Releasing the Teachers
The churches in the Simbu Province decided to get together to do something they’d never done before. They had a church in one area where the missionaries were absent, and they are sending the Elijah family there for 6 months until their missionary returns. The Thadias family are being sent to a church for 3 years to replace an aging pastor. The exciting thing is that these families were not taught by missionaries but by their own church leaders. Second generation believers trained and prepared to serve.
The services took about 4 hours. The first service was shorter and more like a normal one, but the second service was nothing short of sheer joy. It was a mix of Christian and local culture. What I mean is they added some good cultural practices like the sending churches giving speeches and officially handing the families over to the hosting churches. Members of the hosting churches would then surround the family, let loose with ear splitting whoops and hoots to accept them and then escort them out of the building.
Later, they put out a bucket and a mat for offerings (bucket for money and the mat for presents). I didn’t hear the final count, but it looked like people gave generously.
Finally, it ended with a big steam cooked feast of vegetables and pork.
It was a great chance to see folks from around the province where we lived for 26 years. Many of them we have known for nearly 50 years.
We wanted you to share part of the joy of that day.
Thank God for His work in the hearts of these people.
Jim & Kathy Tanner, Papua New Guinea