The Fosters actually have a dual ministry. They are involved full-time with the Bena Bena people, but also work as culture advisors teaching classes with Interface (ITF). This gives the students some hands on experience with tribal missionaries. They give input to the ITF staff on how to keep good relationships with the Bena Bena people. This helps missionaries live among these people in a culturally appropriate way so that our western culture is not offensive to the Bena Bena and become a hindrance to presenting the gospel and building the church.
The Bena Bena deeded the Fosters some land so their house is on Bena Bena property. There are about 60,000 in the Bena Bena tribe, which is broken down into clans, subclans, and then villages. The Foster’s clan, which is called Katagu, is made up of many of these villages. The villages have a group of houses with one or two large families living together in a community. The Fosters live in a village called Yamoyalo among the Bena Bena people. They’ve been adopted into a village family and try to function within the family roles and expectations placed upon them. They have learned the language and culture of the people, have begun the translation of Scripture, and have taught God’s Word from Creation to Christ (Dec 05-April 06). Currently, there are a handful of new tribal believers that are continuing to hear and learn God’s Word. The Fosters will continue to disciple these believers, and trust that God will bring them to spiritual maturity.. It is not their intention to reach all 60,000 people themselves. They hope to evangelize one group so they, in turn, go out and evangelize others and plant churches. It would really be a multiplication process, like you see in the book of Acts, rather than missionaries trying to do it all.