“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
When our February - March newsletter was prepared, and circulated, we had no idea of how much things would change throughout the world during the next few weeks. Some of you may have already received a shorter version of this newsletter may mail. We would be glad to add others to our mailing list, but you'll get more inforamtion and pictures through the website newsletters, and the email version. Please let us know by which method you would like to receive our newsletters.
These are certianly "times that try men's souls." So many uncertainties regarding the Covid virus, the economies of the world, and the authority of earthly powers, as opposed to the rights of man endowed by our Creator. We do not know what the outcome of all this will be, how soon things will get back to "normal," when international missionary travel will resume, BUT we do know that the Lord commanded us to "Occupy till I come," and has promised to be with us to the end of the age.
Missionary work is about PEOPLE, leading them to Jesus Christ, teaching them the principles of His Word, and often times humanitarian types of minstry, such as sharing in physical or temporal needs. We're sharing several more pictures of some of our precious PNG people. Here we are with Pastor Richard Peki, and his wife Jayleen. We lived with them for almost three months, worked on several projects together. Richard is the Pastor of the EBM Church and principal of Send Me Bible School.
Pictured here is Betty Napaeha, wife of Pastor Napaeha Jasie, who was our first Pastor when we arrived in Goroka almost 25 years ago. She is one of several who are receiving new Bibles from a donor in the United States, and given through Evangelical Bible Mission. Below Pastor Napaeha "seeing us off" at Port Moresby Airport, April 9, 2020.
This is Crsytal Hersman with a lovely "granddaughter," Crystal Dawn Kilts, daughter of Sarah Kilts. They live in the Mt. Hagen area, and young Crystal is "already a missionary" carrying the message of Jesus to little children in a settlement near her home. We have known Crystal since she was an infant. One day this year, after telling me earlier about her work with children in the settlement, she asked me "Grandpa, do you think I am a missioanry?" I said, "Yes, Crystal, you are definitely a missionary." Please pray for her.
Greetings from West Virginia! “The Lord has done great things for us, whereof we are glad, and we are joyful.” (Psalm 126:3).
This was our first postal-mail newsletter since we left for Papua New Guinea last November, although I hope you received our picture cards mailed out from VistaPrint for Christmas and once in February or March. This letter will be a summary of our recent ministry in PNG, and will include some things you may have already read on our Internet or email newsletters.
We departed from Cincinnati on the day before Thanksgiving, so we missed Thanksgiving Day all together, and flying west-bound for one long day, we arrived in Brisbane, Australia, on Friday, November 29th. After a short layover there, on to Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea the same day.
In Port Moresby (POM) we enjoyed about 6 days with Hannah’s family, and participated in two Christian School graduations, and another service, in that city. Our first PNG daughter, Hannah Keru Siminj, is the administrator of Lighthouse Christian Academy, and I was honored to be one of the speakers in their graduation event. Crystal had a part as well. Hannah and her husband, Ken, have five children, and this was the first time we ever had the privilege of seeing the youngest ones, and getting better acquainted with the others.
From POM, we flew to Goroka, our PNG “hometown” on December 5, and spoke in another graduation a few days later. One of our former staff associates from Goroka Christian Academy, Mrs. Hilda Tandropah, is now the principal of Bethany International Christian Academy, and we were blessed to have part in their graduation service also. One of the other speakers was Richard Peki, with whom we spent a few weeks later on.
Two days before Christmas: In the first place we were staying, Crystal had walked to a corner road-side fruit stand with a little girl named Elizabeth. A teenage girl, who she didn’t know joined them as they walked, went on to the little market, and walked with Crystal back toward our house. Crystal asked her to “come and meet my husband,” and she did. So Hellena literally came walking into our lives that day, and became one of the greatest blessings, and loving helpers our entire time we were there this time. She had her 15th birthday a few days after Christmas, and remained an immeasurable blessing to us until the very day we had to leave (April 9th).
After the Covid-19 crisis subsides, we may even try to bring her to the United States for a while. She would be such a blessing and encouragement to the churches in which we minister. This is just one of many ways the Lord miraculously supplied our needs while we were ministering to so many people ourselves.
I was sort of sick around Christmas time, but the Lord gave me strength to preach at the EBM Church on Christmas Eve and Christmas night. This is a church we helped organize in 2009, and we believe the Lord used us to revitalize, motivate, and inspire during our ministry this time.
One of the major highlights of January was our trip to Popikola in the Western Highlands Province, where I preached in a Men’s Retreat. Hellena and other young people, sang with us also. This was combined with the opening of a new church affiliated with Evangelical Bible Mission. For more details of this trip, please see our earlier nwsletter, also on this website.
After returning to Goroka, we had to get settled into our new “home” at the EBM church, where we lived with the Pastor Richard Peki’s family the next 2 ½ months. I was also getting ready for our Educational Leadership Training, which turned out to be 3 weeks, all day. These are very busy, but fruitful times. These Training periods are probably some of the most fruitful aspects of our ministry in PNG, since we are inspiring and equipping well-qualified harvesters to carry on the educational work on their own. Our first ELT was in 1997, and many people who are ministering in many Christian Schools attended these sessions multiple times. I think America’s Sunday Schools, and other educational ministries, could benefit from similar Christ-centered educational preparation and motivation.
One of the trainees this year, Sophie Isikel, a former student of ours at Goroka Christian Academy, was installed as the new administrator of Eagles’ Wings Christian Academy, a school we started in 2006.
March was a time of local-church related ministry, and then the limited “lock-down” began on March 24, 3 days before our scheduled departure date. All domestic flights were cancelled, as well as inter-Provincial travel. This resulted in our being in PNG two weeks longer than planned, and since flights were cancelled to Australia, we did not get to see our daughter, Rachel, and her family, as we had planned.
However, “We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). In those days of delay, we could see some reasons God had us there to help certain people.
We were evacuated out on April 9th, by the United States Department of State, on a charter flight from Goroka to Port Moresby, then from POM to San Francisco that night. There were about 200 people on that flight, mostly missionaries. The Covid-19 situation is quite mild in Papua New Guinea, and Americans did not have to leave there. But, we knew that the time was right for us. We will have to reimburse the US government for this flight.
You may see our February–March newsletter online at http://www.EaglesWings.net/missionary_newsletter.html for more information and pictures of some of these events. Or, just go to EaglesWings.net and click on buttons at the top of the page. A more comprehensive version of this present newsletter will be added online soon.
We want to express our sincere appreciation to all of you who helped make this trip possible, supported us while we were in Papua New Guinea, and helped with the expenses to return home. Thank you so much. If you need a receipt for your 2019 contributions, please contact me. Although there are always various challenges in missionary work, we are encouraged with the fruit of this recent endeavor, and we hope to return to Papua New Guinea, perhaps next January, for a new and more extensive Educational Leadership Training, as well as other everyday aspects of ministry. Love in Christ Jesus, David and Crystal Hersman
When Crystal and I were first married, we lived in Cincinnati, and were involved in a the work of a couple rescue missions in that city. One was Lighthouse Rescue Mission which had been started by Pastor Krikor Gayjikian, an Armenian, who had come to God's Bible School about 1920. We also had a mission called Queen City Rescue Mission in the 1400 block of Vine Street in the downtown "inner-city." There we took care of homeless people from the streets, providing meals, and a simple place to sleep. At that time most of the homeless were alcoholic men, not so many drug addicts, etc.
One day a young woman from the area was talking to Crystal, who was only 19 at the time, and becoming "great with child." The girl asked Crystal, "How do you live, putting your time in here with these people? Do you get a salary or something?" Crystal told her we were "living by faith" doing the Lord's work, and He was supplying our needs. But, the girl objected, "How are you going to take care of your baby?" Crystal assured her that God knew about the baby also and He would make a way.
Admittedly, it is not always easy to live that way, but God calls some people into "full-time ministry," and He also calls many people into more financially rewarding work, so that they can give and support the ministries who are directly reaching the lost, or involved in Christian education, humanitarian aid, etc. In our case, I have believed right from the begining that I should be available for ministry when called upon. I do not believe that having some skills or self-employment to help meet our needs is a violation of my calling.
During that time in Cincinnati, about 1970, a couple from Crystal's home church began sending us $25 per month. Our baby was born in August, and by spring of 1971, we knew it was time for us to move to the land of our more permanent calling, and God opened a door for us to move to Greenbrier County, West Virginia. We didn't know if the support from theat contributor would continue, but it did, and this man was soon sending us $50 per month. In 1975, we statrted Liberty Christian School, and by the time of his death, in 1981, this contributor was supporting our ministry with $100 per month.
When he was called on to his Heavenly reward, he also left us $2000. With some of that money, we made a down payemnt on a the land on which we now live. My wife and I, and our children, built our "Little Cabim" with our own hands. The house has expanded some, but has always been a haven for weary or lonely souls along the way. THis includes our adopted children, and several people from multiple foreign countries. It's been a little missionary house for people who are now serving the Lord in many places.
Thus, the Lord continues to use the financial gifts that this couple made 40 to 50 years ago, to bear fruit for His glory, and His Kingdom. Such people have made the most secure investment you can possibly make.
And, what about that little baby born on Cincinnati? She will be 50 this year. She has been in missionary work among the American Indians for most of ther adult life, and the Lord has been supplying her needs as well. The Lord has used her in educational and humanitarian work to rescue many children and young people from the paths and consequences of sin.* * * * * * *
We sincerely thank each of you who have made contributions to help us in the ministries God has called us to, and particularly this recent ministry in Papua New Guinea. We hope to return to PNG next January, or as the Lord guides and provides.
You may give immediately through PayPal using the DONATE button below, through Facebook, or by mailing to our West Virginia address. We deeply appreciate all you do to help us spread the Word, and reach the lost.
We are pictured with the new administrator of Eagles' Wings Christian Academy, in the Village of Massy (pronounced Mossy), near Goroka. Sophie Isikel is a very compentent and dedicated young Christian, and mother of three. We have known her since 1996, first as a student of Goroka Christian Academy. This year Sophie, and her sister Rachael, attended our Educational Leadeship Training in February. We are blessed to have her as a partner in Chirstian Education.
This year we were blessed to have Akaji Alfred in our training session. He is named after a Nigerian-born missionary, David Akaji, who was a missionary to Papua New Guinea when we first came. In 1996, he was the speaker at a large tent meeting in Goroka, about the time this young man was born. David Akaji and his wife, Juliette, were our coworkers for our first Educational Leadership Training at Pabarabuk in 1997. Sadly, Brother Akaji passed away in December 2019.
In December last year, soon after we arrived in Papua New Guinea, the Lord sent Hellena Fano walking into our lives. She literally came walking along with Crystal, and became a very precious "granddaughter" to us. She has been a blessing to us, and with us, in so many ways. She spent part of Chirstmas with us, and her 15th birthday was December 30. Even when you're 10,000 miles away from home, the Lord knows exactly what your needs are, and sent us this dear girl with "a servant's heart," to be our special friend and helper. You'll be seeing more about Hellena. Please keep her in your prayers.