One of the leaders of the clan told them that they would have to move out of the hamlet and that the teaching of God’s Word would no longer be allowed to happen there. Tokiung’s uncle was ‘at it again’ and this time it was even more severe. Tokiung, the pastor of the Patpatar church, reassured his wife and young kids, that God was in control and that He could use this situation.
That very night they locked up the large room that had been built under Tokiung’s house for Bible study and met in a dirt clearing in the next hamlet with the faithful attendees. When we got word the next day our hearts felt heavy for our brothers and sisters in Christ here in the Patpatar who continue to deal with difficulties. But that was not the end….
Tokiung came to me in the afternoon and asked if I had any ice for his 2-year old son’s leg.
He needed more than ice. The next day a whole chain of events began to take place. Here is the account from one of our fellow missionaries, Mike and Beth Sutton, 6 hours away in a small town.
“We received a call on Friday from a fellow missionary from a work mid-west side of the island. She told us that a baby boy of one of the elders had a board fall on him and break his leg. Mom and baby had spent a few days at the clinic close to home then they were sent here to the Hospital to have the leg X-rayed. Mom, Karen, and baby, Junior, arrived to find the X-ray machine in need of repair (2 weeks they say it will be fixed??). Saturday afternoon, Tokiung, the dad, arrived.
”On Sunday we brought the family here to center and they had a shower and charged their phones and laptop. Tokiung also worked on some Bible lessons he is teaching. Karen had a sleep on the floor. They find our foam mattresses way too soft. We noticed on Sunday that Junior’s leg was swollen and he was in discomfort and didn’t like to move. Then today we go to the Haus Sik (hospital) expecting to pick them up and bring them to our center again, only to find Junior has been put in traction. Kind of a makeshift traction, but Junior seems a lot happier and was singing and clapping during our visit. They say he will be in this position for 4 weeks? Ouch! The doctors will check every so often and he may get out of it earlier. Tokiung may return to their village to take care of their other children and continue on with his work in the church. For Karen and Junior it will be a long 4 weeks.
“We continue to take them water and food, and will bring Tokiung here to center tomorrow so he can charge his laptop and work on his lessons some more. One of the first things the missionary had us do was pick up a cell phone and some food for the family. The hospitals her provide a bed, one chair, and medical attention. So we will see what we can do to help this family during their stay here. Even if it is only bringing some drinking water each day.”
As of now, Tokiung and his family (including the 3 girls) have now been relocated to the mission guesthouse where Junior is still suspended from a bed. There they have better access to toilet and bathing facilities, electricity, and running water. They have been given instructions of how to look after Junior and the doctor will periodically stop by to check in on them. Pray for correct healing of Junior’s leg.
Meanwhile back in Patpatar the other believers are having to step up to the plate. Our family is also headed out of the village in a weeks time to be involved in some consultant checks in other villages and then a month at the orientation center teaching another group of new missionaries. Pray for the Patpatar church during this time while “their missionary” and “their pastor” is away. Pray God will use it to cause them to lead even though it may end up costing them.
Fact: Missionaries like the Suttons are what we call the “Support Missionaries.” Though not in the tribe doing translation or church planting they are needed part of the team. They are the ones who manage the guesthouses, maintain the centers, keep the accounts balanced and so many other necessary jobs. You too, can be a missionary!