Finishing the Race that was set before them!
During this last year, three of the P brethren graduated and were promoted into GLORY!! These three beloved gentlemen loved their Lord-Owner-Boss Dad, and rested easy in the generous work of their Older Brother Jesus on the cross. Look for them on the other side!! They are covered with the righteousness of Christ!!
Here is an approximation of the P translation from:
2 Timothy 4:6,7:
“And look Timothy, after a little time passes, the ones living around here are going to kill me. But its all right. I’m going to give my body as a blood sacrifice in order to die. For having lived on this land, now I am going to leave it behind. For I have lived with all my might as if running a long marked out path for me. Even though many people have continually stood against me, I have worked as if countering them, finishing the work that the true God gave me to do. I didn’t bail but finished all that was measured out for me to do, always believing strongly in the true God.”
When we recently were in our Host Country meeting with some of the P pastors, they shared with us about three beloved guys that left this planet for Glory! Here below is a bit about each of them. And here is an audio link to a full report of our trip down there, and some additional points about each of these three saints, and how they lived their lives. Check it out!
This dear brother came to Christ when he was around 55 years of age. He had been an esteemed shaman, but when he heard the important message of the All-Powerful One, then he bent his thinking in the other direction and came to believe. His life was characterized by an easy and relaxed confidence in what Jesus did for him on Headbone Hill. He reiterated numerous times how he was:
—a blood-bought one
—a paid-for-in-full one
—an in-the-safe-place one
—an out-from-under-the-anger one
—an untied and set free one
Yes, Chjarapjai hung his hammock of faith and rested easy in the Christ-truths. And how amazing it was to see the major paradigm shift in his life as he totally embraced a Biblical Worldview, and put aside the previous one. This dear brother really put on “new thinking.” And yes, he ran the race, kept the faith, and finished his course. You’ll see him there in Glory when you get there. He’s probably still in that hammock!
This dear brother came to Christ at around 35 years of age. However, after a couple of years living in great victory and being an avid evangelist, he had a difficult quarrel with a brother in Christ. Things went from bad to worse, and soon he turned his back on this guy. Not only on him, but on all the other believers as well. He also began to reject the Scriptures and then returned to the old ways. He was an angry fellow and continued to let his bitterness fester and boil, even though people tried to help him.
Well it wasn’t long before he had some strange attack as he was hunting, and then suddenly came down with a severe case of arthritis. Soon he couldn’t do anything but lie in his hammock. However, as the believers continued to heap kindness and love on him, he came around. His last two years were lived on the trail of truth, and he finished the race well. Before he exited this fleeting world, he exhorted the other believers not to follow his bad example, but rather to fix things up and ‘brotherize’ with one another. You’ll meet him on the other side as well.
This dear brother was a shaman and also came to Christ around his mid forties. He became a faithful coworker to me, and helped us as a team to understand much of the culture and language. He also helped us determine what vocabulary to use to communicate the truths of the Bible.
When he was born again, He was always excited about the blood-bought truth of the believer, that we are purchased by Christ’s blood, and that we aren’t our own boss. He could often be heard, saying something like this:
“No, Christ is our boss! He owns us! We don’t belong to ourselves! And we are to live our lives only for Him, to make Him happy! And since we are blood-bought and belong to Christ, what are we doing with his mouth? Do we tell lies, gossip, and speak obscenities, or do we speak pretty talk about the true God. And what are we longing for with God’s eyes? Are we longing for what we can have or for that which is forbidden? And where are we going with God’s feet, and what are we doing with God’s hands?” Ramón loved to teach on these things.
Before he died, he exhorted the pastor who was present to keep on teaching the words that run straight and true, and not be sidetracked. He encouraged him to teach like he used to when he was younger and stronger. And then as those present began to sing a song of praise and worship to the Lord, Ramón’s spirit was lifted into the very presence of God Most High. You will see this dear brother there who is blood-bought.
- Please continue to pray for our beloved Host Country. Things are very difficult indeed and there is much death. Multitudes continue to leave the country and many are separated from their loved ones. Pray that God will be hugely glorified in this land, and that His will and purposes be accomplished.
- One of the national families that work with us among the P people has temporarily left the country for medical help and some needed R&R. Please pray for their strength and encouragement, as well as for the two remaining couples that continue to work to see things move ahead. Things are getting increasingly difficult for them.
- Thanks for your ongoing prayers for Teresa and I as we work on behalf of the P brethren. Teresa is updating the Literacy Teacher’s Guide, and I’m working on Bible Curriculum. Your prayers for sharp minds, strong backs, and much wisdom is so needed. We PTL that even though we are out of the country, we can still continue to have input into the growth of the nine village churches down there.
- And yes, thanks for praying for the believers in those nine village churches, for those who are shepherding the flocks, and giving leadership. Pray the prayers of Ephesians 1 and 3 that the apostle Paul prayed as you intercede for the saints there as these are great prayers to pattern ours after.
- Some of the school teachers in P land have been discouraged. However, we PTL that there has been renewed encouragement and that they are back to teaching. Please pray much that they will keep encouraged in spite of not receiving salaries, and that many more P believers would learn to read well. Pray too for the ladies that they too will learn to read well, and that fear and embarrassment will be put aside. This is all such a need!!
- Thanks for your ongoing prayers for the people of Pretty Water where more and more bilingual P are reading the Scriptures. Pray for the clear understanding of the Gospel.
- There is 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 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!!
….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!
Continuing to enjoy the adventure,
Merrill and Teresa