Like cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country. – Proverbs 25:25
We have been out of the loop here for a while as we have been traveling, sharing at different churches, seeing doctors and cornea specialists, visiting family, and also hanging out with many of you who have been partnering with us in the work. Thanks again for your partnership as we continue to work to provide all the spiritual resource material we can for the beloved P churches in the very deep south.
Proverbs 25:25 in the P language:
My “inner” is as if with great thirst, but when tasty words arrive from a land far away, it is as though cold water refreshingly wakes it up in such a way that it finds pleasant relief.
Câ tjo üdë ui jâbomî darî cjiadique mâê oa târëdëâ oaiä, jabo jachi ârêmê chiriri pio judiri mânâmê mâê goae üdë mânânârâ oaiä, jabechjî ui chjöchja üdë câ tjo oa mâ chjupî bagari bedü tänêmî darî japadique goaerî cjatäcjie jôrêtareâmî darî.
Good News From a Far Country
What a thrill last week to get good news from our country of ministry! Our coworkers, who we’ll call Jack and Roz, had just come out to town from the P community of Pretty Water. They had literally used up the very last of their food supplies, and so needed to get to town to replenish what they could. They hated to leave as they were seeing God do some pretty cool things.
Pretty Water is a bilingual community of P people located along a river system where multiple villages have been established with about 7000 inhabitants. For several years some of these P people have been exposed to Bible teaching in the national language that has pushed a message of salvation by good works. But most who attend have very little comprehension because the Word has not been taught in their heart language.
Then, two and a half years ago when we completed the Bible translation in the P language, some of these beloved bilinguals from Pretty Water also received copies. However, there were problems. The village chief, who had embraced a religion of works, was suspicious of the translation because he thought it had been written with an inferior dialect spoken only by the monolinguals! And others mistakenly thought the Word of God could only be taught in the Spanish language, that God wasn’t interested in their language. Plus they had only been taught to read and write in the national language which didn’t at all enable them to read the many foreign symbols in their own. So even though they now had a Bible in their heart language, they couldn’t read it, and were suspicious of it!
Well, ever since the translation was completed and the P Bibles were distributed, we have prayed daily that God’s Word would go forth powerfully and accomplish all that God had purposed it to do in this beloved people group. Now we hear that there has been a change of heart. While efforts have been made down through the last five years to teach them to read and write in their own language, the investment hasn’t seemed to bear much fruit. However, Roz told us in her text message to us just last week that 18 people came when they recently organized the reading club so that the people there could learn to read and write in their own language. The Scriptures are still being taught in the national language but now several key people have begun reading from the P Bible during their gatherings. They are getting a taste of how much better God’s Word communicates in their own heart language, and this is spurring them on to learn to read in their own tongue! So you can imagine the thrill this news has been to us who labored long hours, days, weeks, months and years to get God’s love letter into the P language and into the hands of the people! It truly is good news from a far away land!
Now just the other day, we were able to do a voice call with our coworkers and catch up on more of the news from the country there. Jack told us that it felt like they were living on the edge of a very high precipice, and that things there can suddenly change drastically from one day to the next. Grocery stores in their supply town have empty shelves. Instead of finding food, there are only rows of soda pop and cheap plastic dishes. Food and medical purchases as well as some of the required legal work must be done thru black market channels at inflated prices. The reports are that things are very bad but still continue to worsen. The whole country continues to spiral downward. Let’s continue to pray!
Here below you see a picture of one of the many monoligual P pastors who continue to teach the Scriptures. (they will just hang their hammock up in the middle of a village and just share the Word with people seated all around them) Thanks so much for your continued prayers for them. With the country as it is, they continue to suffer many hardships, but PTL that clear teaching continues among these dear monolingual brethren.
—Please pray the following for the P believers:
1. that they will have a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God
2. that they will be strengthened in their new being
3. that Christ will be totally at home in their hearts, being the captain of their lives
4. that they will know the width and depth and height and length of God’s love for them
5. that they will realize what is the mighty power that is at work within them
6. that they will think on those things that are lovely, excellent, and worthy of praise
7. that they will know what their hope is in Christ, and what Christ’s inheritance is in the saints
- Pray for our national coworkers that they will be encouraged, have much wisdom, and push on with diligence and a sense of urgency. Pray that God will meet their every need in this context where most everything is no longer available
- Pray much for Jack that he will really move ahead in the language. He has the gift of teaching but still lacks in the language to be able to clearly communicate….so thanks much for your prayers for him
- Thanks in advance for your prayers for the people of Pretty Water. Pray that they really move ahead in their reading, and that they would continue to focus on the Scriptures in their own language. Pray too that the marvelous Gospel of grace would become clear to them as the move thru the Word.
- Please continue to pray regarding a national family living close to one of the P villages that continues to be involved in theft, extortion, rape, and other preposterous things. They have manipulated and abused the P people for years and it only seems to be getting worse. Would you please pray that these people would either come to Christ, or fall into their own nets and traps that they set for others. Thanks so much!!
- Please continue to pray for our Host Country. Things are increasingly difficult and there is much pain and tragedy. However we praise God that even in this bizarre context, God continues to build his church. Why, even in the last few months several people from a totally different Language Group in our host country have come to faith and have been added to the body of Christ!! So yes, thanks so much for praying for the work in this country.
- Thanks for your ongoing prayers for Teresa and I as we work on behalf of the P brothers and sisters. I continue to work on the Bible curriculum and Teresa is doing the formatting. Your prayers for sharp minds, strong backs, and much wisdom is so needed!
- Thanks for your many prayers regarding my eyes. I just saw the cornea specialist and he is very pleased on how the eye looks….and I am very pleased at being able to see so much better. And PTL that my other eye continues to do well, and even improve at times. So the only surgery that I have planned is for cataracts for they are the cause of some problems now. So thanks so much for your ongoing prayers. They are much appreciated!!
- Please pray for wisdom on our part when to make the next trip to visit with the P pastors and connect with our team
And Thanks Again…..
….for your partnership with us, for your prayers, for your encouragement, for your notes, and for your fellowship in the Gospel. God is working and is building His church among the Unreached People Groups of the world. Thanks so much for being a part of the team!
Desiring to always be strong in His strength,
Merrill and Teresa