“So Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s Word and ate from the fruit, right? They were separated from God and put outside the garden, true? The road to get back was blocked by an angel with a flaming sword and there was no way to sneak around, trick the angel, go in at night or anything; it was like this right? They had been removed away from the tree that gives eternal life and they couldn’t go eat any, true? Cain and Abel were born outside the garden and they too couldn’t go in and eat any, right? Us too, we are the descendents of Adam and we can’t eat it right?” More rhetorical question followed as one of the Patpatar men hearing the evangelistic Bible teaching summarized the lesson he had just heard. Then came his real question. “So, I want to ask you this: ‘Has God made another road for us to be able to live forever?’”
Twenty-five people sat on the edge of their tree root, as an unusual silence fell on the crowd waiting for an answer. With excitement, I was able to assure them that, “Yes, God has made a road!” I reminded them of the promise God made while still in the garden about sending ‘the Chosen One’ who would be ‘injured’ while crushing the power of Satan who had stolen mankind away from God. I encouraged them to keep coming to hear God’s Talk so that they would know the road He has made.
It is a privilege to see and hear the stories from the Bible which are so familiar to the Patpatar become alive as they begin to see them as pieces of God’s message to them and not just random stories. Another lady, after years of resisting to hear God’s Word has began to come to the teaching. After the story of Cain and Abel’s sacrifice, she said, “For a long time I thought all my deeds have caused God to be happy with me, but now I see I am just like Cain.”
As thrilling as it is to see God work in these 3 different groups of Patpatar people meeting throughout the week, it is an even greater joy to us that they are being led and taught primarily by the Patpatar Christians and not us ‘white skins.’ The small group of believers who have been faithfully meeting and learning and growing are now involved with teaching these groups who have not yet heard and understood the Good News. We missionaries are now the ones assisting, as the believers begin to take the driver’s seat. We continue to meet with them as a church and teach and train them, but are now enjoying being co-workers with them to reach out to the hamlets of Kuses, Kabahiruo, and Palagam. With all the good news also comes some difficulties. As the effort to step up the evangelistic effort and reach out to those who still need to hear has been made, so the effort by Satan to stop it has been evident. Fresh accusations and verbal condemnation has been directed to us and the believers who are meeting and teaching. Mild threats and false alternatives have been made to those now hearing God’s Word; anything to thwart them from coming. We realize we are in a battle and expect there to be opposition when the truth is proclaim, but it is still difficult. So pray for us. Pray for the Patpatar Christians. Pray for those who are coming to hear God’s truth twice a week in these 3 locations. Pray for those who are part of the opposition, that they too will see their need for a Savior.
We gather together, but not without antagonism. So, as many of you gather together for Thanksgiving think and pray for the gatherings here, both the church and the new groups hearing God’s Talk.
In the Road (Christ, the One God sent for us to be able to have eternal life),
Note: With the believer’s meetings, the 3 new groups hearing the evangelistic teaching, homeschooling, finalizing the literacy program for printing, working on translation, and consulting missionaries in other tribal groups we have found ourselves with plenty to do and even a bit overwhelmed lately. Thankfully God made a way for Lori to be able to get a much needed break from her 24/7 life here in the tribe and spend a few weeks with family in America over Thanksgiving. The girls and I are getting by J and look forward to her return the beginning of December.