As its members work alongside each other, every ministry team will eventually run into a bit of turbulence. It’s just the way of things. We’re people, and we have rough edges. Disagreements, confrontations, hurt feelings, poor communication, it’s all part and parcel with working closely with other people.
Our team is certainly not exempt. Just today, in fact, we found out that the two other families on our team had been lying to us from the very first days of our relationship. We have just realized that we are the victims of an outrageous, and willful, misinformation campaign.
When we first got together with our team and started talking about joining the Iski work, our partners PROMISED us that they were average language learners. They GAVE THEIR WORD that if a marginally intelligent couple like us joined the team that we would be in good company. “It’s OK if you’re kind of stupid, Seth. You’ll fit right in with the rest of us!”
I should have known. All that talk they gave us about “having so much they didn’t understand yet about the language” and how “It’s just so hard and confusing.” It was all just a clever ruse. They were just baiting us, PRETENDING to be normal.
So we joined the team. And we built our house in the tribe. Then, we come back to the States for a few months to have a baby, and while we’re here they have a routine language evaluation and we find out that they HAVE COMPLETED THEIR REQUIRED LANGUAGE LEARNING!
Are you kidding me?! They have only been in the bush for 11 stinking months! It’s an UNWRITTEN language! The native speakers don’t even know all the ins and outs of the grammar! Normally, this kind of thing takes 2 years! This is not the work of normal people. We have been duped.
It looks like when we get back to PNG we’ll have to put in a formal complaint to our leadership, outlining the misconduct of our teammates. It probably won’t do us any good though. Our partners are obviously masterminds when it comes to deception.
[NOTE: In case sarcasm isn’t one of your strong points, this post is written tongue-in-cheek. We are THRILLED that our partners have progressed so quickly, and are thanking God along with them that He has enabled them to learn the Iski language so fast! The Iski people are now so much closer to being able to hear the message of salvation for the first time in their language!]