Lisa, Janie and I had a good laugh as the self-timer on my camera clicked. The photo was taken in the little church on a river winding through the jungle in the Northern Regions of Papua New Guinea two years ago. “You cannot read a word of that translation,” Lisa said with a twinkle in her eye, and I had to agree with her without argument. But it is not about me I thought as I moved closer to the man sitting at my side. I am excited to see him have some of the Word of God in his hands.
This is how it has been over the last 40 years with me and New Tribes Mission. I knew the first day stepping into the language school my dreams of preaching the gospel in another language may just be put on hold. After a few months trying my best it became very evident my gifts were not in the area of language learning or translation in the kind of places NTM works around the world. “But God” I like that, don’t you”?
God had other plans for this old Tennessee boy and when a leader from Papua New Guinea said, “We could use a man like you on the field” doors were opened and have remained opened all these years, and only faith was required to step through. Jesus has been faithful to go with me as He said He would in Matthew 28 and I have been able to use the gifts He has given me along the way.
Really it takes a pretty big team to get the Word of God translated and into their hands, and really it does not matter what part of the team does the translation just as long as the rest of the team does their part. Thank you for your part in all that has taken place around the world. We will get the job done because Jesus said, “But you shall receive power, after the Holy Spirit is come upon you; and you shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and in Samaria and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
Looking for call? Really? Jesus was not wasting words and God the Father has said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him.” Matthew 17:5 is a good place to start.