Beginning or On-going…
During our years of missions training it seemed as if the emphasis was on the methodology and the strategy of ‘how to’ plant an indigenous New Testament Church that would grow into a mature and continuing church with a clear translation of God’s Word in the Heart language.
Though stories were shared and the need was presented, the need for new co-workers in on-going church planting efforts was almost hidden in the shadows of being possibly the less glamorous choice to go where others have already gone before.
It was during our 3rd year of the training that we were made aware of the need for couples to ‘Go’ with the intent of joining an existing or on-going church planting effort. As a couple, we talked about whether or not we could see ourselves fulfilling one of these roles. Without knowing much about this possibility we rested in knowing that the Lord would direct our paths and that we would be willing to consider this as a possible option for us. Now, over 5 years later, we find ourselves at the brink of doing just that.
We have felt the Lord lay on our hearts the burden for both ‘roads’. We would love to be a part of pioneering a NEW language group to see the Gospel presented for the first time clearly in their heart language, while at the same time, we see the huge task and need for assistance in seeing the infant church brought to a mature and self-functioning Body of Christ, that is sending out their own people to reach others with the Gospel as God has designed it.
New Tribes Mission projects that to see this BIG PICTURE Church Planting Model be a reality it could take approximately 20 years. Some have seen less, some have needed more. The factors are many but the need for workers has never changed! This 20 year Big Picture Model would include handing over a completed translation of God’s Word in the heart language of the people. This is no small task. You add this tremendous task on with the responsibilities for teaching literacy, developing a self- sufficient and continuing program, Bible teaching, discipleship, medical, culture requirements and so much more…you come to understand why it becomes a life time commitment.
This experience has allowed us to see into the depths of the work involved. Though we will in no way be able to fully understand the work that it takes until we actually are living it ourselves. However, we sense the urgency like never before and we feel the heartbreak of the lack of workers to see these needs met and filled. It has given us a renewed excitement of looking at existing/on-going works and considering how the Lord might use us.
In the coming days we hope to be able to announce our future allocation into one of these on-going church planting efforts and moving interior to one of the 863 languages found in Papua New Guinea.
Please pray with us for:
Wisdom as we make these decisions,
Wisdom in creating an adequate house plan,
Faith in seeing God raise the needed funds to build and allocate,
Strength and encouragement as we pack & move,
Encouragement in all the adjustments ahead for ourselves and our boys,
Unity for building new relationships with our future co-workers
Brokeness in the hearts and minds of the precious souls we will have the amazing privelege of serving for the sake of the Gospel
Ability for us to learn yet another language and culture- that the Lord would give us wisdom and insight in discovering and learning about their culture and way of life- Worldview