We have found that earthquakes, lightening storms, and other things may catch us by surprise, but they do not surprise God.
Being a missionary is a job of constantly learning, constantly evaluating what you thought you knew, and looking at things in a new light, or at least a new frame of reference. If you stop learning, you stop being effective.
How did I get started on this incredible journey to work with national co-workers to reach the unreached and translate the Bible into a tribal language?
As Christians, we should strive to leave a legacy more like a banana plant, than a banyan tree, and the way that we do that is through discipleship.
People ask us why we're attempting to translate the whole Bible and not just the New Testament. When we were young missionaries in training, we thought, "Hey, PNG has the whole Bible in the trade language, so we only need to translate the New Testament into the heart language." We have since needed to repent of that.
Anthony said, "Just like Zacchaeus found his tree, I need to find my tree, so that Jesus can find me."
It's a big job -- learning someone else's language and culture so that we can speak to them clearly. Where does anyone begin? In NTM we know where to begin because we have consultants, and training, and helps in English. But what about the local churches whom we are assisting here in PNG, where do they start? Let me tell you a story which started this summer . . . .
Languages just take time – particularly when you are dealing with the shades of meaning level. I mean in English can you explain to someone else the difference between raise and lift? They are very similar in meaning, but we use them in different contexts. Raise your hand. Raise the bar. I want a raise. Raise the roof. Lift your hand. Lift the bar. I want a lift. Get in the lift. (I could go on . . . raise a crop, raise kids, raise . . .
One of our quick family meal is stir-fried vegetables with noodles. Since our vegetables are limited to what the people around us grow, this can lead to interesting combinations. I am fortunate that I have two eager sous chefs to help me slice and dice.