Marina and I are currently on opposite sides of the African continent.
I’m on the west coast in Senegal visiting our missionaries living in and around Dakar, the capital. And Marina is on the east coast, over 10,000kms away ‘by an unknown road’ (Google), in Mozambique, participating in a literacy seminar/workshop for NTM missionaries working in South-east Africa. We are planning to meet up again in a couple of weeks and return to the work in our village in Ivory Coast.
Maturing Church We had an encouraging and challenging few weeks with the Loron believers the last part of August and September. The believers are excited about growing in their walk with God. They want, so much, to do what will please the Lord that some have tended a little towards striving in their own strength and legalism. It was thrilling to see their response when we reminded them that in providing us with His word and His Spirit to lead and guide and encourage us as we serve Him, God has given us everything we need to enable us to please Him. As we allow God’s word and His Spirit to take control of our lives, we will produce the fruit that brings glory and pleasure to God. Some came asking for more teaching on the subject. We covered the issue again a couple of weeks later and also addressed some subtle, long-time misunderstandings. We praise the Lord that He continues to give us the joy of being able to help the Loron church as it continues to grow and mature in its knowledge and understanding of its privileges and responsibilities.
Literacy Interest in literacy among the Loron people grows unabated, with some unsaved villagers wanting to be taught how to read and write in their own language. Unfortunately an impression has developed that literacy is only for the Christians, so it’s a great opportunity to dispel that notion.
Bible Translation Late last year, seven Loron believers, six men and one women, received an intensive introduction to Bible translation principles. We trust that each of these folks will continue to be involved in some way with the Loron Bible translation project. Earlier this year the Loron believers committed themselves to gather money to contribute to the translation project. They raised about $1,000, which is a phenomenal amount of money for a group of subsistence farmers who use nothing but a small hand hoe to cultivate their land. Donald Pale, one of the Loron church elders, has started doing exegesis on the book of Matthew with a view to beginning translating Scripture by himself. We plan to continue his Bible translation training so that he can in the future become responsible for continuing the project with other Loron believers and co-translators. The Loron want to have the whole Bible in their language. Pray for Donald as he engages in this new ministry. Pray also for the needed books and equipment (computers, solar system, etc) for the project.
Education and Training Centre We have been repairing one of the old missionary houses in our village and converting it into a literacy, Bible translation and Bible study facility. During the war in Ivory Coast a few years ago, the house was stripped of its window screening and plywood ceiling, and was taken over by a large colony of bats. But the basic structure is still pretty sound. We have been gradually replacing windows and the plywood ceilings and hope to see it completely renovated and painted so that it can be used as a multi-purpose building to help forward the work.
New Vehicle We really enjoyed the first trip to our village in our new truck. It drives just like a car and is so comfortable. We thank the Lord for providing this new vehicle for the ministry here.
Thanks for reading to the end! And thank you for your prayers and your interest in the work here in West Africa. The Lord bless you.
By His grace,
Paul and Marina