Native to the equatorial jungles of Southeast Asia, we are the first generation of our people to hear the Good News that Jesus died for our sins and rose again! Still many of our people have not heard or have not believed in Jesus for everlasting life. Do pray for them.
God’s messengers who brought the words of Life to us have done so with much difficulty and suffering. They demonstrated this: “…we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” (2 Cor. 4:7) Among the first couples to come, the wife of one suffered for months with typhoid fever and other complications. Finally, they had to return to their home country, she was literally at the door of death. God raised her up, but she was unable to live in the tropics again.
Shortly after we first heard the Gospel and began to trust in Christ, the husband of another family, together with his visiting brother-in-law, was hit by a falling tree. They were both critically injured. But again, God spared their lives and raised them up.
Later, the wife in another family who served among us suffered cancer. After surgery, and in spite of chemo treatment, they continued to teach God’s Word to us until the husband suffered a brain tumor. Even after his surgery, they returned to continue teaching until the brain tumor recurred. After that, they had to leave again and he went to be with Jesus.
Over the years, the missionaries also suffered diseases. In addition to all kinds of sickness common in the jungle, some had malaria, typhoid, hepatitis, dengue fever, and chikungunya fever. They had boat wrecks on the river, spent days and nights traveling among our villages, and faced the deaths of parents back in their homeland. It seems God’s messengers must still be prepared as Paul when God said about him, “I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.” (Acts 9:16)
Through all of this, some of us believed in Jesus and the fledgling church began to grow. It seems that our maturing process followed the ups and downs of the missionaries coming and going. Perhaps we should have been stronger in faith but we have struggled to be faithful. Each time a new missionary family came, they had to learn our language and our customs. This took time, but it helped us understand more clearly who Jesus is and what He has done.
Also, because the missionary team had many ups and downs, it never worked out to have God’s Word translated into our language. Finally, a few years ago we appealed for help in translating the Scriptures into our mother-tongue. We knew God’s Word would be clearer in our language than in the national language we had been trying to read and understand.
A translation team was formed and they invested many months through the hardships of sickness and life in the tropics while learning our language and culture. In the process they became our dear friends. Then, just as the team was ready to start translation, the unimaginable happened. The husband of one family entered the presence of Jesus when he suffered a massive heart attack. He was only 36 years old. We know he is with Jesus, but here we are wondering what to do. Then, the husband of another family learned he is living with an aortic aneurism. This is very dangerous and we do not know if or how long he can serve among us. Now what will we do?
This is why we ask you to pray for us…
We are the Da’an Church