This is not what you think.
In fact, it’s infinitely better!
After years of training and preparation, three families moved to a small island in Papua New Guinea called Biem, and spent the last few years learning their language and culture. About 3 months ago (after many difficulties, including one of the wives going through cancer treatments- the Lord has now restored her health and they are back in the tribe!), the missionaries began teaching through the Bible, beginning with Creation. This is the first time the Biem people have heard the Word of God. TWO DAYS AGO, the Biem people learned of the crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ as payment for all sin. This is the first time they have ever heard the story of God’s gift on their behalf- and some of them have believed!
It is a joy to share with you that YOU have new brothers and sisters in Christ on this small island in PNG!! There are now representatives from another tribe, tongue, nation that will be around the throne worshiping our God with you and with us!
We are finishing our CLA Practicum– below is a photo of us sitting and learning from our language helper in our ‘village’. We have entered this village scenario 2 or 3 times a week.
- The first couple of visits we were simply learning how to function– how to greet, how to ask questions, how to be culturally appropriate.
- The next few visits we did some language learning through the Total Physical Response (TPR) method- learning names of objects (house items, people, and ultimately some verbs to connect them).
- Next we have been focusing on learning the culture of this ‘village’, and learning how to ask questions wisely (not yes/no questions, not motivation questions, etc…).
- As we finish these last 2 weeks, our focus is diving into pieces of the culture we have been learning and from it, beginning to understand their worldview.
If we skip learning the culture, how can we possibly present the Word of God to them in a manner they will understand? How could we possibly know how the concepts of God and the need for a Redeemer and the Person of Christ will impact/effect them?! We must learn before we teach. (Or they may simply add Christ to their list of ‘things they must do’ or ‘gods we must appease’ to be saved.)
In 2 weeks, we will finish that course and begin our Practical Skills class. This will include scratch cooking, a ‘wilderness’ camping weekend, navigation/survival skills, knot tying, etc…
In family news:
|Church leadership from Seattle visiting the ‘village’ with us!|
We just enjoyed some visitors from Seattle! The pastor and an elder/missions committee member from our sending church flew out to Missouri and spent all day Thursday with us, sitting in on classes, asking questions of staff and students, and having a tour of the campus. We were SO blessed and encouraged to have them come out and see the facility here!
Naya turned 5 years old on September 9th, and enjoyed a ballerina birthday party! The next day she began ballet classes at a studio about 20 minutes from here. She’s having a blast! She also plays soccer recreationally every Saturday with some of her friends here.
Jocellyn is working on potty-training (I know, I know… you were dying to know that! But hey, I can’t leave her out, right?)… She’s just busy being cute (like her Grandpa), what can I say? 🙂