Working Together for Something Eternal
You cannot walk into a computer store or search the internet in hopes of buying software that will assist you in learning difficult tribal languages or aid your understanding of complicated tribal cultures.
Yet, that is exactly what tribal church planters need. So missionaries must custom design it for other missionaries. That is what Rand is doing. And it is exciting!
The project called CLAware, which Rand came to the New Tribes Mission USA Home Office in Sanford, Florida to develop, has been released to waiting arms. And it is good. Missionaries are ordering or downloading it as fast as they can. Here is a simple explanation as to why:
“CLA” stands for “Culture and Language Acquisition.”
New Tribes missionaries are required to meet four levels of culture acquisition before they are allowed to begin the Bible teaching in a tribe. Why? Because they can’t start to solve the problem (what the people don’t know to believe) until they know what the problem is (what the people do believe). A missionary must be intimately aquainted with what the tribal people think and believe before he can teach and refute those beliefs with Scripture.
CLAware’s technology allows the missionary to file, categorize and organize all of the cultural information learned from the tribal people and have it readily available when teaching begins.
New Tribes missionaries are also required to meet four levels of language acquisition before they are allowed to begin the Bible teaching in a tribe. Missionaries need to speak clearly and intelligently so that the tribal people can understand and not be confused. The message of the Gospel is too important to risk misconstruing it with wrong ideas by not having a proper handle on the tribal language.
CLAware gives missionaries the tools they need to gain a solid grasp of the language more efficiently.
Bottom line, all of this takes precious time. New Tribes Mission has often been criticized for the length of time given to its church planting endeavors. However, there is a reason that our Bible teaching lessons are called “Firm Foundations” not “Fast Foundations.” It\’s the difference between building your house on the rock or building it on the sand, as the children\’s song goes. NTM chooses the rock. CLAware will assist and speed the process of culture and language acquisition greatly.
And so Rand’s computer screen will continue to glow late into the night. He’ll keep updating and perfecting CLAware so that tribal people can hear the Gospel message as quickly as they can.
(For the story of our personal CLAware adventure, read “Following the Tracks” in the Nov. issue of NTM@work. click here >>)
While Rand is busy writing tribal software, I am writing on a team with five other writers in our Communications Department. We write news stories for the NTM website, articles for our magazine called NTM@work, Tribal Beat stories and Encouragement Articles to uplift our missionaries.
The news articles tell fresh, up-to-date, exciting stories of what is happening in tribes all around the world and how God is actively bringing tribal people to Himself. To read a selection of my news stories click here >>. Or access all the stories at www.ntm.org.
The articles for our magazine, NTM@work, tell the incredible stories and testimonies of tribal people, the dedicated missionaries working among them, and what God is accomplishing through them both. To read my articles click here >> . Or to subscribe to the free quarterly magazine for a trial period or read it online click here >> or call (407) 323-3430.
The Tribal Beat stories appeal to both young and old for their descriptive quality and dramatic accounts of tribal people and missionary life in remote parts of the world. To subscribe to a monthly story by email or to read them online click here >>.
The Encouragement Articles started with one personal story that I wrote to hopefully uplift our miissionaries. The response was so unexpected that I was asked to write more. Yea! Our goal is to share motivating and uplifting material that will speak to the hearts of our missionaries and encourage them to “keep on keeping on.” To read all of the articles so far click here >>.
And I\’m hoping that anything you read on this site will help you to “keep on keeping on” too, in whatever God wants you doing.
And just out of curiosity, what does He want you doing? And are you doing it?