In the early days of our time in Papua New Guinea money was short and getting supplies into the area we were working sometimes caused problems.
So, as best as we could we ate out of the jungle. I built a cook house out side of our bigger house and there we spent lots of time with the village people. A root somewhat like a potato became my favorite and the village people were glad to show us the many ways they cooked it. Even today when I go back to the village a few of the women will meet me with one hot right out of the fire and it does not get any better than that.
Janie, the boys and I were setting around the fire one day cooking up some delights brought to us by our friends, then a older man said. “ Jack, you could just come back and die with us.” Now, that was a nice thought, but this man did not know just how much all us missionaries living up and down this river were dying, not for the grave, but to self that we might get the gospel to those that had never heard.
We had men and women that where coming from well to do families, watching them leave that behind and bend their backs to the heavy load set before them caused me to be all I could for them. Hours and hours of language study plus living life in a place that is hard with each coming day takes its toll. To me these is what Jesus meant when He said pick up your cross and follow Me. For many the thought of going to the mission field is hard, for others it is as easy as saying, here I am Lord, send me.
Ethnos 360 is a great place to start. Janie and I stepped into mission training in Aug. 1973 , dying to self but filling our lives with knowledge of how we to could reach unreached people groups around the world. Memories of that old barn that was turned into housing for men and women to learn the truths of life on the mission field still thrills my wondering mind after all these years. Truths we learned then still push us forward to the regions beyond and the last people group, but walking just a bit slower in 2020.
Today the old barn is still standing, and the slow moving river still wonders wild down the valley among the beautiful flowers in the spring time. It is no longer a place where Ethnos 360 trains missionaries as before but has giving way for a program we call Wayumi. It is a place where all men and women of all ages can come and learn the ends and outs of reaching unreached people groups around the world.
Over the years Janie and I have taken many short term mission trips right into the heart of the jungle of Papua New Guinea and other places around the world. If I where taking trips of that magnitude today the Wayumi experience would be a requirement for anyone signing up for the trip. Come, and like a mission trip over seas you will leave but never be the same.