God Goes Before Us

Every day of outreach is filled with a new expectancy for what the Lord is going to do, which includes many unknowns. My team and I were in our third week of outreach in the Southern Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea (PNG). Most of our time had been spent connecting with locals and playing with children, as well as preaching in the local churches. 

It was amazing to see how hungry the believers were and it was a privilege to encourage them with the word of the Lord. 

After nearly three weeks of preaching in churches, we prepared to spend an afternoon doing ministry in a market. Our gracious host, Nicholas, arranged for a driver to shuttle us and he also asked his son and friend, Joshua, to accompany us. We didn’t, however, have anyone available to come with us to translate. 

As we prepared for ministry at the market, we were at a loss: “How do you share a testimony or preach without a translator? Is it really worth going if we don’t have an effective way to communicate with the locals?”

Our desire was to connect with the people but our resources for a translator fell short. As a team, we decided the best way to go forward was to do our skit and use our portable speaker to play the Bible in their local language, Tok Pisin. Although not ideal, it would still be worth it despite the limitations. 

As we drove down the rocky mountain roads outside Pangia, we suddenly heard Joshua ask the driver to stop. We waited as he exited the bus to talk to a man that had been walking along the side of the road. After a few minutes, both men returned to the bus where Joshua introduced us to the unknown man from the road, Phillip.

Phillip is a local PNG pastor who, surprisingly, spoke perfect English. He happily agreed to join us at the market and translate for us. Our whole team paused in awe. 

All I could think was, “God, you provided a random stranger from the side of the road to translate for us?” It was an amazing reminder that God was going before us and preparing a way for us and our ministry. 

We soon arrived at the market and within minutes Phillip had gathered over 300 people around us. We did our skit and afterward, one of my fellow DTS students shared his life story with the crowd. He talked about how God miraculously broke his addiction to drugs, alcohol and had completely transformed his life. 

Not only did he preach boldly of salvation but also how his life is now fully submitted to Jesus. Phillip translated every word with fervor and on that day, multiple people responded to the gospel of Jesus Christ! 

After greeting people and shaking many hands, Phillip explained to us that it is common for men in that area to struggle with drug and alcohol abuse. He was confident it was a powerful and relevant testimony for these men to hear. 

My whole team felt God orchestrated all the details of our morning. He not only provided a translator for us in order to proclaim the testimony those men needed to hear, but He did it in a way that further revealed His faithfulness to us. 

Hannah Saker
YWAM Ships Kona Staff

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