Mega thanks to those of you who were praying for the Youth Leaders workshop last month. 70 men and teenage boys attended and seemed to really benefit from the time of teaching, as well as having the chance to be together and interact with like-minded Christians from other language groups. It was a great opportunity for them to share among themselves regarding their local church concerns. Please do continue to pray that what they have learned will be able to be implemented in each of their tribes.
We were bountifully blessed to have 4 of our employees (Meta, Susan, Paula and Rosma) help with the cooking. Christina Hutteman, Heidi Greenlaw and Ruth Butler (a missionary with Friends in Action) headed up the feat which included 14 rice cookers FULL of rice twice each day + local greens, taro, potatoes, pumpkin, meat, papaya, etc. I got off easy as my part in the workshop was just to print the teaching materials — and of course indulge in my hobby of taking a few pictures to share.
The Tribal Resource Center has been kept hopping of late. 2018 ended with printing an updated version of all the compiled scripture missionary Jonathan Kopf has translated to date for the Hewa people. Printing this volume is always a challenge because the Hewan Christians want the book to be a small enough that it will fit in the net bags that they carry everywhere with them. Previously that had made a 460+ page tome (margin to margin at 9-point pre-literacy font) – a volume so thick that it was at the very limit of what our local equipment can bind. Now Jonathan has more verses & New Testament books translated, bringing the page count to nearly 100 beyond our bindable limit. Yikes! But God knew and led us to a solution – by a mere change of the font (now using Calibri 9-point font and scrunching the lines) their latest version can be bound! 10 copies of the new compiled scripture were sent to Hewa early in January for proofreading and font size approval.
Back to back with Hewa printing came, not only the workshop printing but also an order for 60 sets of materials to be used to teach Melanesian Pidgin English literacy in the Mariama tribe. As usual, I relish turning the blank cases of paper into materials with such potential!
After a few days lull in the office Jonathan sent corrections and then approval to print 60 more copies of their small sized compiled scripture books. By the time the final copy was bound, and the 5 boxes taped for transport, it seemed like a mighty marathon had finally finished!
We can be praying now as these Hewa Scripture portions get into the hands of the people of their language group. This is one of the ethnic groups in the country where all too often innocent women are accused of working sorcery and causing deaths. The falsely accused “witches” are subsequently brutally beaten and murdered by gangs of the deceased’s family and friends. This is the NORM. Only the Good News of Jesus can change these darkened hearts. If you have read Jonathan Kopf’s book Canopy of Darkness you will already have some inkling of the challenges these missionaries face as they teach the truths of God’s Word among the Hewans.
Another challenge — the Kopfs have often been the lone missionaries on location in Hewa land as their co-workers, John Michael & Jessi George, have health issues which prevent them from living in the village. John Michael comes in when he can to help with teaching and other ministry projects. Please be praying for this team as they minister to people who still battle such a heritage.
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Some of the men pictured above are mentioned in Canopy of Darkness describing what their lives were like before the Good News of Jesus came to bring hope to them in their lost state. Please do pray for these men, as well as the missionaries, as they desire to shepherd the Lord’s flock in Hewa.
Thank you so much for allowing me to be your representative providing behind the scenes support to missionary teams like Hewa. It is a privilege to be available to the missionaries to do such tasks which they have neither the time nor equipment to do in their village locations. Your part in the work is certainly most greatly appreciated!
Co-laboring to bring back Christ as King!