My confidence in cross-cultural experience and knowing multiple languages was fading about as quickly as the line I was standing in. The visa office in the small African country was cozy especially considering there were about 20 of us taking up temporary residence in it. The line now resembled more of a football huddle around the lady behind the counter. My arm was one of many stretched out waving a passport and a few bills of mixed currency. Not knowing any of the languages being spoken and continuing to be rejected in my efforts to gain acknowledgment I was eventually able to find a boy of about 12 years of age who became my translator and my new best friend. Within a few minutes I was posing in front of a blue screen smiling for my official photo to complete my paper work.
Welcome to Africa. What a difference clear communication makes. That is after all the whole reason that I left my family back in the States and headed for Mozambique last month. I was able to help lead a workshop attended by about 30 missionaries from 6 different African countries. In remote tribal locations throughout the world in addition to literacy, translation, and Bible teaching there is also a desperate need for Bible curriculum and resources to be created. How unfortunate it would be for a missionary to work in one of these locations and not help to produce and train others to produce these materials. And how tragic it would be if when they were produced they didn’t clearly communicate.
At the end of the week it was my desire that the attendees had direction and a better idea of what was involved in creating Bible curriculum for churches in tribal locations that communicate clearly and how to go about equipping others in the village to be able to do the same. I am trusting that God will be able to continue to use it for years to come in those African locations that were represented at the workshop.
Since my time there our family was able to be a part of a 5 day missions conference in Salina, Kansas. Lori spent a good deal of her childhood there and it was great to be back and see friends, supporters, and family in Christ committed to missions on a world-wide scale.
We are now back in Sioux City and are able to spend some time at our sending church Morningside Bible Church. With cooling weather the girls are getting practice putting on coats and gloves and are wondering when it will snow. Briella is up to “new-born” size and is doing great at almost 7 pounds.
In Papua New Guinea right now there are is a group of Patpatar believers returning from a tribe on the Southern end of the island we live on. They along with believers from 3 other language groups on the island are getting together for the very first regional believers conference. Our prayer is that is has been an encouraging and exciting time to meet and spend time around other fellow brothers and sisters in Christ focused on the gospel of grace and the church. Please pray for a safe return by boat and truck by all participants and that those who attended will be able to share with their churches as they return to their own tribal locations.
Fact – During the last Presidential election, Lori and I were not able to cast our vote due to late absentee ballots because of a slow mail system. This time we counted it a priviledge to exercise our right to vote. We hope during this criticl election you are doing your part as well to vote for the future of America.