Recently Luciane Klassen and I did language/culture evaluations again for missionaries learning Spanish and Paraguayan culture. All had made progress, but it was an especially encouraging time as a couple, a single lady, and the husband of another couple reached the required levels to be able to press on to the next step of ministry.
The next step…
The next step is what we refer to as ‘staging”.
“Staging” refers to specific tasks and goals during the time period between the completion of national language study (e2) and entering a work among an ethnic group (e3). The goals for the missionary during staging include actively gathering information about and deciding upon which ethnic group they’ll work with and about the location they’ll work in, and is a time to help the missionary get a better understanding of the “edge of the church” and what the church is already doing in the targeted area of ministry. It is a time for the missionary to learn and plan how to partner more closely with these churches and believer as we’ve mentioned before, the ministry of spreading the Gospel was given to the local church not organizations, and as missionaries, we don’t want to somehow bypass the local church.
Here’s a short 1 minute video from ETHNOS360 that explains a little bit of how we’re “staging” and working with local churches to see A Thriving Church for Every People.
Reminder of the urgency
Shaun Humphrey has continued with foundational Bible teaching among the Nivaclé. Here’s an update from his wife Melanie.
“We are thrilled that the lessons are being broadcast on the village [low power] FM radio station and we have heard of families sitting down together to listen to the teaching! We would appreciate your prayers as this is such a busy time and we just got over the flu that was going around, however, round two is here.
[A few weeks ago] over a thousand Nivaclé teens came here for a conference and Shaun had the privilege of being one of the main speakers. After they stopped giggling because they were surprised Shaun spoke their language, they got the chance to listen to the Gospel. We were so thankful for an opportunity to plant seeds among the teens and the leaders that came along.
Our hearts grieved last week as an older Nivaclé man that was attending the teaching, died. As far as we know, he did not clearly understand the Gospel message. Oh, how badly it hurts when we see yet another person we know die; please pray that those listening to the teaching would choose to trust Him as their Savior.”
Ladies Bible study
Laurie finished studying through the book the Stranger on the Road to Emmaus (El Forastero en el Camino a Emaús) with the ladies in her Bible study, looking at how God, from the very beginning, had a plan to save the world from their sins and offer them the opportunity to return to a relationship with Him through a Redeemer He was going to send.
They saw how there were many prophecies about the Redeemer and that this Redeemer, Jesus Christ, fulfilled all of them through coming to earth, his life, his sacrifice on the cross for our sins, and his resurrection.
Shortly they’ll be starting another Bible study, through the The Peacemakers(Pacificadores) by Ken Sandy. It is a Biblically based study that presents a comprehensive and practical theology for conflict resolution designed to bring about not only a cease-fire but also unity and harmony. It goes beyond resolving conflicts to true, life-changing reconciliation with family members, coworkers, and fellow believers.
Be praying with us: for wisdom in our varied ministries, for our coworkers, and for those we’ve come to teach and serve. There is such a great need among the various ethnic groups here in Paraguay for clear teaching of the gospel and discipleship of those who place their trust in Christ.
We desperately need more coworkers in this great task. Pray with us, that the Lord of the harvest, would “send out workers into his harvest field” (Luke 10:2) from within Paraguay, the U.S., Europe, and from around the world.