Ethnos 360 was established to take the Gospel to unreached tribal groups throughout the world and to plant functioning, indigenous churches among them. The majority of countries where NTM works are “developing nations;” that is, they lack the transportation, communication, educational facilities, and other infrastructure which we rely on in our Western, “developed” nations. Thus, a whole network of support facilities have been created and maintained by the mission itself in order to function more effectively in the country. This includes providing things like airplane transportation into the various tribal locations, administration and leadership, accounting and finance, and education for the children of the missionaries to attend since adequate schools do not exist within the country. Nearly two-thirds of the missionary force work in support roles in tribal missions. The remaining one-third do the actual church planting and Bible translation.
NTM’s work in Papua New Guinea is no different. There are over 800 distinct language groups in the country making mission work and Bible translation an enormous task! The infrastructure of the country is similar to what is described above. NTM currently has work going on in around 60 tribes throughout the country. Our work takes place here at the support base, known as Lapilo, near the town of Goroka in the highlands of PNG. Lapilo is home to the MK (“missionary kid”) School, Numonohi Christian Academy, as well as our field headquarters, finance office, printing facilities, tribal supply, and aviation services. Currently, Neil serves as the Personnel Director for NTM-PNG while still teaching a Bible class, and Becky is the high school Spanish teacher.
The Personnel Department oversees a number of areas including keeping our mission in good standing with the government; making sure our missionaries are doing well physically, spiritually, and emotionally; orientating new missionaries to the field, and much more. As teachers in the school, we view our ministry as two-fold. Not only are we helping support the church planting work going on in the remote villages, but we have a chance to invest ourselves in the lives of the students we work with. It is exciting to see God work in the lives of the students, to see them growing not only academically and socially, but spiritually as well.