Partner Through Prayer

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:   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:   (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!


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:  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!


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 

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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.


Counseling Class and Friends 2019 Photos