Welcome to ‘Cherokee,’ the 7 week linguistics analysis practicum for NTM’s Linguistic program… aka… our home for the next month and a half.
Well, thats all for now. We are in a pretty remote part of Oklahoma. Not my favorite, to be honest, but we are finding things to enjoy. There is a big lake that is part of a dammed up river near by that Hudson and I like to visit while Kyle works on his studies. He is in language sessions from 8am-12 each day, and then studies and analyzes the data he and his partner gathered for at least another 6-10 hours each day. It’s a lot of work. Glad he’s doing it and not me :)
Thanks for checking in on us!
The drums started. The singer joined in with her repetitive chorus as thousands of watts of rhythmic music pulsed from the stack of speakers to the hundreds of people gathered at the community centre front lot. There are a lot of community events this time of year but this one was special and the audience waited in expectation. The first group of eight young men slowly entered the ring dressed in colourful costumes and each ‘riding’ a bamboo horse figure. The dance started slowly as the horses swayed back and forth. As the dance progressed the intensity rose until things started to get out of control. One by one the young men entered a trance and began acting like angry horses. They fell on the ground and were helped up by spotters. They ate like beasts from bowls of food. Some began to challenge each other aggressively and the spotters rushed in to hold them apart. This brought an end to round one as the dancers were herded back into the building. Five minutes later other dancers entered the ring to take things up a notch. So it continued as things ramped-up into the night.
I had seen enough to get the idea and bid my teammate farewell. As I processed the event in my mind I looked at the hundreds people in the crowd. What was the main attraction? It seemed to be the curious spectacle of people out of control. As an outsider and a Christian the immediate conclusion is that Satan has a stronghold here – in the participants and the audience that is ‘wowed’ by the spectacle – this must be a dark culture. But there was something familiar about the whole thing and it resembled western culture in some ways. As I tried to put my finger on it I concluded that Satan has the same methods here or at home – distract people with something destructive – and in that way our western culture which is overrun with destructive distractions is just as dark as this. We are as blind to ours as these people are to theirs. Because of the strangeness of the horsemen I found it easy to walk away but for many the experience was as captivating as the lifestyles and curiosities that keep our friends and neighbours from turning their eyes upon Jesus and turning away from any novel thing that Satan would offer in His place to keep them occupied and run their lives into the ground.
God is at work in Papua New Guinea! New Tribes Mission in PNG continues to work diligently towards our goal of seeing God glorified and lives changed for eternity. One of the people groups NTM is working with here is the Pal people group. They have no working understanding of the gospel and have an extremely limited understanding of how the life of Christ fits into history. As a result of their nearly complete gap in understanding the missionaries need to lay a solid foundation and teach through the Bible chronologically from creation to Christ. They have just begun that teaching, and Lord willing, will complete it by the end of this year. Pray with me that the Pal people will be eager to learn the truth and will come to an understanding of Christ’s work – which will transform their lives for all of eternity. This is why I’m here!
We have recently been dealing with a measles epidemic. If we were in a more developed country it wouldn’t be quite so frightening, but in underdeveloped countries like Papua New Guinea the mortality rate can be between 10 and 30 times higher than in developed countries. The clinic team recently held an immunization clinic for the community where we were privileged to provide immunizations for 727 Papua New Guineans. We gave all of the measles vaccines we had, which totaled about 300. We all gave immunization after immunization and I was so busy that I barely had time to take any decent photos. Here is a “selfie” of me and a friend who was helping out, and a panoramic view of our outdoor make shift clinic, which another friend took. Notice the line curving around the building? I’m somewhere in the crowd under the roof.
Daily clinic work consists of seeing missionary patients as well as a number of citizen patients. I continue to hone my x-ray skills, oversee our clinic pharmacy, assist the doctor, and work directly with patients. I have begun seeing patients more independently under the supervision of the doctor, which has been a challenging and enjoyable learning experience. I love being a nurse. I have also been greatly enjoying my time working at the clinic and hope that this is just the start of a long journey here in PNG!
My sister and her family recently joined me for a break in Australia! I have been encouraged to take breaks every 6 months, and privileged to be joined by my family for one! My sister took care of most of the details of the trip, planned our outings, and it was wonderful. I was able to go to a real mall and do some shopping, which was also thrilling. I left Australia feeling refreshed and rested, and incredibly thankful for this special gift.
Prayer and Praise:
• God continues to provide for my ministry
• Papua New Guinea is becoming home, which I am very grateful for
• God continues to provide good friends here in PNG
• God has blessed my time in the clinic and has been allowing me to grow as a nurse
• I had a wonderful break with my sister and her family
• pray for the continued ability to learn and grow into my role here
• pray for the continued development of important friendships with PNG citizens and missionaries
• pray that we would have wisdom as we deal with things like the current measles epidemic
• pray for strength and endurance as I work hard and am missing my family and friends in the States
I am daily encouraged by what the Lord is doing in the lives of people in PNG, in my life, and through the love, friendship, prayers, and financial support of those who are supporting me. Thank you for partnering with me in my ministry, you are a blessing!
So at the annual business meeting on Sunday night, when Pastor David said, “So where does your dollar go when you put it in the plate?” 5 year old Emma’s hand shot up. Her mom was thinking, “What are you doing, girl?!” Put your hand down!” So, her mom made her put her hand down, then she leaned over and whispered, “Papua New Guinea.”
Her mom is still torn between laughter that she was trying to answer a rhetorical question and pride that she knew where her money was going!
I’m very blessed to be an extension of Foothill Bible Church’s church planting ministry.
Bonjour! Hopefully soon enough I will be able to say that word without sounding like a redneck doing an impersonation of the pink panther, but for now it will do. By the grace of God the Hundertmark family has made it through a week of living in the wild city of Dakar in the wild country of Senegal! Thank you so much for your prayers. All seven days I have been thanking God for the people that sent us here and for the people here that have received us. New Tribes Mission has an incredible staff of people that have made our transition so much easier. So for those of you state side that worry a little, we are in good hands.
There are literally hundreds of things I could write about but this being our first blog, I simply want to introduce you to our new home. The pictures I provide are unfortunately only pictures. They don’t make sounds and they don’t have smells. They won’t talk to you and they probably won’t overwhelm you. I looked at a lot of pictures before coming to Dakar but none of them could have prepared me for the feelings I had actually being here.
All in all We are doing great! We are having adventures, we are being a family, we are learning and being stretched, oh, and we are learning to live without AC. Some specific requests that we wish to share with are as follows. Iesley is struggling with some anxiety being around so many new people all the time. She is a blonde hair blue eyed little cutie that gets a lot of extra attention in a place like this and it is overwhelming for her. Iesley is also having a little trouble with some heat rash but we did arrive at the hottest time of the year. This should get better. We start classes on Monday and know we will all struggle with being separated from each other during our morning class hours. This will be the first time since either Iesley or Emery have been born that they won’t be with mommy on a routine basis. We appreciate your praying with us about these things. So thank you for your support, thank you for you for your prayers and thank you for your interest. Enjoy the tour!
Today, Friday, was the 8th day of teaching and things are going great! The people are hungry for the truth, are coming every day, and are hanging on every word. A rough count this week totaled more than 150 teenagers and adults coming daily, not counting the numerous young children amidst the crowd.
We taught 10 lessons in the first 7 days (week days) and then had a review day today. Yesterday we informed them that we weren’t going to teach them anything new today but just reinforce the truths we’ve already taught. Still, just about everyone came today and listened attentively as Nate and Chris went back over the main points of what has been taught the last week and a half.
The people are constantly asking questions and asking to hear more. The people attending are from 11 small hamlets in our area of Pal and our team has been splitting up in the evenings and going and talking more with the people in their own homes. We’re praising the Lord for the hunger for truth we’re seeing in the Pal people and praying that they will hear the whole message and choose to put their faith in Jesus Christ.
We’ve taught about God, the rebellion of Lucifer, and creation. We’ve taught about the garden of Eden and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil but we left them with this. “Are Adam and Eve going to believe and follow God’s talk and not eat the forbidden fruit? Or will they throw away God’s talk, follow their own desires, and eat the forbidden fruit?”
They’ll find out next week!
Shaune’s done it again – this time he’s designed an infographic explaining how you can partner with us to accomplish the goal of expanding the reach of the gospel. We love visual communication. I hope this clearly gets our message across!
Both of these infographics will be table displays at our presentations and open houses. Our first one is quickly approaching on September 14th in Glen Carbon, IL. We are grateful for your prayers as we prepare and that many people are stirred to join with us in our ministry.
Here we are with our awesome Language Helper, learning kitchen dishes and items. She comes to our house four times a week for two hours a day. We love our time with her. We are using a system of learning that is similar to Rosetta Stone, except that we have a live language helper instead of a computer. Jonah normally naps during most of time with Cecilia and we manage to keep Eli somewhat busy during our time too.
Here is the view of Bogota from one of the surrounding mountains. It was very cold and windy, but an awesome view. Puts into perspective how big Bogota actually is!
We have been back here in our tribal village for a little more than two weeks now. Gene and Pulding have been able to do a final revision in the mountain dialect of twelve of the forty two evangelistic Bible lessons. Carol has converted them to the lowland dialect and our Manubu’ translation helpers in the lowlands are presently going over a number of those lessons. Please PRAY that this final revision of the evangelistic lessons will result in clear, understandable, and true to scripture lessons. When they are finished we will have multiple copies made of them for present and future Manubu’ Bible teachers.
Part of the scripture translation process is for someone to translate the tribal language translation back to English. That helps a lot in being sure that nothing in a verse has been missed and that the meaning is clear. Carol has translated back to English all of Genesis and is working on Exodus. She has had a number of questions and suggestions for Gene which have been a real help in making it a good and true translation.
As to Gene’s health, he is doing quite well – much better than he was a few weeks ago. He usually gets up between 5 and 5:30 am and we go for a walk up the long, steep, hill out of our village. Then he works through the day either at his computer or with Pulding, our translation helper. Usually between 4 and 5 pm he is starting to fade and goes to bed between 6 and 7.
Some things to PRAY for concerning Gene’s health:
The medication that he is has been on for the past 2 1/2 weeks to lower his heart rate hasn’t helped so far, but it can take a couple of months for the medicine to become effective. Please PRAY that it will work.
PRAY that his almost constant dizziness, which is apparently a result of his strokes, will pass. It seems to be mostly brought on by motions before his eyes such as working at the computer or researching on the internet or reading a book or reading or writing emails – especially anything that involves looking back and forth between things or scrolling.
We praise the Lord that the strokes apparently did not affect his memory or ability to concentrate.
There are a number of young people of our village or visiting here who have expressed interest in listening to the 42 lesson evangelist phase of the teaching. Three young men who are believers are interested in learning to teach so Mahan will be training them to teach as they teach their fellow young people. Please PRAY that the three young men who will be learning to teach God’s Word will be faithful and that those listening will be faithful to attend the meetings and will be saved.
Please also PRAY about our Satellite internet system. The service provider has been having problems with their equipment for a number of weeks now. Some days no internet service. Some days a few seconds, some a few minutes, and occasional days a few hours, but never know what time of day it will work if at all.
We thank the Lord that we have been able to return to our home here in the Manubu’ village and are able to continue on with the work we love which is translation of the scriptures, writing Bible lessons, and preparing other learning materials for the Manubu’ churches.
Thank you for your prayers and gifts which have enabled us to be your representatives among the Manubu’ people many of whom now know the Lord and are walking with Him and spreading His Word.