and thinking and praying with two other families about potentially partnering
in a tribal church planting work here in PNG for the last year (or longer). As
Noe puts it so well, it’s like we were “dating” each other.
together– but we are SO happy to report that it is NOT for any negative
reason! The reason we are not partnering together is that those two families are
going to go in together with the hope/plan of having a family from a
neighboring tribal church join them in the work. This is ‘purposeful
partnership.’ How amazing is this?!
what it really means to make disciples. Be encouraged.
“Training nationals to do the job” is SO much more than ‘here is the
Gospel, here is the Bible, go for it!’ It involves years and years, countless
hours of intentional discipleship. In this neighboring tribal church, the missionaries
(who happen to be here as some of our advisors at this time!) spent years:
language AND culture (this includes understand the depths of the animistic
belief system/worldview of the people they were going to share God’s Word with)
that are accurate to the original meaning, but relevant to the culture
program so the people could learn to read and write in their own language- with
the end goal that they can read the Bible in their own language. Also,
discipleship will be immensely difficult without this.
Bible into the tribal language- again, understanding the culture so that the
translation will be accurate in meaning, and relevant in form. Unfortunately,
many translations have been set aside because the culture and worldview was not
understood by the translators. Additionally, some translations are quickly
completed, but there are no solid Bible teachers to teach it, and/or no
believers to hand it to.
for the FIRST time in the tribal language! And being available to dialogue each
day and answer questions. (The questions will stem from their worldview, so if
you haven’t learned that, you’ll have great difficulty answering these questions!)
new believers and helping them grow in their understanding of God and His Word!
“Therefore go and make converts of all nations…” No! haha 🙂
“Therefore go and make DISCIPLES of all nations…” (!) This
discipleship includes working together to reach neighboring tribes and
languages. The end goal is that they will be well equipped to continue this
work on their own.
of His mission, to be a part of ‘updating relationship status’:
friends of ours, we are filled with joy that they will hopefully have the
opportunity to have a believing tribal family come and join with them, as
co-laborers for the cross of Christ. Tribal believers who have been discipled
by missionaries who considered it worth their while to be in it for the long
haul. THIS is “training nationals to do the job”. Speaking of
which… this tribal church has now shared the Word of God with almost ALL of
the villages in the tribe! And now, as you can see, they are preparing to
partner with western missionaries to go into some of these harder-to-reach
places. As the tribal church continues to grow in maturity and tools, they will
be able to go to some of these places on their own.
as we “broke up” with these two families. But again, it is for happy
reasons. We had plenty of reasons to partner together, we all are of one mind
and vision in regard to church planting. So we spent last week fellowshipping
with them, and on Sunday we drove them to the airport to catch their flight
back to another region.
all did well on our language evaluations last month. We are both out of Basic
level and into the Progressing level. The next level is Capable, and we are
continuing to work hard to learn this language and culture (remember, the two
cannot be separated if you expect to translate, teach, and disciple with
accuracy, relevance, and understanding).
they both passed, being able to answer all of the questions presented to them!
Way to go, munchkins! 🙂
Pray for us to be diligent in our studies, and ever loving toward one another. 🙂
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