Well May is here already. Signs of summer are in full swing for most of you. For us in the tropics it’s always summer! We’ve had a busy month back in the village. Both of our partner families have been out of the village so it’s been a lot quieter, but just as busy.
We’ve been helping different families with medical needs and it can sure get frustrating when you try to help but the help you want to give is not received, or only half heeded.
There is a teenage boy in the village who jammed his toe playing ball. Somehow it turned into 2 oozing boils on the top of his toe. We gave him some antibiotic meds and it was getting a bit better but they just continue to pack the oozing mess with chopped leaves and flowers.
They keep the leaves and flowers in place, and then spit on it to keep the wound nice and gooey. The family was sure the injury was the result of a curse or some bad omen that was causing all the problem. Because of that the family did several small chants over him to see if that would help.
While I was at their house yesterday another lady was telling me about her infected belly button and how her husband, the which doctor, did a ceremony to determine the problem. After chanting and spitting he was able to “pull a fish scale out of her back” and then concluded that he really didn’t know what the problem was.
As strange as these things sound, they are the result of a animistic world view. When treating people’s sickness it’s not enough for us to only address the surface issues. We try to explain both the sickness as well as the medicine in terms that people here can understand.
Helping people address their spiritual sickness requires a similar approach. Clearly communicating our need for a Savior involves addressing the “sickness” as well as the “medicine”. In order to do that we need to have a voice in these peoples’ lives’ and they must have ears to here.
Thanks for praying about the teaching groups we have going. 2 weeks ago we added a new group. One of the new believers we code named “Short friend”, or Zacchaeus because of his short stature and his new found faith.
He has really been wanting others to hear the good news message. He spent several evenings with a family asking if they would like to start studying. They were interested and so we started teaching at their house on Wednesday nights two weeks ago.
This last time there were 9 people that came as we taught on the first few days of the creation narrative. Please pray for these new beginnings in yet another group. We’re hopeful that God’s Truth and His Spirit will work and draw these friends to Himself.
Monday and Saturday nights are still the regular study groups. Monday night we are working through some of the major developments in the book of Acts. On Saturday night we are starting to look at God’s law to the nation of Israel.
Pray especially that the teaching through the book of Acts will convince those studying of the reality of what Jesus did for them. That if they place faith in that finished work they become recipients of Jesus’ promises.
Also pray that the group hearing the law for the first would feel genuinely that they are also breakers of God’s law, guilty and worthy of God’s condemnation.
Finally we want to thank you for your continued prayers for wisdom as we prepare these lessons and the necessary scripture. These tasks are extremely tedious and challenging.
The girls and I are still working through 2nd grade, we have a 2 month countdown and continue to enjoy all the ways God has made our brains to learn and develop and enjoy life.
God is using you and your prayers and support to enable us to live here and serve Him. Thanks for your faithfulness to Him that pours over into our lives and the lives of the people here in South East Asia!
Anchored in Him,
Tim, Andrea, Dina & Abby