Take a nice leisurely 20 minute hike back our ridge, then slip, slide, and fall down the mud-slick mountain for the next hour, cross a creek that could be ankle deep or thigh deep, depending on the amount of rain in the past 24 hours, then trudge straight up another mountain for an hour an a half, and then stumble wearily the final 20 minute walk to finish your journey. You made it! You can set down your 20+ lb pack and rest for a little bit. Teaching starts in fifteen minutes.
The journey can be brutal, but the destination is worth it. You’ve arrived in Nabarume, a collection of small villages among the Pal people group of Papua New Guinea. The few hundred people that call this place home have an intense hunger for God’s Word, and now they are hearing it for the very first time. The Pal Church of Apsakul is reaching out to their neighbors, the people of Nabarume, teaching them God’s Word and showing them the futility of their old beliefs.
Chris and Axel are alternating weeks journeying up there with our Pal brothers and sisters to share God’s Word with the people there. They hike up very early Monday mornings, arriving just in time to start teaching. Monday includes a review of the previous week’s teaching, along with one new lesson. Chris, Axel, and the Pal teachers go through two new lessons each on Tuesday and Wednesday, and then hike home late Wednesday afternoons.
We have only just finished teaching on the creation of the world and are just now arriving at the fall of man, but the people are completely glued to every word flowing from the mouths of the teachers. They sit attentively for hours listening to God’s Word being read and strengthened. When each lesson is finished, we open it up for questions, and the people pour forth question after question bringing up every thing they have ever been taught, heard, or believed that is counter to what God’s Word says.
It is incredibly exciting to see the interest and desire for the truth among the Pal people of Nabarume. But it is equally awesome watching our Pal Bible teachers carefully and accurately handle God’s Word. They are teaching with passion and authority, and they are also gently but firmly helping the people throw out the filth of the old beliefs and grab hold of the truth. It is truly a privilege to be a part of what God is doing here.
Pray, pray, pray. Pray that the teachers will teach clearly and accurately, and that they will walk carefully and righteously as they continue on in God’s work. Pray for the Nabarume folks who are hearing the truth for the first time. Pray that they will listen with open hearts and minds, throw out the old beliefs, and fully accept God’s message for them.