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The Burns Journal Podcast


grace to help us when we're splitting under pressure


“You see, we don’t go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus’ sake…We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.”
-2 Corinthians 4:5, 7

We’re in the second stage of language learning here in Papua New Guinea. Instead of going to either the classroom or a teaching session out in the village, we’ve been cut loose to learn as much as we can by being with people in their daily lives. Sometimes this means helping in their gardens, washing clothes in the river with them, visiting their homes, or going on a walk and talking with whoever we meet on the way.

One difficulty I ran into last week was this: men and women usually spend their days apart. Where Cody can pretty freely come and go, it takes a little more legwork and planning to set up a safe way for me get those same experiences. I was brainstorming and doing my very best to meet all the expectations I felt,

but one day, my plan fell through...

keep reading


Thank you so much for praying for our family as we continue working at language and culture study here in Papua New Guinea!

We have our second language evaluation coming up and are so encouraged with the progress the Lord has been giving us. We still have so much to learn, but day by day, communication is feeling a little easier, and that is an answer to prayer!

This is a very busy season with lots of outings, lots to process, time in the heat, and hard work. We’re still adjusting to a lot of the daily life differences here and finding ourselves pretty wiped out by the end of every week.

Please pray for us to find some restorative ways to take breaks and for the Lord to give us his wisdom for gauging when to push ourselves and when to rest.

All of our stomachs have been having a hard time adjusting to the food, water, and the new germs we run into here. Abi in particular has been feeling bad for a little over a week. Please pray for our family to be patient with each other when we’re not feeling our best, and pray especially for Abi to recover quickly.

A few of you have asked about care packages, and though we do have a way to get packages here, it is pretty time-consuming and expensive. If you are looking for a simpler way to encourage us, you can email us a verse or gift us the mp3 of a worship song that has been encouraging to you lately! ( is the email for our iTunes account).

We don’t always have fast enough internet to stream music, but especially during food prep (lots of scratch cooking) and laundry, I have found praise and worship to be super helpful in setting my heart on what is true when I’m tempting to grow discouraged or focus on how tired I feel, or when I’m missing home and family. I think listening to truth that has strengthened you and hearing about the Lord’s faithfulness to meet you in your hard moments would be an awesome encouragement to us.

If you didn’t catch our “Medicine Leaf” video on facebook, you can check it out here:
Last week in language study, we learned about a stinging leaf that helps with muscle pain...once the stinging stops 😂

It's a great sample of us using some Tok Pisin with our language helper, and it's decent comedy, too.

Finally, please keep praying for us and the rest of our new teammates here on the field as we go after the task of language learning. Pray that we’d be an encouragement to one another, that we’d take our stress to the Lord, that He would help our brains to learn it well, and that we would remember this:
Language is important. But it’s not all-important. The Lord has never relied on the clever speech of people.

Pray that, in our pursuit of language study, we would not neglect the precious relationships He’s given us with each other and with Himself.  

“When I first came to you, dear brothers and sisters, I didn’t use lofty words or impressive wisdom to tell you God’s secret plan. For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified. I came to you in weakness – timid and trembling. And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God.”
-1 Corinthians 2:1-5

Thank you so much for keeping up with us! 


Cody, Beka & Abishai


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