“Welp, I’m glad it didn’t erupt while we were out there,” I said to Jeremy last Thursday on our way back from Manam Island, an active volcano located just off the coast here. Some of us guys from orientation here spent 5 days out on Manam Island helping a missionary family finish building their tribal house. We hung up plywood walls, we installed outlets, lights and switches, and we set up their fridge and freezer! It was definitely a great opportunity to serve them but also get a picture of what it will be like for my family when we build our house out in the tribe.
Wow! There is so much to consider when you are going to a remote jungle location to build a house. Here are a few things that we have to consider together with our team, the Crabtrees and Hambrices—how big do we make our houses, how much do we want them to look like the people’s houses, will we use material from the bush or buy everything from hardware stores and ship it in, how can we use house-building as an opportunity to model Christ, and how can we start modeling discipleship now with simple things like teaching the tribal guys to use a circular saw. These are all things that are part of “pre-evangelism,” which is how we, the missionaries, live our lives in front of the people before we know their language and are able to preach to them about the free gift of Jesus. They are watching us and we must earn their trust and show them who Jesus is.