One of our greatest joys these past few years has been the privilege of serving the indigenous church as they continue to spread the gospel to their own people, and sometimes even across language barriers. Their passion for Christ, and willingness to sacrifice to make him known regularly challenges our own faith and commitment.
One of the first believers from the Higaunon people, Monsing couldn’t escape the burden he had for his fellow Higaunon in the next village. There was only one problem: that village was under the influence of a group of outsiders who were violently opposed to the gospel. Monsing counted the cost, and went anyway. As he began sharing the gospel, opposition mounted, and in 1985, Monsing gave his life for the sake of the gospel, leaving behind a young but growing church, as well as his wife and children. His youngest son Manna, who was only an infant when his father died picked up the Baton, and a couple of years ago moved to yet another village to share the gospel.
Married less than a year, and expecting their first child, Maytunhayan and his wife, Naytunhayan were Tala-Andig missionaries to another Tala-Andig village. While they don’t have to cross a language barrier, Missionaries like these face most of the same challenges foreign missionaries face: Where will we live? How will we buy food? How will we get to and from the village we hope to reach with the Gospel? Many of these villages have no economy, so even if missionaries had the financial resources to purchase food and necessities, there is no food to be bought. Everyone just grows what they need for the year. Maytunhayan was clearing a field, preparing to plant rice to support his family while they ministered, and a tree fell on him, knocking him unconscious. Miraculously, believers who were helping him were able to get a message out, and one of our pilots flew him out to the hospital. Sadly, before reaching a hospital with the capability to treat injuries that extensive, Maytunhayan passed away, leaving his young, expecting wife behind. Pray for the Tala-Andig church as they send someone else in Maytunhayan’s place to carry on the work.
Serving the Church
It is our honor to serve alongside fellow believers like these and so many more: The young mother hiking 12 hours solo through the jungle with her baby on her back so that she could teach other mothers how to teach and train their children (now she and her family are a quick 5 minute helicopter trip away from the village she’s been teaching in). The elders laboring through illness, injuries, famine, and at times having their names defamed and their motives questioned by other religious groups and even by their own people. Yet they have remained faithful, and the light of the gospel continues to push back the darkness of sin and ignorance!