How is a peanut and a missionary related?

Not long before we left Papua New Guinea, a special group of people from our community came to say farewell to us. Special because they had been taught through the first three Bible lesson courses, got saved, and were now studying the epistle of Ephesians. Special because they are so enthusiastic about knowing Christ and wanting to spread the Gospel. Special because they have started taking up offerings to encourage and support their future outreaches (they paid for the books and food for the 11 people they sent to attend our last teachers’ training course).

They came to encourage us and thank us for bringing the Gospel to them. We didn’t teach their Bible class, but two teachers whom we trained did a great job at teaching the group. In saying farewell, there were tears shed for the sorrow of parting ways, but also for being secure in Christ. A spokesman for the group wanted to assure us that that they would carry on the work of spreading God’s Word. He said, “We will not let the peanut die. You planted the peanut, and it will produce many new ones.” We had never heard that illustration used before, but it was spot on as far as God’s plan for not only preaching the Gospel but also for making disciples of all men.

Every missionary’s goal is to work himself out of a job before he leaves. By God’s grace, we had reached that goal and the living proof stood before us.

Continue to pray for these disciples and many just like them that are multiplying around the country.

Even though we are in America for this season of our lives, we would like to continue to produce Bible lessons for the people of Papua New Guinea. However, for this short season, we are waiting for God to show us what He wants us to do and where to do it. Thank you for sticking with us.

In His love and grace,

Jim & Kathy Tanner