Contextualizing the Message
As we continue to revise old Bible lessons that were made some twenty years ago and prepare to write additional ones for the beloved P people, we are always reminded of the huge need to make the teaching “scratch where it itches”. Back in the early days of the work when we first began to teach, we sought to contrast the themes of God’s Word with the pillars of their worldview. We discovered that teaching in this way created the needed tension between what they had always taken for granted to be true in key areas of their lives (or/ of their own belief system), and to make them really sit up and take note of what God’s Word was saying. Here are some examples of the huge differences when we contrast key themes from God’s love letter to them with what their cultural pillars are:
|Man is made in the image of God and exists for God’s glory||I’m central and life is about me, my survival, and what benefits me|
|The penalty of sin is death||I’m not guilty and will never be ashamed, but will always blame others to show my good standing|
|God is holy||I’m acceptable because I don’t do bad things, and besides, sin is never an issue|
|Man can only approach God thru His way and plan||The ancestors, shamans, and our dreams have shown us the way, and their way is right|
|Man is a sinner and helpless to save himself||I am truly a good person and can do what is needed to manipulate all the gods and save myself|
As we taught them up on the sand dunes so long ago, it was so exciting to see the pillars of their worldview slowly be replaced by pillars of truth based on God’s message to them. Yes, Biblical themes replaced their cultural themes that were counter to the truths of Scripture. It was exciting to see them exchange their story or meta-narrative for God’s ultra-narrative. And so, since the Bible lessons have played such a key role in their understanding the Gospel message and growing in Christ, they are wanting more lesson material. And so we continue on joyfully working to provide that for them so they can continue to use it in conjunction with the Scriptures, as you see below.
Praise and Prayer Items
—Praise the Lord that doors continue to be cracked open in our Host Country and so work continues on different fronts. Thanks so much for your ongoing prayers for the work there, and the 33 different People Groups that live there
—we are so pleased that our coworkers down there continue to make regular trips into P-land to hang with the brethren and take them different supplies. How good to hear of their continued encouragement and growth
—thanks for your ongoing prayers as we continue to revise the Bible curriculum. Pray for much wisdom, strong backs, and endurance as we sit and stand in front of our computers
—Praise the Lord for His huge GRACE! Ever since we have had to move away from P-land, we have found a certain emptiness in our hearts as we dearly love those guys and so enjoyed living among them. Praise the Lord for His comfort as we continue to live away from those precious saints. How good it will be to get together in GLORY and celebrate with our LORD!
—some of you have been praying for our son Josh, his wife Josie and their family who have faced some chronic health issues during their third term in the Asia-Pacific region. Well they have decided to return temporarily for a medical break to try to get to the bottom of these issues. Pray that these different medical questions will be resolved.
—Thanks for your prayers for Jodi and Brent too as they continue to labor in their host country. Brent is getting checked out on more and more airstrips, and Jodi is busy being a mom to their new little boy, and also involved in counseling at the Mission School.
—Thanks for your ongoing prayers for all those P. who have the gift of teaching and shepherding. Pray that God will continue to work mightily thru them to tend and nurture the flock.
—Thanks for continuing to pray too for the literacy programs. Pray that they will produce many new readers, including many gals!!
Thanks again so very much for your partnering with us. We are weak indeed BUT HE IS SO VERY STRONG!!!