In previous updates we have asked that God would send Higaunon to go teach in villages that have expressed interest in listening to teaching of God’s Word. Here is a report on how God is starting to answer our prayers.
Posts Tagged ‘Church planting’
Every quarter I have the privilege of Canadianizing the NTM@work magazine. This month was special as the feature story was written by and about a Canadian family that lives just outside of Durham, Pete and Leah Humphreys.
We thought we’d share with you some of the good things that are going on in the village while we have been working on Old Testament translation.
2 Timothy 2:2 “…the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.“
Sean practicing soldering in Missionary Tech Lab!
We learned a lot about using solar power in the bush and energy conservation, water filtering, appliances for bush living,
and much more!
We decided on a field: Papua New Guinea!
Last week, we had the opportunity to meet leaders from many fields where New Tribes Mission works around the world. Although we were heavily leaning towards going to Papua New Guinea already, we have decided to officially commit and announce our plans to head there in the summer of 2015! Papua New Guinea is in the Asia Pacific region near Australia. The field has 13 high priority tribes they are looking to head into as soon as they have missionaries! They have an additional 40 people groups they will be surveying soon to see if they will be good for future missionaries to move to! Exciting stuff!
Exciting Classes here at the Missionary Training Center!
This semester has been amazing! We just finished several awesome classes, such as Field Health class, where we learned how to handle common tropical health issues such as malaria, skin infections, and first aid. We are also taking Grammar class which teaches us how other foreign languages structure their verbs and nouns so that we can be aware of this when learning a language that is unknown to outsiders. We also completed Families in Ministry class and learned a lot about home school curriculums available for our children’s education out on the field! Each class gets us more excited about our final destination!
Sean and Jinny Richards
Zeke is 15 months now! Classes we are currently in (and a few we just finished):
- Ministry Partnership Development (fund raising), Families in Ministry, Field Health, Public Speaking, & Grammar.
- Animism (belief & world view of tribal people), Folk Religion, Romans 12-14, Biblical Peacemaking, Culture and Language Methodology
- Healthy pregnancy and delivery for our son due June 29th!
- Diligence in finishing our 2nd semester here at MTC!
- Strengthening relationships with people from our outreach ministries.
- Preparing the hearts of the tribal people we will be living with in a few years.
- Pray for open doors for both of us, or just Sean, to visit Papua New Guinea before we move there as a family in 2015.
- Easter Break- March 28th-April 1st: Sean’s family will visit MTC for the first time!
- April 26th-Visitors from Cornerstone Bible Fellowship in Sherwood, AR!
- May 23rd-Our last day of classes for the semester!
- May 24th-June 10th-in Central Arkansas visiting family and friends and Jinny will be in a good friends wedding.
- June 10th-?- We will be waiting the birth of our baby in Missouri since we already have a doctor here
- July 2nd-Aug 15th (depending on baby!) -Fayetteville, AR catching up with friends and supporters!
- August 15th-start our last full-time semester of training! (not including Sean’s optional semester of Linguistics specialization)
Happy Easter Everyone!
We are half way through our time in the village and have seen quite a bit accomplished. We are very conscious of the fact that many are praying for us.
One of the reasons we love our job is seeing people who were once bound by the power of evil spirits, now set free by the power of the Gospel! That’s the true message of Easter! Dag-ay and Imbos were two such people. The gospel had such an impact on them that they freely gave of themselves to help with scripture translation. They loved their job but at the same time, they were looking forward to being with Jesus! Two years ago, God took Imbos home to be with Him but Dag-ay continued helping with translation during our visit last year. After we left, she moved to another village to be near other family members. (more…)
In this fast-paced world we live in today, two weeks without internet was quite the adjustment! Our only way of communicating with “the outside world” was via our 2-way radio. How thankful we are that our line of communication with our Heavenly Father is never “offline!”
Lance and I arrived in the village two weeks ago. Rats and bats had taken up residence in our house during the time we were away (at least there were no snakes this time)…so it took a few days to get things cleaned up and for us to feel settled in. Lance has finished checking through 1 and 2 Samuel and continues checking in other books he’d been translating while in the US this past year. He’s thankful for his two language assistants who help to make sure the meaning is clear, while they endeavor to stay true to the text. We so appreciate your prayers for this huge task of translating the Old Testament into the Higaunon language.
God had different plans than the ones we had made for our daughter and her family! There was much disappointment that they were not able to visit the village. The weather was not good on the only days they had available to fly. They returned to their city in East Asia only hours after we flew back to the village. They are back into full time language study.
We so enjoyed the time we had with our daughter and family, as well as their coworkers, during a conference they attended. Lance and I took care of the little ones while their parents were in meetings. There was plenty of time for us with our three grandchildren and we made lots of fun memories. After being together for more than 2 weeks, we really missed them when we parted. We’re so thankful we had that time together.
Please continue to pray for wisdom for us in the work God has for us to do. Our hope is to get Genesis and Exodus through a final check so it can be printed and distributed to the people. Imagine getting these books in your language for the first time! We take our copies of the Scriptures very much for granted, don’t we?!
Once again we want to express our deepest thanks for your partnership in this ministry to the Higaunon people.
Secure in Christ’s love,
Lance & Laura
I spoke about a topic that has become more important to me each and every day:
Seven years ago, Lael and I went through Perspectives and were “ruined for the ordinary!” For the first time we heard about unreached people groups and the biblical basis for missions. We were determined to leverage our short time on earth for nothing less than this great commission to see every tribe, tongue and nation reached with the gospel. We were fired up and couldn’t wait to get out there and do “something!”
And that’s the problem. Our “something” was completely undefined. We had no idea what ministry among an unreached people group would look like. We knew we needed a plan. As George Walker, one of my favorite instructors saw, “We genuinely felt the weight of own not-enough-ness!”
The Needs You Don’t Know You Need To Know About…
That’s where New Tribes Mission came into the picture. We toured the Missionary Training Center and were blown away by how thorough the training was. Now we’ve gone through all four years of their training (two years of Bible school and two years of missionary training) and I can’t imagine what our overseas ministry would have looked like had we left straight for the field after college. There were so many issues we didn’t even know we needed to be thinking through.
Now we have a game plan for things like: acquiring a new culture and language, pushing through culture shock, creating an alphabet, developing a literacy program, setting up a medical clinic, running a house completely off of solar, implementing Bible translation techniques, creating chronological Bible lessons that aim at worldview level issues, understanding an animistic worldview, maintaining a healthy marriage in a stressful situation, protecting our children, taking a newborn church on toward maturity in Christ through strategic teaching, discipleship and outreach, preventing and addressing team conflict, tailoring a unique homeschool curriculum for our girls, avoiding syncretism, modeling discipleship from day one, preparing for emergency situations, leveraging various translation and linguistic software, adjusting to an event-oriented culture while maximizing time management, and counting the cost now. That’s just from the classroom side of things.
I can’t begin to describe all the valuable lessons I’ve learned from daily rubbing shoulders with staff and instructors who have been there and done it. God has used the discipleship process here in at the MTC to not only strengthen my walk with Himself, but I’ve also learned some incredibly important leadership principles.
If you’re planning to go long-term, get extensive pre-field training this side of the ocean.
One more thing. NTM has an incredible language, culture, and translation consultant program. When we’re out in the tribe trying to learn a difficult language and a strange culture, these consultants will come out regularly to help us get unstuck and reach the next level of proficiency. Doug Schaible likes to say that NTM’s consultants are like the wench on a Jeep. When you get stuck, they pull you out so you can get back on the road. I’m so glad that NTM has people in place who will be able to continue equipping us at each new leg of this long journey toward seeing a mature tribal church who is glorifying God.
Thanks again for joining us on this journey!