Last weekend I had the priviledge of participating in the wedding of 2 Paĩ young people.
This wedding was significant for several reasons. First of all the groom was from a location that is about 200 kilometers from where the bride lived. To marry somebody that far away is almost unheard of in the Paĩ culture. The reason this happened is because both the bride and groom are believers and they met because of the interaction between the churches in their region.
Another reason this marriage was different is because the bride and groom waited almost a year before getting married. In typical Paĩ culture marriages happen quickly before there is a chance to get to know one another. Once again because they are believers and their parents are believers they realized the importance of knowing each other better before marriage.
The last reason this marraige is significant is that their marriage took place publicly among the believers in the local church. This was the first time for this to take place in this location. As missionaries among the Paĩ people we were happy to see this event take place as it is important for the believers to establish ways to celebrate these events within their culture as believers.
We invited a national pastor who is a good communicator in the Guarani language to direct the wedding. We explained to the pastor the goal of setting an example for the Paĩ believers that they could follow that was not too western and was culturally appropriate. The father of the bride spoke up as well and talked about the importance of young people being ready for marriage demonstrating to everyone the pre-marriage booklet that was written for Paĩ young people and their parents.
Some western traditions were incorporated as well, such as the borrowed wedding dress and the cakes that some of the ladies made.
Pray for Daniel & Maura as they begin their marriage together.
Pray for the Pai believers as they mature and seek to honor God in all the things they do.
In Christ, Wayne
A certain Pai fellow has been sick and not gotten over it. When a sick person does not get well in a reasonable amount of time the unbelievers among the Pai begin to say it has to be witchcraft. In the majority of cases there is no witchcraft or spell of any kind, nevertheless the sick person will die of fear because they are told over and over that a spell has been worked on them and they will die. The only hope would be to find the person responsible and make them undo the spell cast on the sick person. If the sick person sees some individual in his sleep then that’s an indication of that person casting the spell. This person must be convinced to undo the spell cast on the sick person, the problem is that someone can’t undo a spell if they never cast one. There have been cases of suspected workers of witchcraft being killed because they were not able to undo the spell simply because they never cast the spell and the person was simply sick with some medical problem.
In this recent case the relatives of the sick man are saying that about a year ago he stole a goat from another family. It was at night and in his haste one of his shoes came off and he left it behind. The woman of the household found the shoe and there was some dirt in the shoe that had been on his foot. According to the relatives the woman then used the dirt to cast a spell on the fellow in revenge for stealing the goat (albeit a year later). Sound like science fiction? This is the hash reality of life for those who have been under Satan’s bondage for decades and they sincerely believe these things with all their heart.
So what to do about the situation? If nothing is done the sick man will die, most likely from fear and the woman who supposedly cast the spell could be killed for casting a spell she probably didn’t cast. More revenge will be taken and the vicious circle will continue with more cries of witchcraft etc.
The sick fellow has an older brother that has been a believer for several years now. He has tried to teach his brother the phase 1 teaching but he hasn’t been very interested. Using his cultural influence as the older brother he convinced his relatives to let his sick brother go to the hospital. Sadly enough after arriving at the hospital the fellow was diagnosed with a brain tumor and died after a few days in the hospital. His brother and the other believers here are asking God to use these events in the lives of the unbelievers so they can hear the Gospel and be saved. The older brother has shown the certificate and cause of death to his relatives to try and convince them his brother did not die from a spell and thereby avoid revenge and counter revenge.
Please pray for the Pai and other people groups around the world that continue under Satan’s bondage.
Those of us missionaries that work among the Pai people group desire to see the youth that are believers grow in their faith and knowledge of Christ. With that in mind missionaries Wayne Goddard & Luciane Klassen took a group of 16 Pai young people to a designated location for a weekend together with other youth. There were 3 different mission organizations working together to coordinate this effort resulting in 105 youth being able to attend the camp. Expensive and elaborate facilities are not necessary for youth to have a fun and profitable time together. Cooking was done outside by the ladies of the local Pai church, the nearby creek was used for bathing, and dorms were set up in the buildings on location. Several teaching & singing sessions were organized each day along with devotionals and organized team games. The youth enjoyed their time together and many sad goodbyes were spoken on the morning of departure. As missionaries we were happy for this opportunity for the youth to interact together. In the Pai unbelievers culture little opportunity is given for young people to interact. As believers they are seeing the great benefits of interaction with each other.
That’s exactly what a Pai fellow did in order to attend the month long teaching sponsored by us missionaries.
Fabio & his wife Mirta had attended the CRB (month long Bible teaching) last year. During that time they heard the phase 1 Bible teaching and as a result accepted Christ. They really wanted to return again to study at another month long session. When they did not come missionaries Wayne & Mark decided to go look for them. Arriving at the tribal community where they lived they found their home way back in a little valley surrounded by hills. Finding Mirta at home she related to them that they wanted to go but were discouraged by the fact of how far it was to walk. The last time they walked the whole distance of 30 miles in order to attend the teaching. They had almost given up the idea of going but now the missionaries had come by truck to take them back. The only problem was that Fabio had gone to a nearby ranch to work for a while. His wife Mirta was sure that he would gladly go so Wayne & Mark agreed to go look for him as well. Finding him right at quitting time Fabio quickly got his things together and along with his wife returned to attend the month long Bible teaching. Work is not always available yet Fabio & Mirta were willing to sacrifice in order to hear God’s Word.
Pray for them that they can be a light in the area where they live and eventually begin teaching God’s Word in that area.
In May we finished up the month long teaching that we regularly do here among the Pai. There were 7 families that attended who were not from the local area here. Some of these couples were already believers and some were not. The Bible teaching was divided into 2 groups. Ephesians & 1 Corinthians were taught to one group of people that are already believers. The other group was taught the phase 1 foundational teaching (creation to Christ’s death & resurrection). This teaching is for those that are unbelievers or have an unclear understanding of salvation. At the end of the teaching we heard several testimonies that were of great encouragement to all of us teachers. One young married lady in particular gave a clear testimony of salvation.
"I didn’t realize until now that I had been living in spiritual darkness all my life" was one of the things she said. "Because I’m trusting in Christ paying for my sins on the cross God has put me in His family and taken me out of Satan’s family".
Pray for Zuni and her husband Ricardo. Ricardo says he is understanding better the Gospel message but that it’s not totally clear to him yet.
The ultimate desire of a missionary is to see people come to know the Lord and to see them declaring their faith through baptism.
This was the case recently as we observed the baptism of 29 Pai believers. This time there was not much need for missionary involvement as the Pai believers themselves baptized these younger believers.
For some Pai this declaration of their faith is not without cost. One woman quietly left the house to be baptized so as not to upset her husband who constantly gets upset about her being a believer. Another teenage fellow wanted to be baptized but couldn’t make it because of the threats of physical harm by his father if he was baptized.
This is the name of the month long teaching session we do as a team among the Pai. We teach 4 different Bible classes during the main sessions. We also teach many other topical subjects as well. We missionaries do this with the help of the Pai men & women otherwise it would be an impossible task.
There were 9 couples and some singles that were able to come from farther away. They came to hear the teaching and for learning how to teach the Phase 1 teaching so they can teach their own people in their community. Some were brought by other missionaries travelling all day to get here. The Pai believers are happy to host the visitors that come to study for the month knowing that it will truly help the visitors spiritually.
CRB (Curso Rapido Biblico)