Lenz’ – Delighting in Delays – July 16, 2021

Delighting in Delays

Well, the time has come… tomorrow was the day that we held our return tickets that were supposed to carry us back to our home across the sea. We rallied the PRAYER WARRIORS- that’s YOU! we dug in with determination- and PRAYED, we kept putting one foot of faith in front of the other-and PRAYED SOME MORE…we continued to; exhaustingly pack, repack, shuffle, weigh, clean, and PRAYED-sometimes without ceasing

And God Answered…(Scroll down if you are only looking for the direct answer but I hope you find it worth the read.) 

*God gave us a loving community!
*He brought friends and family at just the right times to offer their help, encouragement, a prayer, a hug, a meal, and just their calming presence so that we didn’t have to do it or bear it alone.
*He gave us a loving family to fly or drive for many miles to be together for our last week and day together!
*He gave us messages, e-mails, texts from so many of you letting us know that we are NOT ALONE in this journey!
*He gave me, personally, pertinent and challenging Truths to meditate on in the book of Acts chapter 20, (verse 24)…
24 “But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.”

This passage speaks about Paul wrapping up his final missionary journey and how it takes him through the stages of following by faith into and onto over 8 different boats/ships with stops, overnights, sometimes even longer. Lots of praying together and tears. For which we can absolutely identify. He gave my heart comfort and peace. 

May I make myself clear, I (we) am/are NOT believing that God has taken Papua New Guinea away from us in any sort of permanence at this time nor do we feel in any way that He has failed us or let us down… It is more a confidence that He is the same God that can command these ‘mountains’ to move and that He can also say “NO” or “WAIT.”

As if His WORD wasn’t enough of a Blessing to my weary-self…

*..He ALSO gave us a SONG!

A Song that I had heard before and enjoyed, but never really paused to listen to before. In a moment of sheer exhaustion, I paused to PRAY and seek His Word and He gave me a SONG, https://youtu.be/fnJDccj0bQQ by Cece Wynans; God, I Believe For It.

Three different times God brought that song on the radio just when I was running around doing errands and going from place A to place B. I Don’t believe in Coincidences…Just God working behind the scenes…The final time, was when I was driving home for the night, absolutely depleted from another full day of last-minute errands, packing etc. With the time ticking away, I pulled over and just allowed Him to sing it over me. This time, the lyrics ‘ He has the final say’ popped out at me…AND I just opened my hands up and through tears, said, “Okay Lord, Your Will be done. I believe, but help me with my unbelief.”

I began to gain confidence as the tears came and just reflected back on an e-mail that a friend took the time to encourage us with. He said so eloquently,

your prayers WILL BE ANSWERED!!!   And the answer will be exactly what you NEED!  Your ability to glorify God, through it, is just a matter of you recognizing that God’s Grace IS Sufficient for you and then taking pleasure in what He does or doesn’t give you! Jehovah Jireh, My Provider! His Grace IS Sufficient for me!” (J. Cordle)

Well, the time in the WORDtime with FRIENDStime listening to His Truths and Time in PRAYER all lead up to a TIME OF PEACE! which prepared both of us for what came next…

(STOP! if you ae scrolling down, Here you go, the answer to the BIG QUESTION!)

*And then He answered…He said as far as we can tell, “Wait. For it is not yet your time to return to Papua New Guinea.”

Yep, Our approval papers did not come through before the close of the business offices in PNG before the end of the week. Therefore, we were advised to cancel our itinerary/tickets and wait 10 more days to see if maybe we get our approval during this extended time or perhaps wait a while longer and try again for July 27th???

Yep! You read correctly.  Our PLAN A  just got bumped to PLAN B.  Remember, we didn’t allow ourselves to make a PLAN B.

*Please join us in praying for the 3 other families that did get their returns granted as they will be making their cross-continental trips beginning tomorrow from around the USA!

SO NOW WHAT?

We received the news, strangely we both felt such a calm and peace and carried on with the day as we had it previously mapped out, ending it with a special time of sweet fellowship with dear friends and family at the Christian school that has become so much a part of our family’s lives these past 2/3 years. Led by 2 Pastors, Mark Behr (North Athens Baptist Church) and Kevin Bennett (Waukeshma Community Church), surrounded by so many of our friends and loved ones, in a round of concert of Prayers, encouragement and sharing of Scripture! I don’t think we could have asked or imagined a better way to spend our last bit of time together.

Pastor Kevin challenged us to not use these 10 extra days to question the “Why?” but believed the Lord was prompting him to share that he believes perhaps it is for a time of “Selah.” The word that follows the lamenting or pouring out of the Psalmists before they continue on to finish their songs with reflecting back on WHO they KNOW GOD to be.

“Selah”

Selah: pause, ponder, praise | Words of affirmation, Selah,

He used it as a reference for us taking this “Bonus” time, if you will, to “SELAH-Rest and Reflect, Rest and Delight in the Lord. Rest and Meditate upon His Word, Truths, Blessings, Character, Provisions…Through gracious donations we have been gifted with an opportunity to get away as a family/couple and to just take some time in these bonus days here in the USA to enjoy a moment of

So tomorrow, our original departure date, we are still going to get together for brunch with our family and close friends near Grand Rapids as previously planned. And then…

We will start planning a getaway for our family/us. Maybe BOTH! We will be 1 year shy of our 20th Wedding Anniversary and it has been soo rare to get an opportunity like this, so we will intentionally plan to get our time of SELAH together and as a family. SO MUCH TO PROCESS and PRAISE Him for!

We still have a few things to work out with the packing as it came to an unexpected halt and we just took the time to spend the day with Robyn’s brother and his family who had flown in from out of state to spend this last day with us, so we will finish that up to get it out of the way and then RETREAT.

NEXT We continue to PRAY for God to OPEN the DOOR back up for us to return on July 27th with the next group waiting to also return!

Thank YOU for reading this farThank You for engaging in this journey with us too. Your investments in our lives we hope are bearing fruit. In God’s economy nothing is wasted unless we fail to see that He works behind the scenes throughout History in the worst circumstances and situations to SHINE in His way and for His Glory! 

We would appreciate your prayers as the “Yo-Yoing” is tough on our heart strings, emotions, and for our kiddos too. Transitioning gets stuck in a limbo and can have impact not only emotionally but also physically with side-effects of living in a continual stressful state. We know this all too well. Lots of tears.

Our sweet Matthew said tonight…”Mom, I’m feeling strange inside. I looked at my watch and saw that tomorrow is the date we are supposed to be going back to PNG and now we’re not and it just feels weird in my tummy and my head.” I told him that I understood completely, because it feels so much like being in a “limbo, cloud- hazy fog” to try to put it into words… He said, “Yes. Exactly.” We appreciate your Continued Prayers

We Love You and we look forward to receiving the news that we are able to return to the country that He has imprinted on our hearts.

RESTING IN HIS GRIP,

Robyn and Levi- for the Lenz Family of 6

Michael, Daniel, Matthew, Krystiana

The Lenz’ View – June 2021

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I wanted to take a quick pause to thank you all for your prayers and encouragement, especially over the last couple. Last week we were able to purchase our plane tickets and will be leaving in about 3 ½ weeks to return to Papua New Guinea. The realization of the short period of time before we go back is met with a myriad of emotions. Pray for our kids especially during this time of transition. This transition is going to be harder for some than for others. Pray for us as we pack the house we’ve been staying in, pack our luggage, prepare things for shipment, and say our farewells. The next time we write will likely be from PNG.

At His Service and For His Glory,

Levi & Robyn Lenz

Serving the North Wahgi people of Papua New Guinea

Ethnos360.org/levi-robyn-lenz

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News from the Lenz Family – June 2021

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We want to thank you for your prayers for our family, specifically regarding all our medical issues over the past few months. Here’s a quick update on all that and a note about what lies ahead.

In April, Krystiana broke her arm in 3 places and had to have pins put in it. She has made a good recovery. Her pins were removed the middle of May and her final cast/brace removed last week. She’s learned to write quite well with her left hand over the last month.

Robyn had a follow-up appointment with a doctor at the University of Michigan hospital regarding some nodules growing on her vocal cords which keep her in a constant state similar to that of laryngitis. The vocal cords have been stressed and are misshapen, which causes further stress. She has been assigned some vocal therapy to retrain the vocal cords and, eventually, as the vocal cords heal the nodules should go away.

I, Levi, had a cardiac ablation on May 18. Unfortunately, the doctor was unable to ablate the target area that is responsible for the tachycardia as it is close to other important structures of the heart; the AV node. If the AV node were damaged during the process of ablating, I could have come home with a pacemaker so the decision was made to leave well-enough alone. However, in the process of seeking out the area to be ablated, another issue did present itself and was able to be ablated. I will presumably be on medication for the tachycardia and arrhythmia until God gives me a new body. I hear there will likely be many other things that will break down on this body in the meantime as well.

The good news is that we have received the go-ahead from my cardiologist and our doctor in Papua New Guinea to return mid-July so preparations are being made for that. We cannot express enough our gratitude for Wakeshma Community Church providing us with a house for the last 5 months. We are working to pack up, again, for our return. Our mission is seeking the government’s approval for us to be able to re-enter PNG (a new requirement thanks to COVID) and once that is granted, we will begin looking for tickets. Your prayers are appreciated for all the details in this upcoming transition; paperwork, reasonable plane fares, negative covid tests, etc. This is a very hard transition for some of our kids, so be praying for them as well.

Thank you all for your prayers, encouragement, and support,

Levi & Robyn Lenz

Serving the North Wahgi people of Papua New Guinea

Ethnos360.org/levi-robyn-lenz

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News from the Lenz Family – May 2021

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Have you ever realized how Waiting on the Lord actually involves waiting. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been known make some kind of statement to the effect that I’m waiting on God, meanwhile, I try to run ahead of him. My kind of waiting on God can like when we walk with our dog Socks back in Papua New Guinea. Socks will run ahead quite a ways and then turn and look back at us as if to say hurry and catch up with me so I know I’m headed the right direction. Sometimes we will go down a different pathway off the main road and Socks will come tearing back down the road, turn down the path we took, and blast ahead of us. If I’m honest, I’m guilty of waiting on God like this at times.

We’re a year overdue to return to Papua New Guinea and be boots on the ground in the ministry there. We haven’t seen our co-workers in 2 years and they’ll be headed back to their home country for home assignment later this month (Lord willing). One or two of their kids will be left home this time around and we’ll not see them again for quite some time—if ever. We desire to see our friends in the Wahgi church.

As our tentative departure time draws nearer, we are brought to a point where we have to wait on the Lord…and I mean actually wait. I, Levi, have recently been diagnosed with a type of supraventricular tachycardia which also brings along with it its friend atrial fibrillation. The good news is that they found out I do have a heart! On Tuesday, May 18, I will be having a cardiac ablation to try and correct the problem that is causing this. Our doctors in PNG want me to wait until two months after this procedure before attempting to return to PNG. We are praying and hoping that we can get back at the end of July so that our kids can start the school year there with their classmates.

On top of my heart issue, Robyn just recently saw an Ear Nose Throat doctor and found out that she has growths on her vocal cords which leaves her with a weak voice and constant feeling of laryngitis. This has been going on for a couple years and, until recently, we thought it was just allergies. Robyn will be going to a specialist on Wednesday to see what the next steps are for her.

We would appreciate your prayers for these health concerns and that we’d wait on the Lord the way he wants us to, not like Socks.

At His Service and For His Glory,

Levi & Robyn Lenz

Serving the North Wahgi people

of Papua New Guinea

Ethnos360.org/levi-robyn-lenz

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News from the Lenz Family – 2021

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It is a beautiful thing to see more printed Scripture make it into the hands of the Wahgi church. Please be in prayer for our co-worker Dan, our translation consultants, and translation helpers Gabriel and David as they’ll be working over the next week to check approximately 1,200 more verses of the North Wahgi New Testament. These verses will contain some heavy content like the books of Revelation and Hebrews along with some other epistles. Please pray that the Holy Spirit will burn off the brain fog and that the helpers will be able to retain and clearly recall/re-tell what they heard read to them.

The checking process will begin while those of us here in the US are preparing for dinner Thursday evening and will continue for the next week. So, as you sit at the dinner table, please remember the Whagi church and the translation check in your prayers.

Thank you for praying,

Levi & Robyn Lenz

Serving the North Wahgi people of Papua New Guinea

Ethnos360.org/levi-robyn-lenz

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“Praise be to our Great God” from the Lenz’ – February 2021

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Dear Friends,

For nearly 4 years we’ve been asking you to pray for our friend Stephen in regards to a land dispute which also directly affects the church as well. We just received word from our co-workers that the court has finally made a decision and it is in Stephen’s paper. Yesterday, Stephen went to the court to get the written document declaring him as the official land owner. This has been a long, costly ordeal for Stephen and his family and he wants to thank all of you who have been praying for them through this. Please continue to pray, though, that the opposing family will accept the decision.

Thank you for praying,

Levi & Robyn Lenz

Serving the North Wahgi people of Papua New Guinea

Ethnos360.org/levi-robyn-lenz

Facebook: Lenz’s View

From the Lenz’ View

Are we there yet???

What a year this has been! First and foremost, we want to thank you all for your continued support through this year of unusual events. God has continues to bless us and meet our needs.

I think one of the top rules for a missionary is “be flexible”. Well, this year of logistical limbo has put our flexibility to the test in a number of ways but we’ve seen God’s hand in it all! As we have not made it back to Papua New Guinea in June or August, as we’d hoped, we projected our next attempt for the end of this month. That too has changed. For multiple reasons, it has become evident that we need to wait to try and get back to PNG until the end of the current school year. The kid’s school needs and travel logistics are certainly a part of the equation; however, more importantly, God has provided the opportunity and means for us to tend to some personal needs in our family in order to make sure we are all in a healthy place to return to PNG whenever that door does open up for us. In a sense, we need to pause to secure our own oxygen mask before assisting others.

Our hearts’ desire is to be PNG continuing on in the North Wahgi church-planting ministry and our commitment has not changed in that area. I, Levi, will continue to work on projects that directly benefit our church plant—but for the short-term I’ll be doing this from here in the US. This is not a change in ministry, but a short-term change in ministry location. We are thankful for your continued support which enables me to continue being in full-time ministry without having to seek out and balance outside employment with this ministry role.

 

Bloom where you’re planted…

This fall Robyn started substitute teaching at the Christian school where our kids attend. This has been a blessing and a confidence booster for her to be able to teach various age levels of students. Through this time, God has provided some awesome opportunities for Robyn to share the Gospel with some of her young students and to be an encouragement to the other staff at the school.

Back in Wahgi land…

Some of you may recall us asking for continued prayer for one of our Bible teachers, Stephen, and an ongoing land court issue. This case has been dragged out for the last few years. The latest word on this is that the verdict of the case has been made, but it has not yet been revealed. Stephen has been told to come pick up the official ruling papers, but each time he goes to do this, the necessary people aren’t there. Please continue to pray for peace and patience for him and his family.
This week there will be a 3-day youth conference held in our village in which youth from 7 other NTM-planted churches in the neighboring province will attend. This will be our church’s first time hosting this event. Please pray for safety for all who travel for the event. Pray that our believers will work in unity with one another as they host the conference. And finally, pray that God will be glorified in all that goes on during the conference.

Thank you again for your love, encouragement, and support.

Levi, Robyn, Michael, Daniel, Matthew, and Krystiana Lenz

The Lenz’ View – July 2020

Oh Rats…

About a month ago while we started the process of sorting and packing for our return to Papua New Guinea, our co-workers discovered and notified us that our house in the village had been overtaken by rats in our absence. At the last count, I believe they have killed over 30 rats in our house (and that number was slowly rising). We are very grateful for their efforts to eradicate the rat population. We’ve been told that the trespassers have done substantial damage, but the full amount of damage is still to be determined. From photos, it almost looked as if an earthquake had shaken items off the shelves, but nope, that was the rats knocking things over and of course chewing on all of it in the process. Our co-workers have organized a team from our support base to come in to the village next week in order to do a thorough cleaning and also put metal siding on our house to replace the woven pitpit siding. We hope this step will keep them from invading like this again in the future. We hope to have a better assessment of what all was damaged after this next week.

 

  

 

News from the Village…

In early June another 13 Wahgi believers were baptized. What is more exciting is that these people were led to the Lord and baptized by other members of the Wahgi church. This was done while our co-workers were out of the village. We are thankful for Stephen and Wirol who have kept Bible studies and Sunday Bible teaching going. Now that our co-workers have returned to the village, they will be working to further train and encourage these men to continue Bible teaching rather than taking that role again themselves. We have been longing for the day when the church would stand strong on their own feet and the Word of God. It looks as if God is using COVID to help bring that about. Please be praying with us for continued unity in the church and more faithful men and women of God take on responsibilities in the church.

Four young Wahgi believers (Dipa, Kayeye, James, & Lus)

Now What…

We just had a great time visiting my (Levi) family in Missouri. Now that we’re back in Michigan, we will resume packing things to send over to PNG. We still do not have our kids’ passports back. The passport processing centers are still slowly reopening. We were recently advised that once we receive our the new passports, we need to send them off to the PNG Embassy in Washington, DC to have the entry permits transferred over to the new passports. In the past we’ve been able to travel with both old/new passports in hand, but we’re being encouraged not to do that this time around. Please be praying with us for patience as we wait on God’s timing and travel documents.

 

Thank you for your continued prayers and support,

 

Levi & Robyn Lenz

Serving the North Wahgi people

of Papua New Guinea

Ethnos360.org/levi-robyn-lenz

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The Lenz’ View – May 2020

Psalm 130:5

I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait, and in His word do I hope.

You’re Grounded…

Many people are asking us how the current state of affairs (aka COVID19) are effecting us and our return to Papua New Guinea this summer. We are thankful for your questions and prayers on our behalf.

First,  we are homeschooling our kids now and their school is doing a great job of sending assignments weekly and checking in with them throughout the week. They’ve only got two weeks of school left.

As it relates to our return to Papua New Guinea, we’re taking things one day at a time. As of April  22, 2020, PNG has had 8 confirmed COVID-19 cases in country. Some of these cases are in provinces where NTM has personnel. Centers in these locations are now at an elevated security level. Field & area leadership have put measures in place in these locations to ensure the safety & security of our members. To our knowledge, there have not been any more confirmed cases of COVID in PNG. It is an answer to prayer that the virus has not stricken PNG very hard. Please continue to pray for PNG and other developing countries with very limited medical resources.

Our flights have been canceled; we’ve been grounded. We are thankful that the airline has refunded our non-refundable tickets. Praise God for his provision in this way! We are currently in communication with our field leadership and are waiting for them to give us the go-ahead to return. Please pray for us to get our passports back. We sent the kids’ passports in for renewal before everything turned upside down and we are still waiting for them to come back. We don’t know if they’re currently processing passports at the moment or not.

Pray for closure for our kids. When stay-at-home orders started rolling out, our kids were taken away from their friends without the possibility of closure. We understand that this has happened to all the school kids across the nation; however, most of them will see each other once school starts again. It has been difficult for our children to think of not seeing their friends again at all. With our flights being canceled, we are hopeful that we can have time to orchestrate some kind of gathering for the kids to get together and have closure before we do leave for PNG.

From the Wahgi Church…

We’ve received some great, encouraging news from our co-workers who are currently in PNG. Though they’re not able to be in the village at this time, they are staying in contact with the church on a regular basis. There are two men who have been staying faithful in teaching the church and two ladies who are continuing to work with the youth. If I recall correctly, there are about 8 new believers who are currently going through the discipleship class.

As spring here emerges from the winter here in the US we start hearing talk about “hardening” your garden plants by gradually giving them exposure to the outdoors. This current time in the life of the Wahgi church is a bit of a hardening time where the church is exposed to life without the missionaries and must be reliant on the Lord and each other in order to stand strong. Please be praying for unity in the church and that they would stand strong against the schemes of the devil.

Thank you for your continued prayers for us and for the Wahgi church.
Levi, Robyn, Michael, Daniel, Matthew, and Krystiana Lenz

The Lenz’ View – February 2020

Answers to Prayer

I realize that our last update was sent in November. We want to thank you for your continued prayers for our family while we’re on our home assignment. Many have asked about Daniel and his vision therapy. Daniel’s vision therapy has been going very well and he is making notable progress. I believe he only has about 9 sessions left to complete. I know he’ll be glad to have that behind him. Thank you for praying for Daniel in this way.
Another prayer request we have shared is in regards to the housing situation for Michael as he will be attending our mission’s boarding school at our field headquarters in Papua New Guinea. God has answered that prayer through the provision of dorm parents for this coming school year. Michael will be staying at the dorm for 8-week terms and then, at the completion of each term, he will have a time with us before starting the next term. We are thankful that the school year is broken up in this way so that we can have time together throughout the year.
A current prayer request is that we are starting to look for plane tickets for our return to PNG this coming June. Please be praying with us that God will provide reasonable fares for our family to get back and for the provision of the finances for those tickets.

A Time to Rest

Last week we were blessed beyond measure by Quiet Place Ministries, who provided our family with a 5-day retreat over the kids’ mid-winter school break. This was a great time of spiritual and emotional refreshment and it provided a great time to rest and re-connect as a family. This has been the first time on our home assignment that we have not had to share our room with our 4-year old. It was wonderful to have time just for our family and to be able to spend some one-on-one time with each one of the kids throughout the 5 days.
Quiet Place Ministries purpose is to “provide retreats for individuals, married couples, and families serving in Christian ministry.  At no charge, pastors, missionaries, and others can enjoy a time of renewal, relaxation, and refreshment.” They are a very small organization which provide for those in full-time ministry in a BIG way! We would encourage you to reach out to QPM to see how you might be able to help provide refreshment for those who are serving in full-time ministry.

Long Journey Ahead

We will be leaving tomorrow, Friday, Feb 14, to head to New York, via Canada, to speak at one of our supporting churches. From there we’ll drop down to Pennsylvania for 5 days connecting with some of our supporting pastors at a Church Leader’s Retreat at Ethnos360’s Wayumi campus. This will be an awesome time for these pastors to gain a deeper understanding of what their church is a part of through their partnership with us (and other Ethnos360 missionaries).
This is going to one of our longer journeys in a time of the year when the weather can be quite unpredictable. Please pray for safety in travel over the next week.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support. We appreciate each one of you!

Your co-workers in Christ,
Levi & Robyn Lenz

Michael, Daniel, Matthew, & Krystiana

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Levi and Robyn Lenz

New Tribes Mission
PO Box 1079

Goroka, EHP 441

Papua New Guinea

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