To Each of You Who Are One with Us,
First there’s the soft mummer of comments made one to another in various languages in the early predawn moments as people begin to stir punctuated by the crowing of some roosters. Then the pungent smell of smoke from the wood burning fire drifts through the big open area where everyone is sleeping; fire that is heating up the water for the strong brew they call coffee, boiling water to drop in cooking bananas to boil and fire heating up cooking oil to deep fry the dough for thick bread like pancakes. A baby cries here or there calling for its mother or older sister’s attention. As light increases so does the volume of the conversations and the one line jokes which bring out gales of laughter from all within hearing distance. The term, ‘one big happy family’ applies here.
This is how each of the days began there in the hills of Panama where Betty and I enjoyed a week of precious fellowship with about 92 others from three of the tribal groups where God had raised up growing Churches. We were there with a precious Panamanian missionary couple and another foreign missionary couple. Consider the richness of all these various nationalities and languages and backgrounds and worldviews living, eating, fellowshipping, hanging out, laughing and worshipping together and you get a bit of an idea of what the phrase “unity within diversity” looks like. The lengths to which the ‘unity’ part went stood out to us when we noticed that some of the girls and young women were interchanging their typical colorful skirts and blouses, (strong symbols of their ethnic identity) with the girls and women from the other tribal groups. We’d never seen that happen before.
This oneness stood out as everyone banded together to help carry out a woman who had suddenly become very ill and needed medical attention. A makeshift hammock was formed and a team of men joined forces to carry her out, up the steep hill to the closest road to transport her to medical attention. In the later afternoons after the daytime meetings were over, groups of the ladies gathered around in small groups as they learned from one another new styles of handcrafts and embroidery. I had the joy of sharing on the theme of “The Model of a Mature Family” and I believe we were all challenged with how vital and basic healthy marriages and families are to healthy Churches. Again the truth, ‘unity within diversity’ had profound applications. We asked you in our last letter to be praying with us for this time together and God did wonderfully answer our united prayer.
The ongoing spiritual struggle was evident as those from one of the Kuna villages were unable to come due to insurmountable opposition. We have just received word that the beloved wife of one of the key Church leaders from that village has just died, which is a tremendous blow to her husband, as well as the whole body of believers as they continue to buck ongoing opposition from those who seek to keep everyone in line with the traditional ways. Would you please unite with us in prayer for this dear brother and the Kuna Church along the rivers of Panama as they again have to draw deeply on those resources we have in Christ as they work through their grief.
Please pray for ongoing courage and boldness for these diverse ethnic Churches to press ahead in reaching their own people with the glorious message of God’s love and forgiveness and grace. Those days together gave them, I believe, encouragement realizing that they are not alone in this struggle for truth. We all realized in new ways the power of unity within our diversity.
In Christ’s uniting love,
Tim and Betty Wyma
Just a note to say that we arrived home safely from Bolivia even though our flights were delayed and our suitcases just arrived a day after we did.
In spite of the unsettling times in Bolivia, all the field leaders, missionaries and pastors arrived for the conference as planned, and we are grateful that God so clearly undertook. As we all shared formally and informally we were encouraged in seeing God using His church to continue expanding the reach of the gospel, regardless of what nationality that happens to be…the church in each place. What a privilege all believers have, to be co-workers together with God.
The conference sessions were mostly in Spanish (some Portuguese) with simultaneous translation to English for a few people. In a couple of cases the process was reversed, and those using the headphones were the people hearing the English presentation translated to Spanish.
The next step is for those who attended the conference is to share the messages with those in their home areas who were unable to attend. We all need to be reviewing what God has to say about His church, our identity in Christ, and what he has entrusted to each of us. We all know the whole process won’t be finished until Christ returns, but meanwhile there is a lot to be done, becoming more and more what Christ would have us to be and do.
Our next step will be to do some traveling in the U.S., meeting with many of our vital partners stateside for the next couple of months, before and after the meetings in which we will participate here in Sanford during the month of August. We are looking forward to seeing many who have been a part of the work we are doing.
Tim and Betty Wyma
Ministering with New Tribes Mission throughout Latin America
MAY 2, 2008
Here’s wanting to catch up with you! Since returning from Bolivia Tim has been to NTM Aviation in Arizona, talking about air service to speed the work in our region, then soon after he spent some time with our co- workers in Colombia. We need to be praying for more missionaries to fill the needs as we move forward to reach the 40 some tribal groups still without the gospel in Colombia. Since then we met with our co-workers who translate materials into Spanish for church planters, and took in a bit of the Translation Workshop for training Bible Translation consultants and checkers.
Following that Tim was at the gathering in England of some the worldwide staff who train new NTM cross cultural missionaries in so many places, including 5 countries in Central and South America, trusting to keep the different locations working together and learning from each other and keeping abreast of all that is being developed in this area. Praise Him for all the laborers he is raising up around the world!
As you pray for us you can be sure that we really need it! We are either with our fellow missionaries on the fields, preparing for those trips, or in workshops which we sometimes host here at Sanford. However, coming up in May we will be hosting a Leadership Conference along with one of the fields for around 70 of our dear fellow leaders and co-workers in the South American region. Thanks for praying that our hearts will be strengthened as we are united in glorifying God and trusting Him to complete the work He has given us to do, reaching those who have no other chance to hear outside of someone going to where they are and relating in a deep and meaningful way in their own language God’s provision for us all in Christ.
Thanks so much for being partners in this tremendous work! We love and appreciate you! We love keeping up as much as possible with you so we can share your burdens also. Thanks so much for sharing faithfully in this work by your gifts, encouraging notes and prayers.
Ministering in Latin America, Tim and Betty Wyma
NEW TRIBES MISSION
1000 E. FIRST ST., SANFORD, FL 32771-1487
www.ntm.org/timandbetty_wyma Phone 407-547-2337
April 8, 2008 Phone: 407-547-2337 / 407-547-2437
New Tribes Mission 1000 E. First St. Sanford, FL 32771
Hello dear ones,
First of all, Tim is in Colombia, and would sure appreciate your prayer for wisdom, strength and a sense of God’s presence and working these days as he and fellow laborers there meet. He returns home to attend the yearly team meetings of our Spanish translation team who work on resource materials for our Hispanic coworkers working in tribal church planting. There we will hear what has been accomplished, the needs, and plan priorities for the coming year.
The same week he will take in a bit of the Translation Workshop for training Bible Translation consultants and checkers, then, next he will be at the gathering of some the worldwide staff who train new NTM cross cultural missionaries in so many places, including 5 countries in Central and South America, trusting to keep the different locations working together and learning from each other and keeping abreast of all that is being developed in this area.
So you can be sure as you pray for us that we really need it! We are either with our fellow missionaries on the fields, preparing for those trips, or in workshops which we sometimes host here at Sanford. However, coming up in May we will be doing just that on one of the fields, with our dear fellow leaders from the fields in the South American region as we learn things pertinent to the ministry and are encouraged in the Lord. Thanks for praying that our hearts will be strengthened as we are united in glorifying God and trusting Him to complete the work He has given us to do, reaching those who have no other chance to hear outside of someone going to where they are and relating in a deep and meaningful way in their own language God’s provision for us all in Christ.
There are many works in the continuing church phase in Bolivia, where the missionaries are still preparing materials and working in the background as the believers and church leaders lead the way. Yet there are still several places where the work needs to be started. A plan is in place to evaluate this all in a very detailed way in order to prioritize resources. Speaking of resources, we enjoyed visiting a couple of days with the students and staff in the missionary institute there near Santa Cruz. Praise Him for all the laborers he is raising up around the world!
Thanks so much for being partners in this tremendous work! We love and appreciate you!
Tim & Betty Wyma
New Tribes Mission Field Ministries / Latin America www.ntm.org/timandbetty_wyma
I’ll be leaving for Bolivia Tuesday January 30th for a couple of weeks, first meeting with our Field Leaders for their quarterly Committee Meetings. These days together are always both encouraging and challenging as we discuss the progress that is being made and wrestle with the obstacles that are keeping the work of Church Planting from progressing.
Then I’ll travel to two tribal locations where we work. The first Tribal visit will be to two Ayore villages. This is the tribe we worked in for 17 years and I’m excited about being able to encourage these dear brothers and sisters in Christ.
With Bolivia experiencing civil unrest I’d really appreciate your prayer for safety and peace so I can travel around the country and accomplish what I am going to Bolivia for.
I will be traveling around Bolivia with Field leaders and their Church Planting consultant. Pray that God would encourage and strengthen these many faithful workers, Ayores, Bolivians and Americans each in a different language! Betty will be staying home this trip so pray for her safety and that she’d be able to get much accomplished on the ‘home’ end.
Tim ( & Betty ) Wyma
Betty and I continue to catch up a bit here in Sanford Florida from a busy year of travel. I am also working on setting up details for upcoming trips in 2007.
We will be traveling to Brazil the first week of January for a time with our missionaries there as they meet for the Annual Field Conference. This is the one time a year many of them see one another. It’s also a great time of spiritual refreshing and renewal, so please pray with us as we desire to be a blessing to these dear co-workers. We’ll be sharing with them from the Word and updating them on what is going on around the world through our missionaries work.
I’ll be in Bolivia for a couple of weeks in February, meeting with our Field Leaders for their quarterly Committee Meetings and then I’ll travel to a number of the tribal locations where we work. These are always both encouraging and challenging as we discuss the progress that is being made and wrestle with the obstacles that are keeping the work of Church Planting from progressing.
I’m also developing plans for a Latin America Region Translation Conference which will be held in Paraguay in May. This involves a lot of communication with the missionaries and Field Leaders in the 7 countries we work in throughout Latin America.
All of this highlights the need we feel of your diligent prayer for us. It also gives us hearts full of thanksgiving as we reflect on all that your prayers for us has meant over the past days and years.
We thank God for your partnership and the part you have through your financial support and prayer.
Tim & Betty Wyma