We took two trips to visit churches during the last few days of December. Both were very different experiences. Turtle Mountain Church is about 3 hours away up past Hot (pronounced with a high and falling tone) in the hills around Turtle Mountain Lake. This church needs encouragement. They’ve lost nearly 80% of their members just in the last year. We went up to visit them and just spent time talking with them and encouraging them in the Lord. They were blown away by the progress we’ve made in language in the year we haven’t seen them and we were blown away by how their congregation had shrunk (though we tried not to show it). Check out more pictures here.
Goat Village Church, on the other hand, saw 1,500 Lawa people gathered to fellowship, celebrate their history and to show their cultural pride. Rather than feel as though we needed to encourage these believers we ourselves felt blessed and honored to be there. It was fun to watch them act out their history including the arrival of missionaries from New Tribes Mission to tell their people the Good News about Jesus. I have created a folder of the 28 best pictures from the experience with extensive captions that tell an interesting story. Check them out here.