We continue searching for the Lord’s purpose for us and the ethnic group with whom we want to serve with the Gospel here in southern Colombia. Before starting any missionary work, we need to better understand the current state of the church, such as: How many of them speak the Spanish (trade) language? How well do they understand the Scriptures that has been translated into their language? How are they using the Scriptures?
The mature church, a model created by our mission that measures the four principles of a healthy church.
To answer these questions, our missionary agency considers that the most important thing is to start by knowing the state of the native Koreguaje Church. For that we will use the “Model of the Mature Church”. We will be visiting the Koreguaje people to ask them questions that will allow us to understand the state of the native church with these four important views:
God´s Word for the Church / The identity of the church / The life of the church / Discipleship in the church
We have to answer questions such as. . .
Can you read and write in your language?
Do you understand the translation of the Bible in your language?
Do unbelievers view the church in a negative, positive, indifferent way?
Are you able to describe the concept of grace?
Can believers help other people apply God’s Word to their daily lives?
Some of the questions are only for church leaders, some are for the church members in general, and there are even some questions for unbelievers. Because of this, it makes us think that we will need to start by identifying the most representative churches in the different villages, their pastors and members.
Reaching The First Phase
So we were able to make a trip from Bogota to the jungle region in mid-April, with two purposes: one, find a good house to rent and two, go to the village next to the people group for a meet with a Pastor there who has practically grown up in the region, and who best knows the people leaders, the most representative ethnic churches, their pastors, members and unbelievers.
The 10 hour car trip all the way from Bogota to the city in the south was calm and easy. Since it is rainy season we thought that we couldnt pass the zones that had lane slides. It was raining half of the trip, but it only rained where we had good roads. The other half of the trip was dry but with a lot of fog. Overall we made it safely and without any inconvenience thanks to God.
After arriving we went on another 3 hour car trip all the way to the jungle village, it was our first time going there on the car, it is cheaper, comfier and safer than by boat. It was a explorer trip, to see how the road was and to see if the car can resist the unpaved roads. It was a succes.
During the inicial trip to the jungle village, the weather was very dry, but with the return to the city, it started raining pretty heavily. Despite all of that we safely made it back with no heavy damage to the car.
We remember with great gratitude that the Lord, a few years ago, had provided this car with the support of various churches and individuals. Now it is being very useful for the work.
We meet with our team mates and with the Pastor, who has been in the area for more than 20 years and knows the people very well. So that he guide us about what direction we should take and how we should do the research to get a good overview of the status of the churches and how to best serve in this work.
The pastor greatly appreciated the material we shared about the Mature Church and proposed some strategies to be able to do research among the people to move on to the next phase.
During this time of interview with the pastor we could already glimpse some of the church problems of this people group. The biggest problem is that the Bible translation need a review and a update as it is writed in a minor dialect that does not cover the entire language types of this ethnic group.
The reading of the Word has also decreased due to the fact that many audio materials have entered.
We dedicated a day to help reconstruct the church building. The pastor has a project to enlarge the church adapting it so that it can help as a bible training center for this less reached people. We thought that this could be a good way for us to help the church and get involved more with this tribe.
What comes Next
We took advantage of the trip to seek to rent a house in the city next to the jungle. It was not so easy to find the appropriate house, so, since our son is in virtual classes due to the pandemic, we are staying in Bogota for now.
From Bogota we will plan how to do research on the 27 indigenous villages and we will travel back and forth.
– For the Lord’s wisdom to plan how to do the research in those 27 villages and to get a good understanding of the status of the ethnic church and its needs.
– For the direction of the Lord to know when is the best time to move to the city next to the jungle region.
– For the provision of the Lord of a house in the city that can serve not only for us and our son Miguel, but also to receive our teammates when they come from the jungle village, since they plan to move there from July.
THANK YOU FOR PRAYING!
Mail: A.A. 16569 Bogota, Colombia
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