Our team here among the Iski has been receiving an abundant amount of attention lately, because we have just finished up a fairly exciting season of our ministry: we just presented the Gospel to our village, in their heart language, for the first time.
Lots of people we’ve never met have written very kind things about how they are following what we are involved in here and how they are so excited to hear about what God is doing among the Iski. Families, churches, prayer groups – thousands of people -they’ve all been talking with God, and with each other, about our team and our Iski friends! It’s been uplifting. It’s been encouraging. It’s been awesome. And, at the same time, it’s also been a little awkward.
See, as fun as it is to be in the spotlight,* the combined labors of our team only represent a very small percentage of the overall human effort that it has taken to present the Gospel clearly to the Iski people. So, while we are sitting in our sweaty, buggy, home-away-from-home, getting an exorbitant amount of verbal acclamation on a daily basis, we are very much aware that, at the same time, many of our hard-working compatriots in other locales are having their contributions to this event largely ignored, even though they’ve worked just as hard for the same cause.
I’m thinking about the men and women at NTBI (New Tribes Bible Institute) who invested in us for 2 years, grounding us in the truths of God’s Word, because they wanted to see us prepared for a life of fruitful ministry.
I’m thinking about the men and woman at MTC (Missionary Training Center) who also invested in us for 2 years, equipping us with the practical skills that are required to function in a foreign culture, and an unwritten language, and a remote context.
I’m thinking about the men and women who serve in our mission home office down in Florida, who do all of our taxes, manage all of our funds, maintain all of our web pages and email accounts, and help keep our supporters in-the-know.
I’m thinking about the men and women here in PNG who have left their families, friends, and home countries to come live on our support centers to make it possible for teams like ours to work out in our locations. Honestly, I don’t know what we’d do without our pilots, doctors, supply buyers, etc., doing all that they do behind the scenes to keep us functioning well in the tribe!
Many of those people have invested just as much as we have, if not more, in making the Gospel available to the Iski…but very few of them are getting emails right now thanking them for their efforts.
So, I’d like to encourage any readers out there who know an Ethnos360 member (previously referred to as a New Tribes Missionary) who is filling a not-so-glamorous role, to shoot them a quick note, and thank them for the part they have played in seeing our village reached with the message of the cross. Let them know that YOU know that what they are working for is worth it, and that you are thankful for their faithful service. God has worked a miracle here among our Iski friends, and He has used a lot of people to do it!
* It’s probably more like being in the beam of a mini-Maglite, but “spotlight” is a more generally accepted idiomatic expression.