On Saturday, October 31st, I along with our national partners departed for the Village M. This was our seventh trip into this area. After our normal bus ride down to the Ramu River and a 10 mile walk into the village we arrived very hot and tired.
Sunday we visited the area Village M gave us on the last trip. While there we were able to see the progress they have made on a bush house for our team to use. Hopefully on the next trip the house will be finished and ready for one of our national pastors to move in.
Our activity this trip was centered around a five-day meeting in Village W. Three different villages including Villages M and W had agreed to meet for the week in Village W to hear the story of the Bible. So after two nights in Village M, we walked back down to Village W for the remainder of the week. We brought two very large tarps to use as a makeshift house for our meetings this week. The guys from the village whipped the house together out of bamboo poles and bush rope in about 3 hours. Everything was ready for us to start teaching on Monday night.
Over the course of the week we walked through 32 stories from creation up until Christ’s ascension in Acts chapter 1. Pastor Moses, Pastor Danny, Pastor Abel, Pastor Watty, and Inna along with myself took turns telling each story. In between most stories I gave a few minutes of teaching to reiterate the main points and carry the storyline forward. While these were new stories to some of the villagers present, others heard them in May, July, and August on our previous trips to Villages M and W. As they become more familiar with the narrative of God’s Word our prayer is that their eyes would be opened to the truth.
Our camp consisted of a morning session and an evening session each day leaving the mid-day and afternoons free. While relaxing with some of the guys on Tuesday afternoon I had an opportunity to start teaching through a chronological curriculum with four men and their families. One of them is from Village M and the three remaining men are from Village W. Of these three from Village W one is the mainline denomination Sunday School teacher and another is an mainline denomination evangelist. As we went back over the stories in more detail and started working out the implications of who God is and how he is different from us it became apparent that they were still very unclear about many basic tenets of Christianity. They were all convinced that God had a body like us and land of his own where he cultivated his own garden. This is a very common belief in Papua New Guinea spurred on by a poor understanding of what it means to be made in God’s image as well as well as influences from ancestral stories about a half-sprit, half-man that is revered in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea. We worked through these issues and many more over four afternoons of teaching. Pray that we will be able to return to continue this teaching with these four men and their families.
The mainline denomination Sunday School teacher did not have anything to teach the kids that come to their “church” and we had previously discussed the Tok Pisin Sunday School curriculum that we put together for the New Life Mission churches in Goroka. So this trip I brought him a copy of the book which has stories from creation up until Moses’ death as well as questions and answers for study. His plan is to start teaching these stories in January. I spoke to him on the phone last week and he said he had been studying the book and was up to the beginning of the stories about Moses.
- Pray for the men and women that were part of the afternoon Bible study group that they would come to see the truth of the Gospel and turn to Christ.
- Pray that one of our national pastors would be able to move to Village M this year and continue teaching these four families and others on a daily basis.
- Pray for the Sunday School teacher that even as he studies and teaches the stories from God’s Word that his eyes would be opened to the truth of the Gospel.