  Also vaccines are becoming available and many in the medical field have been vaccinated.  Pray the good news of Jesus will spread throughout PNG even more than the virus!  Pray for churches and pastors who are serving faithfully.

2021 grads formal Jack Gundu

Other good news?  GBBC recently held graduation for 9 new graduates!  2 men in our pastoral program, 3 women in our teacher training program (in blue robes), and four women in our diploma program.  We had fewer attendees due to Covid-19, having to cancel our normal Pastors Conference.  But the ministry of “Training Tomorrow’s Christian Leaders Today” continues, with your prayers and support.  Thank you!  Why labor and persevere in this?  It’s hard enough to keep ministry training going, balancing the needs of students, programs, staff, and facilities, now add a pandemic, and that GBBC is in the midst of an expansion program as well.  Why grow this ministry and invest in students and churches like this?  Because it is biblical and it works!  Note the 4 levels Paul writes about in 2 Timothy 2:2: “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.”  This is PNG biblical discipleship in action!  Pray for these graduates as they begin new ministries in churches and schools.  They picked “Go Ye Make Disciples” as their graduation theme.  May God keep them and use them greatly for his glory!

What a privilege to train and work with such choice servants of Christ with you, multiplying the laborers for the harvest!  Please pray as we plan for a teaching trip to do just that. Covid-19 has brought some hurdles: travel restrictions, pre-approvals and additional documents, testing, and a mandatory 2-week quarantine upon entering PNG.  But God is greater than these obstacles!  We have seen him overcome more.  Please pray for the Hovey family, our coworkers.  They are trying to return to PNG May 31st and have had their tickets cancelled 5 times before. They (and we) just want to get back to the ministry God has called us to.  Thank You for helping us do that. Please be praying as we help Kellis’s dad care for her mom.  She has become a bit less aware of things, and we have become more aware of her increased needs for help.  It’s challenging.  But we are glad to do what we can!

Serving Together,
Pat and Kellis Melson                              ABWE, P.O. Box 8585, Harrisburg, PA  1710

 

 

Covid Meal Prep-Jalen

April 2, 2021

The Coronavirus is hitting Goroka Baptist Bible College (GBBC) HARD.  Please, will you pray?  As I was getting info to ask for prayer, the numbers have increased, from 7, up to 22, and now at 28.  All but two of our single men have tested positive, as well as 9 of our single women.  Most have the typical flu-like symptoms, but one student, Jerry, has had more difficulties than others.  Rubby, one of two nurses, and Freeda our women’s dorm matron are infected and in isolation.  Non-affected staff and married students started helping prepare meals several days ago, now for 100, the number of students and children on campus.  Please pray for healing, minimal symptoms, for protection for our Goroka community, GBBC students, and co-workers (Jack and Dorothy, Jalen (pictured) and Angie, Solomon and Becky, Tim and Leandra, Bill and Lori, Phil and Jan, Jeff, Richard, Gilbert, and others).  Pray especially for Nurse Lori and her staff who runs our community clinic on campus, now even busier with our Goroka hospital limiting all non-emergency procedures.  Sound familiar?

Though Papua New Guinea (PNG) seemed to have avoided Covid last year, they are now a hotspot in the Oceania region.  There are over 6,000 cases and 60 deaths, but this is likely under reported.  When the virus emerged last year, we had great concerns for PNG, the people and country we love and serve.  Their health system is limited, with one of the lowest ratio of doctors to population in the world, about 500 doctors for almost 9 million.  That’s 1 doctor for every 180,000 people, give or take a few.  There are about 120 hospitals with 5,000 available hospital beds for an area the size of California.  80% of the population live in rural and remote areas, with no or limited access to testing, let alone treatments.  Medical personnel are heroically serving, but some news stories estimate over 10% have contracted Covid, especially in the hard-hit area around the nation’s capital, Port Moresby.   There are some good signs, like the addition of a 300 bed field hospital at the Taurama Aquatic Centre, the gifting of vaccines from Australia, and help promised by other countries.  But more is needed.  Pray the virus does not spread through PNG; pray for its government, healthcare system, and for frontline workers.

Pray the good news of Jesus will penetrate PNG!  Pray especially for those who are sick and may die, that they may hear and respond to the good news of Christ.  As Carl Henry said “It is only good news if it gets there in time.”  Our hearts hurt with the pain of sickness and death already there, and there is a growing fear regarding Covid.  But there’s a bigger and scarier picture.  A battle rages for the souls of men.  There are 2 categories of people fighting Covid, lost or saved; those who are sure of heaven, and those who are not and are bound for hell.  “Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many (Hebrews 9:27-28).”  The bad news is death and judgment awaits us all.  But the Easter story is about good news, the best news ever!  Christ came and died for our sins, was buried, and rose again, that we may receive by faith the free gift of eternal life!  “Please God, may many come to Christ!”

Some have asked “What about our plans for two trips to PNG this year?”  With PNG likely moving to stricter lockdowns and travel restrictions (with quarantines), it makes trips more costly and uncertain.  We want to be there helping!  Thanks for praying as we consider trip options.  If you desire to support our ministry or a future trip, you can give securely online from the "Partner through Giving" page.   Or by mail, send gifts to ABWE, P.O. Box 8585, Harrisburg, PA  17105-8585 (please include account # 110273 for Melsons, or # 774403 for GBBC).

Serving Together,
Pat and Kellis Melson

 

 

October 2020

"Missionaries live in houses, don't they?" 

It sounds like a silly question, because all in ministry live somewhere from which they may serve.  It may be a hut, house, or an inner-city apartment on the 20th floor; it might be on a compound or base, or in a village or community.  It varies as greatly as mission fields and ministries.  Most missionaries have recommended amounts for housing based on their mission-field needs.  When you consider furlough housing needs, it's just as varied, and sometimes more complicated.  Some mission organizations and some churches provide mission housing on a short-term, limited-fee basis.  Others help subsidize it, or provide a listing of available housing in a geographic area, sometimes partnering with regional churhces.  Most career foreign missionaries do not own a home in their service country or in their sending country, because it is difficult to finance and manage a property remotely. Like if you are living across the world in the highlands of Papua New Guinea, for example.  The point is, all missionaries have housing needs, both on their fields and furloughs, because like all of us, missionaries and especially missionary wives work hard to make their residence a home--an adequate, comfortable, and safe place in which their family and ministries can thrive.  Don't all wives including missionary wives have "Honey Do" lists because they are trying to make a home? 

And so I ask you, Would you Pray for your missionary's housing needs?  If you don't know what they are, ask. "How are your housing needs?  Are they adequate, comfortable, safe?  Is there something you need that I could pray about?"  If you were to ask six different missionaries about their housing needs you would get six different answers.  I guarantee you they would be encouraged by your concern and your prayers!  What would happen if mission committees and churches asked these questions and collectively prayed about them?  

This gives some context to what we want to share below.  You see the above was just supposed to be a brief introduction about missionary housing, and it grew into a couple of paragraphs, because it is a need for all missionaries that is bigger than what is going on in just our lives. But we do have stuff going on in our lives... 

Praise God for helping us purchase a house!   We have been praying for several years for God to find a home near Kellis's parents that would enable us to serve as caregivers and as PNG missionaries.  It just makes more sense to buy instead of rent.  We started making enquiries in fall of 2019, applying for credit, looking online, reading a lot for we have never owned a house before. We were into early 2020 and then Covid 19 hit, and everything shut down, except our prayers.  God opened some amazing doors and we are now moved into our home and it is an AWESOME feeling!  We are exhausted but it is getting better.  I think we have advanced to the “settling in” phase. We still need to construct a bedroom closet and have some furniture gaps to fill, but I wanted to share a testimony of God’s provision, a tale of two couches. 

"Does God care about couches?"

We had a loveseat-couch we loved.  It was comfortable, leather, and soft, and we competed for its seats at times. Okay, I competed for it more than I’d like to admit.  It was a second-hand $40 couch, in good shape, and valued more because it was such a good purchase.  But there was no place for it when we moved in to help mom and dad.  I know people and missionaries give things up and we shouldn’t be so attached to something like a couch, right?  But we’re human, we have to sit too, don’t we all have our favorite places to sit?  We gladly and sadly gave the couch to our youth group. But now we were sorta in need of a couch.  Dad had a hide-a-bed couch in storage we could use, but it wasn’t the same as our old couch, not as comfortable, but we’re missionaries, right?  We could make do, and we planned to use it, until God provided another.  We were not excited about digging out the 2,000-pound hide-a-bed couch, wrestling that 3,000-pound animal into the truck, nor tipping that 4,000-pound beast on end to twist it through our front door.  And then later, have to herd the 6,000-pound monster into a truck again when God provided a different couch. Yes, my numbers are correct, every time you move a hide-a-bed couch it gets heavier, science has proven this.  Did I mention that moving is exhausting?

Before we could dig out the hide-a-bed couch from storage, a friend asked “How is the move going?  Do you guys need a couch?  I thought I’d just bless you with a couch.”  He knew nothing of our needs but gave us a full-size…comfortable…in good shape…within Kellis’s color scheme…leather couch!  Did I mention it is comfortable?  Isn’t God good!?!  Isn’t his timing perfect?  Doesn’t he know our needs before we even ask?  Doesn’t he provide what we need?  He can’t help himself, it is his nature to lavish gifts on his children!  And he wants to and will provide for your needs too!

We still had to move the 2,000-pound hide-a-bed, wrestle that 3,000-pound animal into the truck, and bring that 4,000-pound beast to our front porch for an upcoming garage sale.  We loaded it in the truck and stopped at Mom and Dad’s to unload some stuff, and rest.  After a while we noticed a guy parked right behind the truck, creepily close.  “Are you interested in selling the couch?” he asked.  Kellis’s dad Bruce said, “I was thinking $75,” and the couch-hunter said, “Would you take $50?”  It was done.  The unwieldy 6,000-pound couch had found a new home, we would not have to unload it at our house or into someone’s car or try to donate it or take it to the dump.  We just drove 15 blocks and helped the new beastmaster unload it.  We joked afterwards, we thought we were going to have to pay someone $50 to take it!  But God didn’t just take care of the first couch, he took care of the second couch in an equally marvelous and unexpected way.  God cares about your needs, and your couches.

The Lord gives and he takes away, but oh how HE GIVES!  Blessed be the name of the Lord!
Pat and Kellis

 

 

Alice sewing masks Alice sewing masks

June 2020

Papua New Guinea has been in a State of Emergency with curfews, restricted travel and commerce, and school closures including the Bible College, but like many countries they are slowly opening back up.  We thank God there were only 8 confirmed cases (only 1 locally), but we still are praying the Coronavirus does not gain a foothold in PNG.  Resources are limited.  Our coworkers and students were able to make masks to distribute using some cloth Kellis and others donated.  It is so cool to see their industrious gospel response to the crisis, with cards with Bible verses on the masks, contact info, and a person’s name who prayed for them.   

computer lab open 2 Computer lab is full!

Goroka Baptist Bible College (GBBC) was able to reopen June 1st with Covid-19 protocols in place, including a shortened schedule.  We are SO excited to see the new computer lab up and running and full of students!  Thanks for praying for this!  We began planning for a computer lab over 20 years ago, and it will greatly improve the training we can provide!  Please pray for the health of our students and staff, and for scholarships needed by students (ABWE account #774401-03, if you want to help).  Pray especially for Jack (GBBC President), and missionary teachers Bill and Tim as they work on GBBC accreditation.  I am also helping with this long-planned for step towards achieving university status. 

Please check out the new GBBC website: https://gorokabaptistbiblecollege.com/   The website gives a good overview of the college and its impact in PNG.  It’s been our privilege to serve with you, but there is so much more to do!

Please partner in prayer with us for new financial support so we can continue to train ministry leaders in PNG.  We need regular support and even some one-time gifts to help with ministry trips.  We set a goal to be at 75% this year, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, so what now?  Our passion REMAINS (!) to carry the gospel to the ends of the earth, that’s PNG, where ALL who call on the name of the Lord will be saved!  It is a team effort, as Paul taught, we reach the lost together. Calling to God for salvation requires hearing a gospel presentation, which requires a missionary presenter, which requires senders to send missionaries (Rom 10:13-15).  Pray as we seek housing for our family as caregivers for Kellis’s mom.  We are prayerfully considering a house 3 doors down.

Obadiah and Kellis Kellis and Obi

Praise God (!) with us for the May 28th birth of a new grandson, Obadiah!  He weighed 9lbs. 3.6 oz and was 21 inches long.   Kellis was able to go back and help for a few weeks, and Naomi and baby are doing well.  She was gone during our anniversary, so I surprised her by flying back using a free ticket.  What fun to see her and of course, all the grandkids, their parents, and this green stuff we don’t see much in Yuma.  They call it “grass.”

For secure online giving: https://www.abwe.org/work/support   (Melson account #110271)

 

Computer lab construction Brian-Tim2 Computer lab construction

 

 

Melson Messenger January 2020

The hopes of the New Year rest on the certainties of Christmas, the good news that Jesus the Prince of Peace has come!  And there is optimism at Goroka Baptist Bible College (GBBC) this year.  Please pray for work being done to pursue accreditation, including campus improvements.  In December construction equipment prepared large portions of our campus for development, including a computer lab now in construction.  Pray for the new men’s dorm planned for April.  Please pray for needed work team members, who can come for 2-3 weeks and help with the pre-fab building assembly.  Pray for the start of a new school year, for students and teachers, and funds needed by students for various GBBC scholarships (ABWE account #774401-03, if you would like to help).

Pray for our yearly Youth Camp which has been postponed until around Easter, due to a road collapse and some campus flooding.  Yes it’s the rainy season!  Typically about 400 come, and many salvation and other decisions are made.  Some youth become church leaders, GBBC students, or pastors.  Some are now GBBC staff and teachers, training the next generation, like our GBBC President, Jack Gundu, and his wife Dorothy.

Pray for us as we help Mom and Dad, and pray as we seek suitable nearby housing for our family.  Pray for wisdom for our options seem limited from a human perspective.

Missionaries Don and Carol Richardson didn’t know what to do.  They were sharing the good news of Jesus with the Sawi people in New Guinea, but they became distraught when they shared the story of Christ dying for sinners.  Judas Iscariot became the Sawi’s hero!  Why?  Because he cleverly betrayed Christ!  The warring Sawi elevated betrayal and deception, pretending to befriend an enemy over time, only to kill him later.  The greater the deception, the higher the honor gained.  Judas, not Jesus, was celebrated!  Also, a recent cycle of revenge killings and tribal warfare was making it dangerous for the Richardsons to stay.  What would they do?  They threatened leaving unless the tribes made peace.  They felt they had failed.  But unknown to Don and Carol, these tribal enemies were pursuing peace through an old custom—the gift of a child to their enemies.  This “peace child” was a costly sign of trust and goodwill.  While the child lived there would be peace, and offenses could be forgiven and healed by appealing to the peace child.  The Richardsons began telling the Sawi that Jesus was God’s peace child, sent to bring peace to them.  And because He still lives, there can be lasting peace!  Many Sawi became Christians and even today are living in the gospel of peace, no longer lost in darkness.  Praise God!

Why share this classic story, as told in the book PEACE CHILD?  Besides the geographical, tribal, and cultural ties to Papua New Guinea (PNG), the main reason is Jesus IS the answer for PNG!  We’ve seen the devastation and fear caused by tribal warfare and witch doctors.  Many are hopeless, their lives and families, broken.  Droughts and famines increase the despair, and a lack of healthcare (despite our team’s clinic outreach) brings early death for many, many without Jesus.  Yet serving in PNG we have seen people trust Christ as Savior, their hopes renewed, and families restored.  We’ve encouraged and partnered with pastors, seen hundreds coming for youth camps, and GBBC students becoming pastors and pastors’ wives.  New churches have started and the gospel witness expanded as disciples grow and in turn disciple others.  Pray for us as we are raising funds to continue this ministry, we need your prayers and help.  We seek to be at 75% of our support this year.  And Thank You for praying for these needs!  We appreciate it, as do our PNG brothers and sisters!  Those of us who know must go and share Jesus with those who don’t know, they have no other way to hear it.  Let’s do it!

Serving Together,
Patrick and Kellis Melson 

 

 

September 2019

Praise God for a successful trip to Papua New Guinea!  We thank God we could be with our PNG brothers and sisters, students, pastors, national and missionary co-workers, and in a cooler place than Yuma, AZ in August!

IMG_1885

15 students (Praise God!) came to Goroka Baptist Bible College (GBBC) for my Biblical Counseling class, a part of our continuing education program for pastors.  They total over 150 years of ministry experience and come from over a dozen churches. What a privilege to teach counseling and shepherding care using biblical principles!  Much time was spent on God’s unchanging plan for marriage, of leaving, cleaving, and weaving two lives into one.  The teaching generated much discussion, prayer, and homework (!) considering the cultural effects of polygamy, adultery, bride-price, male dominance, and abuse.  These issues make it difficult for Christian singles to get married, including 6 from my class:  So please pray for these faithful single men: Dobo, Gregg, Jim, Joseph, Kua and Mena, and other singles in our churches.

Praise God GBBC ministries are growing!  It’s terribly exciting!  God is multiplying gospel workers through its growing programs, increased national and missionary staff, facilities, and church-planting networks.  The growth reveals staffing shortages, such as Bible and education teachers.  Pray for more laborers!  We praise God for several regional Bible Institutes being led by our graduates!  We have been asked about returning in November and March for other classes, but November is probably too soon with our need to raise support.  Please pray God will raise additional church and individual partners for the ministry in Papua New Guinea. elped, including Pastor Virex. We were so tired when we left we were the only ones at the airport saying “15 hours on a plane?  That’ll be GREAT!  Can’t wait!” Please pray for our housing needs, and for students as they finish their assignments, and for me as I finish grading (!).  As missionaries and parental caregivers, we serve in two countries and two churches, American and PNG, just doing our part, with your help and prayers.

Wilson and Pat 2 Pastor Wilson

We thank God for being able to preach in 3 churches pastored by GBBC graduates!  We also met with over a dozen former students, now pastors, a few are also teachers at GBBC.  We shared laughs, and stories of God’s work in our lives, encouraging each other through fellowship, prayer, and Scripture.  I gave Bible study books to some, but they encouraged us more!  Pastor Wilson arrived from the remote Southern Highlands and Hela provinces after two days of travel.  Students had called and told him we had returned, and here he was at my door.  We smiled and hugged, I think I’ve only seen him one other time since he and Julien graduated in 2006.  They’ve been serving at Bethel Baptist in Mendi since graduation.  Over Maggi Noodles and pineapple I listened carefully as he spoke, first of God’s working at Bethel Baptist, then of other graduates who are pastoring, preaching the gospel, and discipling believers.  Timson and Nokome, Philip LK, Nelson and Agnes, Mapex, Jobi, Charlie and Elizabeth, Alfred and Agnes, others…bearing fruit that remains (John 15:16).  They’ve sent students to GBBC for training to add to their numbers.  Praise God!  These stories, these glimpses of heaven, keep stirring our hearts…we must go back and help them!  Please pray we can return soon, in God’s timing.

14-16 hour workdays marked the last part of our trip, as we sorted and dispersed our household goods stored in our 20 foot shipping container, the same big orange one we packed and shipped from Temple Baptist Church in 1995.  We had 2 weeks to do what missionaries usually do over several years!  We are grateful for co-workers who helped, including Pastor Virex. We were so tired when we left we were the only ones at the airport saying “15 hours on a plane?  That’ll be GREAT!  Can’t wait!”  Please pray for our housing needs, and for students as they finish their assignments, and for me as I finish grading (!).  As missionaries and parental caregivers, we serve in two countries and two churches, American and PNG, just doing our part, with your help and prayers.

(For more pictures from the last paragraph, go to "Photo Gallery" and "Sorting and Shipping 2019," it also includes some scenery shots from the 3 hour drive to SIL.)

 

 

Foothills VBS June 2019 June VBS - Kellis & Abi in front row far right side
TROF ot 2019-2 June Class at ABWE

June 2019

We thank God for our network in the gospel!  Paul said something similar to the Philippian church in his prayer for them in Philippians 1:3-6:  I thank my God every time I remember you.  In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.   In this prayer and letter sent to the church, the gospel ministry deeply links, “church to missionary” and “missionary to church,” they network together in ongoing pursuit of the work God has called them to, a good and varied work God will enable them together to accomplish.

And so we rejoice in your prayers for us, which have born fruit regarding our planned August trip to Papua New Guinea!  I (Pat) will be teaching a modular Biblical Counseling class at Goroka Baptist Bible College, part of our advanced program for those in ministry.  Training mature leaders is a process, and I am so excited!!! to be partnering with you to help train these faithful students who are reaching their people in the villages and towns where they serve.  They desire to be more grounded in the Word and ministry, and strengthening them increases their effectiveness.  Christ desires that his followers bear much fruit (John 15:8), and classes like this are a vital part of increasing the harvest in PNG.  A part of this trip will include consolidating and shipping some household and personal belongings, since we are living in the states to help Kellis’s parents.  We can use some of it to help us right now.  AND it will free up some needed space at the Bible College.  We praise God Kellis CAN come to PNG, thanks for praying for this!  Please continue to pray as we prepare and plan for this trip, there is a lot to balance here with family, upcoming VBS, daily family needs (yes, I put family twice), and overseas, and we are often weary.  We praise God over half of the $6,000 needed has been given, and we ask you to pray for the remaining need as well as for our monthly support.  We found out we need to have medical check-ups before this trip, but we don’t have medical insurance yet.  A boost in our support would help in all these areas!

Please pray for Pat next week (17th-21st) as he will be teaching The Roots of Faith Old Testament course at ABWE headquarters in Harrisburg.  (Check out the link: https://www.goodsoil.com/training/the-roots-of-faith/).  It covers the whole Old Testament (OT) through 50 key events and 12 eras…Wait!  It doesn’t start until next week!  Pray for my fellow teachers Dan, David, John, Maicol, and Gil, and for the students.  It is mind-blowing to see the whole connected story of the OT at once, to see the goodness of God and his promises across the pages of human history…Wait!  It doesn’t start until next week!   It is no wonder we have wanted for years to bring this program, its 200 pages of class notes, 50 stunning images, instructor’s guides, and 200 pages of Bible Commentary into PNG and the Pidgin language!!!   What a difference it could make in our churches and in Christian and public schools!  Did I mention there is a companion course The Roots of Faith New TestamentWait! When can we get started?  Pray as I continue to learn and teach, and for our support level.  We are willing veterans, skilled to translate this program culturally, biblically, and linguistically for the people of PNG, and to begin training teachers.  Will you partner, network with us?  We are weary, we can’t do it alone.  But together we can.  Thank You for your prayers, and we pray God continues his good work in your life!

MELSON MESSENGER April 2019

When Christ said in Matthew 16:18 “I will build my church” he set in motion the days we are living in now—that it was, and is his plan, until he returns, to use HIS CHURCH to accomplish his purposes.  By the time the book of Acts ended it is clear the local church was the center for biblical preaching, prayer, worship, discipleship, leadership training, and cooperative missionary expansion.  Similarly today, churches are Christ’s means to make disciples and start new churches as they send missionaries to evangelize and disciple people of new regions. 

We need the church’s prayers, encouragement, and sending to return to Papua New Guinea (PNG), so we thank you for your prayers and support!  Thank you for praying regarding Pat’s work—God answered!  I tried (unsuccessfully) to get time off to attend the 2 week SIRBC Boise valley Missions Conference in February.  I felt the only option was to quit rather than be dishonest or leave my employer and coworkers short-handed.  It was not the answer we anticipated since we still need income as we raise support, but it was a clear answer from God.  During the Idaho conference I shared about God’s work in PNG in 8 churches and met with many friends and made some new ones.  Pray with us that God may raise new ministry partnerships from this trip! 

POM Graduation 3-17-19 Port Moresby 2019 Graduates

Please pray with us as our PNG team has asked Pat to come and teach in August at Goroka Baptist Bible College (GBBC).  Pray as we confirm some of the details: preparations; the possibility of Kellis coming; and needed finances, about $6,000.  The classes will be for pastors enrolled in our Bachelor program, like the 8 pastors who were the first graduates from our Port Moresby campus on March 17th.  One graduate said “The teaching staff came to open the Scriptures to us on a new level of understanding.  We are taking the principles we learned and are teaching them in our churches.”  They are passing on what they learned, fulfilling 2 Timothy 2:2, “teaching faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”  As you pray for GBBC and for us, you are a part of training leaders, passing on the gospel and starting new churches!  Thank you!     

Our Youth Camp which meets on the GBBC campus had 455 campers from 39 churches, our biggest camp so far.  There were 62 salvation decisions plus 101 other decisions!  Praise the Lord with us!  Each decision gets recorded on a “decision card,” which we send with the pastor or church leaders who sent the youth.  Please pray for these youth, that their hearts will remain receptive and for the church leaders, that they can continue to reach and disciple these youth!  Many of the youth return for future camps, and some come to GBBC to train for ministry.  You are helping Christ’s church, through training its members, to disciple other believers and carry the gospel to those who are lost.  Thank You!

Serving Together,
Patrick and Kellis Melson 

Secure online giving:  https://www.abwe.org/work/missionaries/patrick-s-kellis-melson

 

 

 

MELSON MESSENGER     September 2018

We appreciate you and the prayers and financial support as we serve the Lord with you in Papua New Guinea!

We train and teach leaders in Papua New Guinea (PNG) where we have served for over 20 years.  Though active in PNG evangelism and church ministries, I (Pat) was the director of Goroka Baptist Bible College, the ABWE started school that partners with churches to train men and women for ministry.  I used to recruit teachers for the school, but NOW I am one of the regular teachers and will travel to PNG three times a year to fill in the gaps, especially for our advanced program that provides regional modular classes for pastors.  We take the classes to them regionally, instead of them buying a plane ticket that costs 3-5 times their monthly salaries. 

We just mailed about $600 in Bible Study books for our graduates (in November), something that would not have been possible without you.  It took some extra funds, and about a month of work on my part.  I was informed of the need for graduate's books, which I have usually oversaw while on the field, but our field being short-staffed, no one had time to pursue this.  I also have assisted with working on class notes for teachers as able, which leads to our prayer requests.

Please pray as we raise needed support, normal after coming off a Leave of Absence.  Currently we do not have enough support to quit my secular job yet, and it feels a bit like spinning our wheels.  We are asking God for prayer and financial supporters so we can begin trips to PNG again in early 2019.

Please pray for Kel's parents, Bruce and Sue, as we help them with Mom's dementia.  Pray for wisdom for the doctors, and for us, as we seek the right medication, dosage, or combination of meds.  We (Kellis) have been doing all the cooking and cleaning and helping dad keep a watchful eye on mom.  We are praying for suitable nearby housing that would help our family be a bit more stable as we assist them.

Please pray for our PNG team of both missionary and nationals.  Pray for the end of the school year with Graduation on our American Thanksgiving, and the accompanying and encouraging 3-day Pastors and Wives Conference.  We need more missionaries, but we also need help from trying to do too much.  It is tough finding the right balance of ministries and family.  I have been there... Do I help this student just a bit more on this assignment to make sure he gets it right, knowing it can deepen his years of ministry ahead of him?  Do I teach this topic in Sunday School this quarter?  Do I accept this speaking engagement and the chance to speak God's Word in a new region?  Do I give just a bit more attention to mentor this couple who feel the call of God on their lives?  Do I meet with this brother who asked for one-on one accountability?  The church needs help in this area, how can I help them address this issue biblically?  They are there, with many such questions pressing on them and their families.  We know, we have been there...and we are there now.

There is so much more to say!  But let me close with full assurances of our friendship, and how grateful we are to partner with you for His dear children in PNG!

Serving Together,
Pat and Kellis Melson

12745 El Camino Del Diablo
Yuma, AZ   85367

 

July 2019

Pat leaves July 30th  for a missions trip to Papua New Guinea, and Kellis will arrive in Goroka on the 18th.  We can’t wait to join friends and partners again at Goroka Baptist Bible College, training pastors so they can train others!  Oh the fellowship we will have, AND to be speaking Pidgin again!  We’ll return September 2nd.  Please pray as we prepare, for safety, for effectiveness in the Counseling Class (5th-16th) and in churches, and for financial support.  We’re raising and renewing support to continue serving in PNG on trips like this one, several in a year, balancing caregiving and missions.  We praise God for some recent gifts that have come in!  We thank you in advance for partnering in prayer for these needs.  We serve together and you are helping Christ’s work in PNG!

Thanks for praying for our June requests.  Pat’s trip to ABWE headquarters to teach The Roots of Faith OT went well, with 21 students.  Many students were missionaries.  What a privilege to invest in the lives and ministries of others!  Kellis and Abi taught in VBS for a week and praise God a few children made salvation decisions!   And some new families have visited our church.  Thanks also for praying as we help Kellis’ dad take care of mom.  Pray for us as Paul prayed in 2 Thes. 2:16-17, as we have prayed for you: “May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.”   We need this prayer as missionaries and as caregivers.  Kellis and Abi wrote the following, opening the curtains a bit, giving a little peek into our days.  We are blessed to give back to our parents.  And despite the needs we have God continues to pour his blessing into our lives.  Our cup isn’t half-full, or half-empty.  Today it runs over.

Are you in good hands?

My mom has dementia.

Dementia is relentless.

It manifests itself in nervousness which causes her to race around the house looking out all the windows to make sure everything is still okay. Sometimes she loudly jabbers away just making noise, other times we will look at each other surprised because she’s actually babbling a tune from a hymn or an old song. She can’t sit still for very long and she can’t stay quiet like she’s hyperactive. It can be relentless.

Every day—I’m not exaggerating, every day, multiple times a day—my mom will tap me on the shoulder because she has something to tell me. And everyday she will say a word or two then forget what she was going to say.

Today an Allstate commercial came on as I was looking up a recipe online, oblivious to the TV, lost in the wonders of Pinterest. Mom tapped me on the shoulder. Again. When I looked up and asked her what she needed, she said, in all seriousness, “Are you in good hands?”

At first I was confused, but then I put two and two together and realized she was repeating the all—famous Allstate Insurance tagline echoed in every company commercial. I assured her that I was in good hands, God’s hands. Satisfied she went on her way. But I couldn’t stop thinking about that. I AM in good hands, the very best hands.

Dementia is relentless.

But God is relentless, as well.

His love, His grace, and His mercy are relentless. He relentlessly seeks me out, reminding me day by day, in big ways and in small ones, that I am in good hands.

His.


Counseling Class and Friends Photos