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August 26, 2009

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, sponsored by the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA), is a time set apart for us to remember thousands of our Christian brothers and sisters around the world who suffer persecution, simply because they confess Jesus Christ as Lord.

This year, thousands of Christians worldwide will join in prayer November 1 for persecuted Christian families. There are many countries in the world today where Christians are martyred for their faith. For example, the world watched in horror the unbridled violence that was unleashed on Christians in Orissa state, India, last year. There are other places, such as North Korea, where acts of persecution take place, but we often don’t see or hear the full story.

The WEA is made up of 128 national evangelical alliances located in seven regions and 104 associate member organizations representing 420 million evangelical Christians worldwide.

Greg Pugh
Greg Pugh

Greg Pugh, Rocky Mountain District Director of Church Multiplication and Development for the Evangelical Free Church of America, was a guest speaker at the Denver Regional Conference. An experienced church planter, Greg spoke with us about how to prepare to plant churches. Randy Bloom interviewed Greg about the characteristics of people who effectively start new churches. You can watch a video of this interview entitled, “You Might be a Church Planter if …” by logging on to the CMM website at cmm.wcg.org.

Papua New Guinea

Mark Latham, Papua New Guinea (PNG) pastoral coordinator, returned home from a mid-year visit to our congregations in PNG July 26. On this trip, Mark was accompanied by Australian Youth Coordinator Kwan Borden. Mark wrote:

Traditional Chimbu dancers
Traditional Chimbu dancers
Kwan Borden & John Banda
Kwan Borden & John Banda

This was Kwan’s first trip to Papua New Guinea, a land of the unexpected, and there was an air of excitement surrounding his visit. The congregations in Port Moresby and Mt. Wilhelm were eagerly awaiting his visit and had prepared an exotic cultural welcome. Dancing and singing were followed by a traditional mumu meal. It was a special and emotional time and showed the genuine love of this community to visitors.

As well as meeting the congregations, work was done on the electrical wiring, concreting the floor, window installation and lining the walls and ceiling of the church building at Mt. Wilhelm. Great progress has been made since last year when just the frame and roof were done. The congregations sincerely thank all the donations from Australia for this project. We thank everyone for their prayers of support and for good health and safety. It was greatly appreciated.

. 26Papua New Guinea 44

A rainwater tank was also purchased through CarePac [our Australian church’s relief and outreach ministry] donations. The tank will enable fresh water to be used on-site instead of members having to carry buckets of water up the hill from a river. A cleaner and more reliable source of drinking and cooking water was needed because the river is also used for bathing and laundry.

Ben Gelwa with the rainwater tank
Ben Gelwa with the rainwater tank

The rainwater tank holds 4500 liters and will collect the water off the new church building. At present the rainwater tank has arrived at the village and preparations are being made to connect it. It should be in use in October – in time for the beginning of the wet season.

The congregation is excited to have the tank and thanks everyone who has donated so much. This will make their lives easier and healthier.

A communal kitchen is also planned to help in good nutritional cooking and teaching as well as allowing the community to exercise their generous hospitality to each other, visitors and the surrounding community. The church is a shining example to the surrounding community and a light on the hill on the tallest mountain in Australasia.


Gary Moore, who just returned from Africa, reported that our church in Botswana was recently registered, meaning our members there can now rent a facility and meet publicly. Until now they have been meeting in members’ homes.

Prayer Requests and Updates

CGI Pastor Charlie Piscitello of Batavia Christian Fellowship, New York, and his wife, Judi, ask for your prayers for Charlie, who is awaiting repair surgery for a grapefruit sized hernia. The surgeon delayed the surgery two weeks to give additional time for Charlie to reduce his blood sugar level. Charlie is also suffering with sever sciatica pain. Cards of encouragement can be sent to:

Charlie and Judi Piscitello
205 Bank St.
Batavia, NY 14020-1503

Remember that prayer is the battleground where we fight the good fight of faith. Let’s encourage everyone to join together in prayer, for we belong to Christ, and by the Spirit it is in Christ that we pray. Prayer and other spiritual activities help keep our hearts in tune with God and remind us of who we are in Christ. He is our all in all, and in him we are eternally beloved of the Father and blessed to share his good news with others.

Love from my family to yours,
Joseph Tkach