The Conviction of a New Believer Is Tested
Kofi vividly remembers the day—hot and dry, without much breeze. The men in his small rural village didn’t have much to do in their fields as they waited for the rains that would launch the new farming season. Kofi was engaged in a friendly gambling game with his neighbor, straddling a wooden bench with the game board between them, when he heard the low hum of an approaching vehicle. His attention turned from his game as a Hilux truck rolled into the village and a stranger stepped out.
It’s more than teaching people how to read
Elisabeth looked like any other woman in her small West African town. Her soft, brightly colored blouse and long, wrap-around skirt showed signs of fading and wear. She wore her hair in tight, intricate braids woven by a neighbor. Her nine-month-old daughter was nestled snugly against her back in a cloth sling tied with precision around her body.
I knew something was up. A friend had hinted the day before that this might happen. He warned me not to be afraid, but to enjoy the experience quietly.
From First Draft to Lasting Impact
Grace took a deep breath and stepped into the thatch-roofed gazebo. This was it! The first translation session for the Bible in the Kosuma language! Three pairs of eyes turned toward her as she entered—two men and one woman, her national co-workers. Would their training—and hers—prove effective? This day was the culmination of all of Grace’s years of linguistic and Bible education. She felt the weight of the responsibility of providing the very words of God for people who had never before heard them.
As night falls over our village, I can no longer see the movements of my neighbors—men making tea, women hauling water, kids rolling tires past thatch-roofed huts. Yet despite the darkness, I sit on my porch in anticipation. Like Nicodemus seeking Jesus under the cover of night, Solo, the one believer in our village, comes for house church on Sunday evenings.
Living Among the Unreached, Teaching by Example
“Mama! Come quickly! Kadiatu has been bitten by a snake!” Kadiatu’s older sister ran onto the porch of Colette’s house with her little sister tied to her back. She called frantically to her mother, who was visiting Colette. The bite was only a few minutes old, but three-year-old Kadiatu was already feverish.
We rolled the SUV on day three of a three-month trip, and things went downhill from there. Although I had eagerly anticipated an adventurous life when I signed up to be a language surveyor, this was a bit much even for me!
God uses even brief encounters to impact lives
The sun is only just starting to rise, but the sweat is already dripping down my back. I’m sitting with an elderly man on the porch of his house. We gaze at the river that rolls through his small village deep in the jungle of Papua New Guinea. I’m trying desperately to make small talk. I’m not sure what we are waiting for. He is not talking, just staring ahead, not even hearing me. His silence feels thicker than the jungle’s hot, humid air. I know there is something on his mind, something he wants to ask, but I am totally unprepared for what comes next.
Following Gods Leading
“Let’s go and see what happens!” These words reflected our excitement as we left home two years ago to serve with Pioneer Bible Translators in Southeast Asia. Leaving family and friends was not easy. We had many questions and few answers. What doors would God open for His Word to be translated among the Bibleless people groups here? Which people had He chosen for us to serve? With whom would we partner? Two things, however, were certain: God was calling us to Southeast Asia, and He would guide us as we obeyed and followed His lead.
I was there as an observer. Up until this point, my closest tie to the Yalunka people was the many prayers I offered on their behalf and the numerous stories I heard about them from our president, Greg Pruett. Now I was privileged beyond words to witness these stories take on flesh before my very eyes as the Word of God came to life among them.
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We believe the single greatest way we can help a hurting world is to give them God’s Word.
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