Sludgin’ through the mud up and down treacherous mountain trails, dreary rain dripping from my brow, my cheap mobile phone barely lighting my path. It was miserable. And it was wonderful.
Had you peeked in on me an hour earlier, you would have seen me sitting amidst a sea of men, women, and children cramming themselves into a small home in order to worship God together and hear His Word. Wednesday night Bible study is led by many different Pal men in four different villages, and what a joy it was to fellowship with the Pal believers and listen to these growing men read God’s Word to the people and teach a little.
The next day I had the privilege of meeting with just these Christ-following men and encouraging them in the work they are doing. Seventeen men gathered and we (Axel and I) spent hours with them in discipleship, training them as teachers and leaders. These men are growing in their walk with Christ and each day their light shines a bit brighter. They are growing in love, faithfulness, and obedience. They are also growing in their ability to teach God’s Word, to encourage their brothers and sisters in Christ, and to biblically handle problems that come up in the Church and in the community.
The day that we can hand all responsibility over to these men to shepherd God’s flock in Pal is not near. But there is no doubt that we are cruising towards that day. I’ve experienced few things in this life as exhilarating as watching God at work in the lives of the Pal believers. It is muddy at times, in our lives, and in theirs, but He is strengthening them. He is growing them. He is preparing them to do His work. He is gifting them and enabling them. And He will see His work through to completion.
Dropping into Pal in early May for two days and dealing with endless rain and trails of mud proved well worth it to rub shoulders with my brothers and sisters in Pal and witness the work God is doing among them. Now I am back on center with my family, continuing translation and support work from afar, but my heart is still with the people in Pal.
For the numbers folks, we have approximately 30% of the New Testament finished, and about another 10% currently in progress somewhere between first draft and final consultant check.