Tati with another man learning from God’s Word.
“I want to hear all of this teaching. I want to get it all,” said Tati. Tati, one of the older Patpatar men, was telling me this in reference to the evangelistic Bible lessons he has been coming to hear. He went on, “I am not a teenager anymore. I need to hear the truth of God’s Word before…” The last few words become a quiet mumble as the thought of dying crossed his mind. He gathered his strength again and explained, “I used to think that God was happy with me because of all the good that I have done. But it is not so, now I see I am not enough. So, I need to hear all this teaching so that I can understand the road that God has made so that I can be accepted by Him.”
I was thrilled to hear Tati express the reality that he was not enough and his desire to know the truth. In this culture traditional beliefs often skew and corrupt their understanding of the true God; and the vast amount of religion frequently twists the perception of mankind’s position before the God of the universe. The mix of customary and contemporary in the Patpatar tribe often makes the simple plan of salvation difficult to grasp.
Working alongside the Patpatar Christians we have been teaching evangelistic Bible lessons to small groups in 3 different locations twice a week. We have now completed the foundational truths in the Old Testament and are in the Gospel books teaching about Jesus, who He is, and his life on earth. We will be reaching the point of His death and resurrection around Easter time. Please be praying for Tati and the other Patpatar people as they continue to hear the truth and come to the realization that they are not enough, but that God through Jesus has a way of salvation for them.
Similarly we ask that you pray for us. Ironically, I have been feeling the same way as Tati: “I am not enough.” For Tati it is in regard to his standing before God. For me it is in regard to the work God has placed before me. In the overwhelming tasks of the ministry, I once again need reminded not to depend on my strength or ability to get through it all. We will be headed back to the States later this year for our Home Assignment and are trying to accomplish several goals in teaching, literacy, translation, and discipleship. Pray for us as well in the coming month that we can accomplish what God wants us to in His strength, and for the wisdom to do things His way and in His time.
Aaron for the family
Aaron with 3 of the Patpatar Bible teachers.
Fact: The Patpatar word for enough can also mean equal. So when they say they are not enough they communicating they are not equal. This last weekend the Patpatar Christians used that word in the positive sense. Some Christians from another tribe where some fellow missionaries work, came to spend a day with the Patpatar Christians. It was a wonderful time of meeting fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Their languages are different, their cultures are different, their backgrounds are different, but the Patpatar believers told me that they were enough. Because of their standing in God’s family they said, “we are equal.”