I’m sure you have heard the above phrase quoted, or more likely paraphrased by someone you know. It’s usually said with the idea that some day in heaven we will see and hear things that are awesome. Unimaginable things that right now our mind cannot even comprehend. The actual verse (1 Cor. 2:9) is teaching us something quite a bit different than that. More on that later.
Last month I spent a week in a village here on the island. I was teaching a group of tribal believers who have a sense that God is calling them to participate in cross cultural ministry. It was great to have dedicated time to invest in their development. I’m looking forward to future opportunities to work with them.
After that trip I went with a new missionary to survey a few villages in a new language area. The group called themselves Mali. We were able to get some language data and make some contacts with local people. Pray with us that God would raise up a team to reach out to the Mali people in their heart language.
Kids are back into their school year and are in a pretty good groove. The boys are enjoying doing school each day and have had fun learning together. The girls are now in 9th grade and we’re trying to add some fun electives that they choose!
We had a chance to participate in an outreach together here in town. It’s about 45 min. from where we live but it requires a 15 min. walk through the woods to get to the outreach house. We got to the trail around dusk and after the walk in, we spent the next 3 hours with several families. The goal of the meeting was to study foundational gospel material. It rained most of the time we were there which made our walk back out to the car a slippery (and fun) mess.
Living in town has really provided a wide variety of ministry opportunities both among the mission community as well as in the local community. We live next to a hostile where lots of people from interior stay when they have medical needs in town. Andrea enjoys visiting with people and sharing treats that she and the girls work on in the kitchen. The picture below is a young man who we have known since he was born. His dad is on the floor almost out of the picture. Please pray for the dad, his name is Tedung. He has served the Lord faithfully for many years. I have been challenged by Tedung and his life and ministry. Pray for their family as his wife and son have had major medical needs this year.
The verse I mentioned from 1 Cor. really blessed me this past month. Our partner Phil Svoboda (pictured below) and I have been collaborating on translating 1 Cor. One of the things Phil does really well is identifying implicit information and determining if that material can remain implicit or does it need to be stated directly. Every language handles this a bit differently so a skilled and experienced translator will know how to identify these things.
What Phil made explicit in 1 Cor 2:9 is the fact that Paul is not talking about some amazing thing that God will do in the future, but some amazing thing that God has already done. It is something that in verse 8 Paul tells us that even supernatural powers on earth never saw coming. It was so unthinkably kind, that it shocked the supernatural world to it’s core. It was the death of Jesus. This is what the prophet spoke of that no ear had heard of nor eye had seen that God had prepared for those who love him.
God has done the unthinkable for you and I and all who respond in faith to that greatest of all acts of unthinkable kindness.