Scriptures in use … stored in the heart … applied to life’s everyday situations. That’s the goal.
a mature church look like? New Tribes 5 What’s Mission looks at it from four different angles.
thousand incantations. Intricate rituals and 7 Asacrifices. Gravesite meetings with spirits. Sacred
stones, fetishes and poisons. Saling and Jajing had power … but none of it satisfied them.
to teach God’s Word doesn’t just open 10 Learning opportunities for tribal people to minister. It opens
doors to deeper understanding of the Scriptures.
12 before they could hold a Bible in their hands.
The Mibus came to treasure God’s Word long
A Closer Look: God’s Word for the Church Missionaries to the Field Pray Give Go Send Celebrate Viewpoint: Firm as a Cacha Tree 2
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Truth is on the move
in the faraway, secret world where tribal people live. God’s Word is stepping down from planes, or climbing out of canoes, or hiking into remote jungle villages across the world. It’s arriving in the form of missionaries who hold it in their hearts and are willing to live it out and eventually translate it and teach it to the people living there. The light of God’s Holy Word is boldly making an entrance where only darkness reigned before. Its truth is penetrating empty, searching souls, and engaging hungry hearts in powerful, life-changing faith. And the results are nothing short of miraculous — God’s Word is becoming the fabric of their lives. NTM missionary Jill Goring, who coordinates the team that provides direction to Bible translators around the world, has had the privilege of seeing those results many times over. “There’s nothing like seeing Suduwama [from Indonesia’s Gerai tribe] asking for his third New Testament because he’s already worn out the first two or Ata elders [from
Papua New Guinea] teaching the Epistles with more clarity and power than most seminary graduates,” Jill wrote. “The Scriptures in use … being stored in the heart … applied to life’s everyday situations … It’s what every translator dreams of and prays for.” In tribes across the world, the dream is coming true. And it is a sign of the ultimate goal every NTM missionary is aiming for — a mature church. How believers relate to God’s Word is one way NTM measures that maturity. And a body of believers living and loving the Word is a true sign of success. But that doesn’t simply happen by handing people a Bible. It involves the Spirit working through missionaries to weave the truth of Scripture into every fiber of 3
their lives — from the eager first hello to the tearful wave good-bye. From the moment a missionary sets foot in a tribe, their life is a living, breathing example of God’s Word. A theologian once said that his favorite translation of the Bible was done by his mother — she translated Scripture every day of her life. So do missionaries. The Yembi people of Papua New Guinea noticed how different the missionaries are. Nina Buser works hard in the garden even though it is all new to her. Tony Sutton doesn’t yell at his kids to get them to listen and obey. Missy Schroeder has a quiet strength they’ve never seen before. The people wait for the missionary men to yell and hit their wives like the Yembi men do, but it never happens. And they wonder why. When the formal teaching does begin, the tribal people will continually evaluate whether the missionaries have proven that God’s Word really is true and worth believing by how they have lived it before them. Weaving God’s Word into tribal lives also requires a careful translation of the Bible. But not just any translation. The people must be able to understand the written language and comprehend the intended message or all the translation work is in vain. To accomplish this a meaningful translation is done in the heart language of the people (the language learned from birth and used when speaking to themselves in their own minds) so that it can be read and understood. For example, these were instructions of how to put on a life jacket for tourists taking a river trip down the Danube in Eastern Europe: “Helpsaving apparata in emergings behold many whittles! Associate the stringing apparata about the bosomes and meet behind.” That was supposed to be English. But it is not my English and I would venture to say, not yours either. It is a translation,
What is the first step in turning a bunch of jumbled pieces into a finished jigsaw puzzle? You look at the picture on the box. The picture of how it should look when it’s finished guides you toward your goal. And that’s why New Tribes Mission has a mature church model. This detailed breakdown of how the mature church should look allows missionaries to periodically review where they are in the process of planting a church, and what they need to do in order to stay on track. NTM’s model looks at the church from four angles. God’s Word for the Church: This relates to God’s Word penetrating and working in a culture. For instance, one sign of a mature church is that “believers will treasure God’s Word as His communication of Truth, and therefore as their complete, final and absolute authority.” The Life of the Church: The mature church is a stable body of believers. What they do and how they function will reflect their own unique culture, under the direction of the Holy Spirit. They’ll respond to cultural dilemmas in a scriptural and socially appropriate way. Discipleship in the Church: Discipleship involves not simply Bible teaching, but a system of teaching and training that equips people for the role God has for them. In the mature church, much discipleship will also take place informally, as believers lead and teach by living for Christ. Identity of the Church: How is the church seen by those outside the church? How well do the believers understand who they are as a body? Ultimately, a healthy view will result in the believers in the mature church stepping out in faith to play their role in the Great Commission. This is only a broad outline. In the 2007 issues of NTM@work, we’ll look in more depth at each of those areas. In this issue we explore God’s Word for the Church.
but not one that English speakers tribal people choose to believe what can understand. Unfortunately, they are hearing, a church is born. many such Bibles translated by wellGod’s Word enters a tribe and lives meaning missionaries are sitting there, is translated and taught, and gathering dust, rotting in rusting now fully engages the hearts and barrels. Since the tribal people can’t minds of the people. Life will never be understand them, the translations the same. And neither will Heaven. don’t do them any good. Only God’s Word holds the keys and Sondik, a Tobo man in Papua has the power to conceive, birth, grow New Guinea, is thankful that NTM and eventually, reproduce another is dedicated to understandable newborn baby church. A “church” translations in the heart language based on anything else is a poor and instead of the trade language, even dangerous substitute. But the genuine though it is more article, a body of believers time consuming and who are faithfully putting “... hearing demanding. God’s Word into action, is a it in our very “Reading the Word of joy to behold. own language God in the trade language Melen, a Yagaria believer is like eating white men’s from Papua New Guinea, is like eating food. It is OK but the caught someone stealing our food; it taste isn’t very good. But from her garden. “I came tastes sweet hearing it in our very own very close to being angry and and good ” language is like eating saying harsh words,” she our food; it tastes sweet said, “but God helped me to and good,” he said. react in a way that would please Him. As God’s Word continues to weave After I got home I cooked some food its way into the tribal people’s lives, for the thief. I’m praying that he will another thread in the fabric is the come to the Light.” important skill of literacy. For the When John Wycliffe began to people to become students, teachers, translate the Scriptures into the and lovers of the Word, they have to English language, it was the beginning be able to read it for themselves and of the end of the Dark Ages. After 700 missionaries need to be faithful to years, God’s Word is now shining in teach them. the jungle as well. Two Tobo men from Papua New NTM missionaries are endeavoring to plant true churches — bodies of Guinea once hiked to a neighboring language group and were shown a believers so woven in the Word and Bible locked in a cupboard. It had so wholly living it out that neither been translated into the people’s they nor the world around them can language by another missionary. possibly stay the same. When asked why it was kept locked And Truth can move in our world, up, the people replied, “We were never just as well as it can in jungle villages taught how to read the Bible so it does thousands of miles away. It all us no good.” depends on whether God’s Word is a Another cord needed to thoroughly book sitting on a shelf, or Truth woven weave God’s Word into the tribal into the fabric of our lives. people’s lives is clear, patient — Debbie Burgett teaching. Evangelistic Bible lessons contributing editor explain the amazing plan of salvation from Creation to Christ. And should
Precious treasure “We, the group of disciples, want to say a huge thank you to you for your willingness to send the Genesis and Exodus books for us,” wrote a group of Semandang leaders and Bible teachers to missionary Darcy Berglund, who is translating the Scriptures into their language. “Those books are very profitable to us because they are in our own language. So when we study it, its meaning is clearer to us. We even know that certainly the cost of it was very expensive for you and the work of translating God’s Word to our language was not easy. That’s why we continue to support you in prayer so that this work bears fruit and quickly gets finished. And in our area of the village many people want to study, but they don’t understand the Indonesian language. So that’s why we need these books in our language.” Fourteen men and women signed their names. The Semandang believers treasure God’s Word in their own language. But it wasn’t always that way. In the beginning the Semandangs
were studying other things. Saling and his friend Jajing studied witchcraft, sorcery and magic very diligently. Their goal was to learn a thousand “verses” of incantations and thereby become the most powerful witch doctors in the area. They had written incantations but they did not have God’s Word in their language. They traveled far and wide studying with the most powerful witch doctors around, sacrificing time and material goods in order to learn the coveted rituals, ceremonies and incantations. Saling and Jajing spent much time fasting or going on special diets, and spent long nights alone at certain ancestral gravesites in order to meet with the spirits and gain special powers. They collected special stones and fetishes of all kinds, each with powerful magic. In addition they had many powerful poisons ready to be used in revenge or to get rid of someone who was more powerful than they. But they kept hearing about the “new religion” that many of the people in their village were embracing. 7
Hearing God’s Word, many were deciding to leave all the old ways of witchcraft, burn and smash their fetishes and special stones. Saling went over to his uncle who was also a witch doctor. He asked him for all the powerful items that he had accumulated over the years. But his uncle Ke’Kaup told him, “We’ve heard the new teaching from God’s Word and we’re turning to God and leaving all these old ways of witchcraft and idol worship. We don’t
believe in all these things anymore. We want to be free from all the taboos and things that were forbidden by the old ways. You’d better leave them too and follow God. Listen to my advice and follow along with us.” But Saling was not ready to follow his advice. Instead he took many of the powerful items from his uncle and retreated to his garden house to continue practicing his dark arts. Besides, he thought, I still want to get revenge on the man who poisoned me
a few years back. the past but all the sins I would ever Jajing also remained in his garden do. After that I had peace in my heart, house, wanting nothing to do with the it wasn’t heavy anymore. Since then “new religion.” I have joy and I’m confident I will go But neither Saling nor his wife was to heaven; not because of what I’ve satisfied. They noticed a difference in done but because of the grace and those who had left the old ways. love of God and the death, burial and “We can’t go on like this,” they resurrection of Jesus.” said. “All the others are free from all Saling arrived home and shared his the taboos. They can burn any type of faith with his wife and began teaching wood they want to and eat any kind her the simple Gospel message of of food they like. They aren’t afraid of salvation by faith alone, and she the powers of the devil any longer, but received Christ also. we’re still in bondage.” Soon Jajing saw the truth They decided to go back of the Gospel and trusted “... I had peace to the village and start Christ. He then led his in my heart, it following the teaching of wife Beth to Christ. Now wasn’t heavy God’s Word, but it was a Jajing and Saling who once anymore ” long road to true belief. studied sorcery together Saling and Jajing were working together made professions of faith and began to bring the Gospel message to the attending the worship services. They thousands of Samandang people who were even baptized, but reflecting back had not yet heard the truth. on that time Saling says, “I memorized At that time, working together questions and answers, but it was only with the missionaries, they began in my head. It hadn’t reached my liver. translating God’s Word into I confessed with my mouth that Jesus Semandang recognizing the need for died on the cross for my sins, but it Scriptures in their heart language to was only head knowledge. I thought to grow spiritually. Finally they would myself, ‘I only have a few sins; others have the written Word to reinforce have a lot.’ I didn’t really know Jesus.” the Gospel message. The missionaries Saling and Jajing continued and Semandang believers prepared studying and even helped teach the evangelistic Bible lessons and lessons. The teaching was still by word Scripture portions. of mouth only. Darcy Berglund, who had grown up Then in January 1978 Saling in Indonesia, joined the work in 1992 attended a conference with missionary to concentrate fully on the translation Ron Risse who was going to move to project. Saling’s village. “It was then that I Today more than 3,000 became clear about salvation,” said Semandangs follow Christ. Twenty-six Saling. “It’s no good trusting in good elders and deacons have been set apart works because I’m just not able to do for ministry by their local churches. good work.” From the original six churches, 20 Saling asked Ron, “How can I more groups of believers have formed. receive salvation?” They spent the Jajing and Saling are leaders in the night at a homestead and studied long church now and have God’s Word in into the night. “It was there that I their own language. It is their most first received salvation,” says Saling, precious commodity. — Dena McMaster “I knew then that Jesus died on the contributing editor cross for my sins, not only the sins of
equipped to teach Nelson and Mirna, a Pai Tavy Tera couple, braved persecution and threats in order to hear God’s Word at the Rapid Bible Course. Mirna’s mother opposed their attendance. She began spreading lies about them and even threatened to take away their child. Since in Pai culture the wife’s mother has the most authority over the marriage, her threats were very real. Nelson and Mirna persevered and made the trip to attend the course, a month long program taught by missionary Bob Goddard in Paraguay. Nelson and Mirna were able to hear the entire series of chronological Bible lessons from Genesis to the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. They heard a clear presentation of the Gospel. Their decision to attend the course changed their lives. For many Pai couples it is a sacrifice 10
to come to the course, but they return again and again. Antonio came three times by himself and the fourth time brought his wife, Eva. “I’m understanding what I’m reading and I’ll be able to read the Bible for myself,” Eva told Bob. Antonio had shared with her what he was learning and now Eva was able to understand his excitement and thirst for God’s Word. Antonio and Eva live far away and it is difficult to be away from home for a month, but they came to learn Biblical principles so they could teach others about God’s Word. Missionaries Bob and Lavon Goddard are working to equip Pai Tavy Tera believers to teach using the evangelistic Bible lessons. Pais gather from all over Paraguay to attend the teaching program, return to their villages and begin Bible studies. The Goddards have several goals in
teaching the course. Above all, they want to establish the Pai Tavy Teras in their faith. Their other great desire is to enable the Pais to teach the Biblical principles to others when they return to their villages. Bob and Lavon’s son, Wayne, and Pyka and Marta, a Pai Tavy Tera couple, spent three weeks teaching the evangelistic Bible lessons in a Pai village at the invitation of another mission group. Most of the Pais had never heard the entire Bible lessons presented in that way and many gave testimony that they were encouraged spiritually. Pyke also taught lessons about marriage which people eagerly received. In a culture where marriages have traditionally suffered greatly because of alcoholism and abuse, God’s principles of marriage are much needed. Several Pai couples have
united to teach other couples God’s Word concerning marriage. Pai Tavy Tera believers are reaching out to other tribal groups with the Gospel message as well as those in their own villages. Recently one couple moved into a Mbya village and began teaching them evangelistic Bible lessons. Now a Mbya believer, Fransisco, has a great hunger for God’s Word and is teaching evangelistic Bible lessons with the help of the Pai Tavy Tera believers. Recently Pela and Graciela, a Mbya couple, attended the teaching. The believers are spreading the Gospel throughout Paraguay by studying God’s Word and then going out and reaching others with that precious, life changing Word. — Dena McMaster contributing editor 11
Truth Rings Clear Passing by his friend Sesi’s hut one morning, missionary Joey Tartaglia heard several Mibus talking. He called out and was invited to join them. About a dozen Mibus sat around the fire pit earnestly discussing recent events in light of what they were learning in the Bible lessons. The local delinquent was threatening the village with sorcery. He claimed that a man who recently died of tuberculosis had really died by his power. He also warned that another 51 people would soon die if his demand for a wife was not met. Joey sat listening to the men tell each other that sorcery has no power over them, and that they should not give in to the demands because now they believe what God is saying. Joey’s stomach flipped. This is it, he thought. This is what it’s all about! “To hear our friends siding with God even when it goes against everything else they have ever learned,” he wrote. “I will never forget the moment.” Before he left the hut, Joey shared an illustration. He held a flashlight close to the page of a book, revealing just a sliver of light around the edge. “This is the small amount of light or understanding that has been given to 12
you by the teaching of God’s Word,” he said. “You are choosing to trust in it, to believe it, and God will give you more light.” Gradually moving the flashlight farther from the page, he said, “As you choose to put your belief in Him, He will increase your light.” Later, Joey and his wife, Brooke, e-mailed their friends and family.
“Even where they are at now, not even knowing who the promised deliverer will be, they are choosing to side with what they know about God and His Word and His power.” This was just five months into the teaching and the missionaries had yet to tell them about Jesus. But the Mibus already knew God’s Word was important and trustworthy.
Before they even began teaching, the missionaries demonstrated in their conduct and conversation with the Mibus that the message they came to tell them was significant. It took a team effort, as Joey and Brooke, Chris and Angie Walker, and Geoff and Shannon Husa diligently worked to gain fluency in the Mibu language, taught literacy, translated God’s Word 13
and prepared chronological Bible lessons. All the while they engaged in the everyday life of the Mibus to show the love that had compelled them to come to the village in the first place. So when the time came, the Mibus were not only primed to hear the story that brought the missionaries far from home, but they had come to trust these new friends who did not manipulate or lie to them. Six weeks into the Bible teaching there was tension, confusion, distress and a myriad of questions. “My sins are many. How can I go to heaven?” “Should we sacrifice animals to God so that He will forgive us?” “How will the Deliverer that God promised make a way for me to go to heaven?” “All of our ancestors that died before hearing God’s Word. What happened to them?” After Keteng learned about the tower of Babel, he said, “I want to know what I have to do to believe.” As difficult as it was to not skip to the end, the missionaries knew these chronological lessons were essential building blocks to the Mibus’ understanding. “Be patient,” Chris urged. “God has provided a way for
you, but we must tell God’s story His way.” One time, after finishing a lesson he thought went on too long, Chris apologized, assuring the people that the next lesson would be shorter. A man stood and exclaimed, “This is God’s Word. How can a lesson be too long? I want to sit and learn as long as it takes.” The Mibus clearly saw that the message they were hearing was from God Himself and not something the missionaries were making up. “God created everything,” said Tima, who would later become a Bible teacher. “Who else can tell us what is what? He is not a liar. What He says is true.” Four months after hearing and believing the Gospel, Tima and other Bible teachers trained by the missionaries were taking God’s Word to the last Mibu village without the Gospel. The Mibus seemed to realize they had the life-giving Truth in their possession and could not, in good conscience, keep it to themselves. Geoff and Joey are thrilled to watch their new Mibu brothers teaching God’s Word. “It is so awesome to see the Mibu teachers presenting the material,
not straying from the outline, but The Jerung and Mina people often adding their own culturally relevant intermarry with the Mibus, so there illustrations that the Holy Spirit has are many bilinguals. When the Mibu given them,” wrote Joey. people heard the Gospel several Minas Kivisi, a Mibu Bible teacher who is and Jerungs who were also present now with the Lord, closed one lesson placed their faith in Christ. by placing two pieces of paper on Sesi and Keteng decided to teach the ground representing darkness translation principles to two bilingual and light. He told the people that all Mibu men, but were not prepared these years they have been living in for what God had decided to do. darkness, and now that the Word of Twelve men representing most of the God has come, they are beginning to neighboring tribes had caught the step towards the light. vision and showed up for training. The Mibu teachers also “Those from other spend time visiting with languages want to be “This is God’s the people, answering involved in translating from Word ... I want questions about the the Mibu language into to sit and lessons, just as the their respective languages,” learn as long missionaries had done Chris wrote. “The desire for as it takes.” with them, and the Mibus God’s Word is great and it’s pay close attention to the incredible to see the people teachers. taking as much initiative as they can The value the Mibus place on God’s to see it happen.” Word has translated into a desire “This message is not like anything to see neighboring tribes hear and that has come before,” said Sesi. understand the Story that brought life “When you hear this message for to their world. yourself, your thinking will completely After attending a translation flip over as mine has. Before, we had seminar with missionaries, Sesi heard bits and pieces of God’s Word, and Keteng wanted to teach others however now we clearly see what what they learned to prepare for an God’s message has been for us, and outreach among the tribes on their our [hearts] are overjoyed.” borders. — Donna Gibson contributing editor
Disciples need the written
make disciples of all nations. Matthew 28:19
Word of God that they read
THE MATURE CHURCH
A CLOSER LOOK
God’s Word for the Church by Chet Plimpton, General Secretary, NTM Executive Committee
The city of Corinth in the days of Paul the Apostle was as culturally corrupt as it was diverse. Against the backdrop of outward prosperity, the corruption of morals among the 600,000 to 700,000 inhabitants had become absolutely dissolute. Among men and women of ancient Greece and Rome, the term koringiavzein, meaning “to live as a Corinthian,” was used freely to describe a kind of life filled with debauchery and decadence. The phrases “Corinthian banquet” and “Corinthian drinker” were proverbial. It was in this society, composed of more than 200,000 freemen and more than twice that many slaves, that Paul the Apostle began to preach the life-changing Word of God. According to Acts 18:8-11, many Corinthians believed, including the chief ruler of the synagogue and all his family. When New Tribes Mission refers to God’s Word for the Church, there are two concepts that help define meaning and also determine ministry strategy. These concepts are Entrance and Engagement. Entrance relates to God’s Word
penetrating a culture. As Paul began to preach at Corinth, the Word of God, like a laser beam, began to penetrate the barriers of affluence and depravity set in place by the Corinthian culture. What happened in Corinth is described in Psalm 119:130: “The entrance of your words gives light.” The men and women of Corinth began to recognize that they were exceedingly sinful before a holy God, and their only hope for salvation was faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ. As the Word of God enters any culture, three factors contribute to its effectiveness: • Clear teaching of the Word of God, which Paul was determined to give. He later wrote to the believers at Corinth in 1 Corinthians 2:1-2, reminding them, “And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” • The life of the messenger. The
one who brings God’s Word must model dependence on God’s Word and obedience to what God’s Word says. For example, Paul reminded the Thessalonians in 1 Thessalonians 2:10 that they had witnessed how he lived a life that was holy, righteous and blameless among them. • A faithful translation of Scripture which can be read and understood. New Tribes Mission is committed to each of these crucial factors as we go about church-planting. Engagement refers to the effective work of God’s Word in any culture. After many Corinthians believed and were baptized, Paul’s ministry in some ways had just begun. Acts 18:9-10 records what the Lord said to him in a night vision: “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city.” As a result of the vision God gave to Paul, we read that “he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.” During this time the Word of God powerfully engaged the hearts and lives of all who heard and gave the new believers opportunity to apply the truth of the Word of God to their lives within their own cultural context. This resulted in major changes of belief and conduct. For example, the immoral culture of Corinth had a death grip on the new believers that only the engagement of the Word of God could loose. The worship of Venus, whose temple was situated prominently in the city, was attended shamelessly by the populace. One thousand female slaves were kept at the temple for religious prostitution.
The fact that all the new believers had been living in such a culture that devalued sexual purity, and some of them had obviously given themselves to shameful sexual practices, created real dangers to the purity of the Corinthian church. No doubt this is why Paul cried a warning to the church in 1 Corinthians 6:18, saying, “Flee sexual immorality.” Like the church at Corinth, churches from every culture are dependent upon the entrance and engagement of the Word of God for life-changing faith and for strength to stand against the encroachment of error. God’s Word for the church is His only communication of Truth and the complete and final authority for His church.
Think about it: 1. How would you describe the entrance of the Word of God in your life? Can you describe how the Word of God penetrated your spiritual darkness? 2. How is God’s Word continuing to engage your heart and life? Can you describe how the Word of God is bringing about changes in your conduct? 3. When you consider that one of the factors contributing to the effective engagement of the Word of God in the church is the life of the messenger, how do you evaluate your own life?
MAKES EVERYTHING CLEAR This Fall in Indonesia was drier and smokier than any in recent memory. But that was an opportunity for God to demonstrate His power and the importance of prayer. As Indonesians burned off land for planting crops in October, the smoke grew thicker and thicker. Each year this results in some bad flying weather, but this year airports were closed and flights were grounded. Missionaries who serve in isolated villages were left with few options for getting supplies or dealing with a medical emergency. They would have to wait for rain, though none was in the forecast. “But we know God controls the weather, and we’d like to ask for some rain,” wrote pilot and mechanic Michael Stroh in mid-October.
New Tribes Mission shared that request through the Daily Bulletin and Weekly Digest, which go out through e-mail, the NTM website and RSS feeds, allowing thousands of people to take part by praying.
MISSIONARIES TO THE FIELD Pat and Robyn Johnson Isaac
Pat and Robyn became Christians in 2001. Pat wrote, “Our calling to missions has been like a ride on the bullet train.” At one time, missionaries from NTM had a time slot of five minutes in their home church to share about the amazing work done among tribal people throughout the world. “We prayed … we trained with NTM Australia, and now [we are] in Indonesia doing language study, praise God!” The needs are many on the field and they are both excited to see the next step God has for them.
Indonesia Ministry: Church planting Sending church: Grafton Baptist Church, Grafton, New South Wales, Australia
Soon God answered, but He didn’t provide rain. At least not right away. “The smoke just lifted up to 3 kilometers visibility, without any rain,” wrote Christina Buettner, whose husband is a pilot in Indonesia. “The airports opened up again and one of our missionaries was able to fly out from interior after waiting to come out a long time.” “The thickness of the smoke clearing up overnight, with no rain, was a tribute to a powerful God. A God that is still listening and answering the prayers of His children today.” Then it rained … and rained. “A few days later the rains came and it has been raining pretty hard every night,” Christina wrote. The rains cleared the smoke and doused the smoldering fires, answering prayers by eliminating the problem completely.
Dan and Christin Janssen Olivia and Adelyn
If you’d like the opportunity to be vitally involved in planting tribal churches by praying for current prayer requests, subscribe to the Daily Bulletin or the Weekly Digest. The Daily Bulletin consists of three to five brief prayer requests each weekday. The Weekly Digest is a compilation of those requests that comes out each Friday. Read about answered prayer, get current requests and sign up at www.ntm.org/pray
Dan and Christin met in college and began attending a local church, where they were challenged spiritually to honor Christ in all they did. “We learned that to follow Christ meant asking Him to lead us and not trying to fit Him into our already established daily routine and goals for our life.” After discovering that both had separately felt drawn to missions, they began exploring and praying about opportunities in support roles, using their skills as teachers. On a shortterm trip in the Ukraine, Dan encountered missionaries who expressed the need for good teachers for their children. “When he came home we both knew … the Lord had made it clear! We are excited to see how He will continue to lead and guide us.”
Papua New Guinea Ministry: Math and computer teacher Sending church: Byron Center Bible Church, Byron Center, Michigan, USA
Philippines The rescue of NTM missionary Gracia Burnham from Philippine guerrillas, and the death of her husband, Martin, has dramatically increased interest in taking the Gospel to unreached people groups in the Philippines. As new missionaries continue arriving in the Philippines, the mission’s center of operations must expand to adequately support the nearly 200 missionaries now on the team. The five-story Martin Burnham Mission Center will provide a place where NTM missionaries can attend translation/church planting workshops and conferences, or convalesce, rest and refresh. The center will also provide much needed additional office space.
In January 2003, a Filipino Christian brother challenged NTM missionaries to take a step of faith and trust God for the 2,265 square foot lot next to their office and guest home in Manila. One year later, the land was purchased. The missionaries then believed God for an even greater step, the materials and labor to build the new facility. On a number of occasions during the building process, construction workers were told that Friday would be their last day, unless the Lord provided funds to continue work. Each time God supplied and the work continued uninterrupted. The building is about 75 percent complete and the funds for the project have reached 80 percent.
MISSIONARIES TO THE FIELD Madonna Yates
Madonna’s interest in missions began in 1993 when she taught missionaries’ kids in Zaire, Africa for a year. When she returned to Australia, she remained passionate about missions, but quickly settled back into the routine of her work and life. In early 2001, the Lord used a short-term mission trip to Papua New Guinea to challenge Madonna to rethink her priorities. She returned later that year to teach grade seven and eight at the NTM school in Papua New Guinea. While there, Madonna heard about the great need for tribal missionaries to work in church planting teams and sensed the Lord was calling her to work alongside tribal people and reach them with the Gospel.
Papua New Guinea Ministry: Church planting Sending church: Biloela District Baptist Church, Biloela, Queensland, Australia
Believers in the 500-member Embera Church in Panama are asking for a revised Bible translation. There are 15,000 Emberas in Panama and another 25,000 in Colombia. Providing an acceptable and easily comprehensible New Testament and abridged Old Testament in one volume to be used by the Embera churches will help them grow spiritually. The first and second phases of the project have been funded, and will result in a preliminary revision of the New Testament. Now funds are needed to complete the translation and prepare it for printing and distribution.
Schools for the children of missionaries allow missionaries to concentrate on their ministries while their children’s needs are taken care of. A dorm to house children is needed at Grace International School in Thailand, and the school in Guinea – which is reopening – is in need of housing and equipment. The dorm project for Thailand has just begun, as has the project to raise funds for equipment in Guinea. Twenty-six percent of the funds have been raised for housing at the school in Guinea.
Find out how you can play a financial role in what God is accomplishing in the Philippines, Panama, Colombia, Guinea or Thailand. Go to www.ntm.org/give for more information and for convenient online giving. Or call 866-547-2460 to donate by phone. To speak with someone about these or other projects, call 800-813-1566.
Ed and Debbie Jurimas Eddie, Ashley, Brianna
Ed and Debbie both grew up in Christian homes in New Jersey. They also trusted in Christ as their Savior at an early age. After they married in 1984, they began attending Philadelphia Biblical University. Through God’s Word and serving in their local church God used this time to direct them toward full time ministry. After completing NTM’s training program, they managed the bookstore then served as Food Service Director at New Tribes Bible Institute in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Now God has directed the Jurimas family to serve in the Philippines. “What a privilege,” Ed said, “to have a part in seeing people groups hear the Gospel for the first time in their very own language!”
The Philippines Ministry: Martin Burnham Mission Center Sending church: Fellowship Alliance Chapel, Medford, New Jersey; Immanuel Baptist Church, Maple Shade, New Jersey, USA
Does the idea of visiting remote villages and small towns around the globe excite you? Do you get a thrill out of hard work and rough living conditions? How about if you were strategically aiding the work of planting tribal churches? By tackling the physical side of tribal ministry you can free missionaries to focus on meeting the spiritual needs of the people. Check out these summer opportunities.
Papua New Guinea: May 23 - June 29
In the heart of the Bena Bena tribal territory in the Highlands, the Interface Campus has given more than 1,000 people the unforgettable experience of seeing up close the need and the challenges of tribal church planting. Many have become
MISSIONARIES TO THE FIELD Chad and Nichole Willson Tyler, Tori
God fostered a heart for missions in the Willsons before they even met. For Chad, the desire to teach the children of missionaries began more than a decade ago when a missionary teacher visited his church, and was affirmed by short-term mission trips to West Africa. For Nicole, God worked in her heart while serving one summer in orphanages in Ukraine and Romania. â€œOnce we got married in 2000, we felt like it was only a matter of time before God opened the door for us to return to service overseas.â€? Papua New Guinea Ministry: Teacher Sending church: Ripon Grace Brethren, Ripon, California, USA 24
July 12 - 28
missionaries after attending this college-level mission course. Now, after 15 years, the 28-acre campus needs some serious upgrades and repairs. Projects include building a small kitchen facility for interns, building a fire shed, repairing bunk beds, cabins, and fences, and painting, re-roofing, and remodeling. See for yourself the church planting efforts in nearby tribal villages. This is your opportunity to be a part of challenging the next generation of missionaries.
Just north of Chihuahua, the Missionary Training Center continues to grow and utilize all the building space as more Mexican Christians desire to be equipped in taking the Gospel to tribal people. Construction ministry plays a vital part in making it possible for dedicated national missionaries to receive this specialized training. Much work still needs to be done, such as pouring concrete, painting, woodworking, plumbing and electrical work. Youâ€™ll discover far more than just another culture and the excitement and challenges faced by NTM missionaries as youâ€™re exposed to various ministries on the field.
Special skills are welcome on all short-term trips but not expected, as you come willing to learn and work together.
For more on these and other opportunities this year go to www.ntm.org/missiontrips or call 800-233-4693.
Jon and Janet Mitchell Jacinta, Josie
Jon and Janet have lived and worked overseas, experiencing the vast wondrous world our God has created and the need to spread His Word. Jon and Janet were challenged into NTM when they came to the NTM head office, in Laurieton, Australia, to help with a building project. They started training the next year and are now looking forward to their ministry in Papua New Guinea. Papua New Guinea Ministry: Church planting Sending church: Singleton Baptist Church, Singleton, New South Wales; Raymond Terrace Community Church, Raymond Terrace, New South Wales; Adamstown Community Church, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia 25
THE GOOD DIRT — by Doug Schaible New Tribes Mission representative
We believers are privileged to be a part of God’s work, to be His children, to be all that He has allowed us to be. Yet there is one unfinished task that He wants us to accomplish: seeing those from every kindred, tongue, people and nation as members of His Body, His Church. The Lord, by His own design, decided to use us to reach those who have never heard. It is not that He is incapable of doing this. But if God did it Himself, we would say, “Of course! He is God!” But when He decides to use people rescued from Adam’s curse to reach those still under the dominion of the curse, all we can do is stand back and say, “Wow! What a God we serve.” He not only reaches lost people, but He does it using sinful, saved people. God has given to us the ministry of reconciliation and has committed to us the word of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18-19). If people are going to be reached, it will be through believers living in the fear of God, the power of the Holy Spirit and the love of Christ. Paul Fleming, the founder of NTM used to say, “Man, in and of himself, is nothing except as a channel through which God’s blessing can flow to others.” How true and yet many people have installed valves in their lives to limit the flow of God’s blessing to others or are corroded to the point
that the blessing does not flow at all. Why is that?
TYPES OF SOIL In Matthew 13, the parable of the sower tells us about four types of soil: hard ground, stony ground, thorny ground and good ground. Good ground is productive but hard ground is completely useless. It has not been prepared and has no way for the seed to penetrate it. The Lord says this soil is like one who hears the Word but does not understand it. As a result, the wicked one steals what was sown in the person’s heart. Stony ground is not useless but unproductive. It starts off fine but because the soil cannot sustain the
“Man, in and of himself, is nothing except as a channel through which God’s blessing can flow to others.” plants, they eventually die. The Lord explains that this is like someone who hears the Word and is excited about what the Lord has given him, but when tribulation or persecution comes, he falls away.
Too often persecution and opposition arise from other Christians. I have seen parents, churches and other believers exert tremendous pressure on people to keep them from following God and serving Him overseas. One mother told me that she did not want her daughter to be a missionary because it was too dangerous. She said she wanted her to work for a major corporation. I asked her if she would rather her daughter be a missionary or work for a major corporation in the World Trade Center. I know what her answer would have been on Sept. 10, 2001, but I also know what her answer would have been on Sept. 12. I think that many want to follow the Lord but they allow people and circumstances alone to guide their actions rather than the Lord and His Word. In thorny ground the seed falls and grows but is choked out. These are the people that lose an eternal perspective, believing that the cares of this world and riches really matter. They make a willful choice to devote themselves to something with no eternal value. I am afraid that many of us are in this category, allowing the world to choke out the Word. But good ground produces a crop, some 30, 60 and 100 times what was planted. Why does this soil produce and hard soil does not? Good ground is soil that has been prepared – plowed, raked, fertilized, cultivated and watered. This is the person who hears the Word, understands it, and lives it. Now, what does this have to do with reaching a world for which Christ
died? Just this: we all fall into one of these four categories. We all have to choose and that choice affects not only us but others. If, like hard soil, I have no understanding, then I have no reason to go to those who have never heard because I do not see the logic or need. If I am stony ground, then I will fear social pressure and circumstance rather than obey God to the fullest. I will have found the point in my life at which Christ is no longer worth the cost. If I am thorny ground, then I will let the pursuit of this world’s goods determine what is important in life. But if I am good ground, then I will study to discover what’s important to the Lord Himself and live in a way that pleases Him.
YOUR PART Your part in God’s plan is between you and Him. He alone has the right to guide and direct you. I do not and neither does anyone else. But I can guarantee you that He is not a hard Master and He will never do anything that is not for your benefit. There are several ways you can be involved in reaching tribal people with God’s message of reconciliation. GO as a career missionary, associate missionary or take a mission trip: www.ntm.org/go PRAY for missionaries around the world: www.ntm.org/pray GIVE to missionaries or projects: www.ntm.org/give PROMOTE missions among your friends: www.ntm.org/promote
“The people who walk in
For those who live in a land of deep darkness, In the steamy, swampy Sepik region of Papua New Guinea, the Sinow people have lived for centuries in spiritual darkness. Driven by cultural taboos, they lived in fear and superstition. Into this dark environment walked missionaries Frank and Mirjam Tertel in September 2000. They began making friends, building relationships and learning the culture and language of the people, bringing with them a passion to share God’s Word to the Sinows. In March 2005 Kelly and Sein Luyendyk joined them. Kelly and Sein quickly learned the language and Sein began translating the Scriptures into Sinow. As the team continued to study the culture and language, they learned cultural examples that would illustrate Scriptural principles. Mike and Jen Cratch and their three children joined the team in August 2006 and began studying the culture and language just as Frank and Kelly were ready to start teaching God’s Word to the Sinows. The Tertels’ passionate desire to bring the Gospel message to the Sinows was taking form, preparing to bring Light into the darkness. In October, the Sinows crowded into the village meeting house to hear God’s talk. They listened with rapt attention, asking questions when they did not understand. Most of the villagers continued to come and listen to the teaching. The young men and
women came to the nightly Scripture reading and they also asked questions. About that time Kilpet, who was helping Sein translate the Bible, began to realize God’s power. He was in the jungle when a tree almost hit him. Kilpet said, “The Person above all
“The Person above all persons saw me and stood beside me and helped me.
I was not killed.”
persons saw me and stood beside me and helped me. I was not killed.” Light was shining through the darkness. Each new principle that Kelly and Frank taught from the book of Exodus brought the Sinow people closer to understanding God’s message of salvation. When Frank taught a lesson about the Passover, he made a replica of a lamb, complete with wool, and a concealed bottle of red liquid to add realism. The neck of the “lamb” was cut and the “blood” was caught as it drained out. The blood was then painted on the doorpost of a “house” constructed in a corner of the meeting house. This helped the people to see that the shedding of blood is an important part of their sins being forgiven. Shortly after that lesson people began asking the missionaries what
darkness will see a great light.
a light will shine.” they could do to make God accept them. As more light was shed into their lives, the Sinows became more worried about their eventual fate. At the end of one meeting a man asked about the Redeemer he had heard about, “Will He help us be right with God?” The Sinows were definitely realizing that they were sinful and needed a Savior. In late November as Americans everywhere were celebrating Thanksgiving, Frank taught about the birth of Jesus. As the team taught about the sinless Savior, the Sinows began to fall in love with this perfect man. Plinia, who has attended every meeting said, “I don’t know exactly yet what Jesus has done for me. But whatever He did, I know that He brought me back. He is the Redeemer God has promised.” On Tuesday, Dec. 19, the Sinow people heard “the rest of the story.” The meeting place was packed and
people crowded outside to hear what Frank had to teach. He simply shared the death, burial and resurrection of Christ and let the people absorb the message. That afternoon, all the missionaries went to talk informally with those who attended the meeting. There were heart gripping testimonies of faith in Christ. Tears flowed freely as the missionaries rejoiced with their new brothers and sisters in Christ. The Light has shone into their darkness and lives inside those who trust Him. Tribal people in remote areas all around the world are hearing the Gospel. You can be a part of this thrilling story. You can pray for a remote tribal group, or you can give your life to bring Light into darkness in a remote area where there is no access to the Scriptures. Celebrate with us the Savior who died for every tribe, tongue and nation. — by Dena McMaster, contributing editor
FIRM AS A CACHA TREE by Paul Wyma NTM USA Chairman
A reverent sigh escaped as I gazed at this stained, tattered copy of a portion of the Bible that had belonged to Iquede, an Ayore believer. It is held together with sewing thread, evidence that he was trying to preserve it for a long time to come. The edges are worn from much handling and it’s marked up indicating some of the verses that God used in his life. He is now with his Lord and Master, but Iquede’s treasured copy of Ephesians continues to inspire me. The Ayore people, like many indigenous groups around the world, had only a few written symbols that they recognized. The seven symbols recognized by the Ayore’s represented their clan markings. It wasn’t until missionaries put their language into written form and taught them to read that they could even have the Bible in their language. As they became sons and daughters of God, many of them asked if we would teach them to read the “cactus skins.” Their eagerness to learn outmatched our capacity to teach them and before too long they were clamoring for more material to read. Maxine Morarie and her translation helpers were kept highly motivated by the urgent need to translate more of God’s words into their language. These people were not hearers only, but doers. When one comes to know 30
God accurately, and decides to be obedient to what He says, there is no limit to what God will reveal to that person and how God will use them. SOLIDILY PLANTED Iquede once gave testimony to the fact that as he was walking out to work in his garden, he saw a big bulldozer clearing land. The dozer was having little trouble clearing away most of the trees and brush, but every once in awhile he encountered a cacha tree. Now, the cacha tree has a taproot that goes down deep into the ground, like a giant carrot. As Iquede watched that bulldozer work to knock down this particular cacha he was entranced. First the dozer operator raised the blade to its maximum height and rammed the tree with all its power, endeavoring to get as much leverage on it as possible. The tree absorbed the shock, but remained solidly planted. Then he lowered the blade and put it on a 12 degree angle and began cutting away all the surface roots and removing as much dirt as he could from around the base of the tree. He raised his blade and hit the tree again and hit it as hard as he could. He backed off and came at it again, and again. But it stood firm. He piled all the loose dirt that he had dug up and piled it up against the side of the tree and built a ramp hoping to be able to hit the tree higher and topple it. He failed again and finally as Iquede turned to go he noticed that the dozer was leaving that cacha tree standing to continue his work of clearing. Later that day, when Iquede returned from work, he came to the
large clearing where this bulldozer had been working all day. He gazed across the expanse and noticed several cacha trees still standing. They were scarred and battered, but they were still standing. He told us later that day, “As I stood there remembering what I had witnessed that morning, I realized that Satan is like that bulldozer and we Christians are like the cacha. I determined that by God’s enablement, I want to be a cacha Christian. I desire that my roots be planted deep into God’s Word, that is unchanging. If I’m firm in Him, I will be like these Cacha trees I saw today. Satan, like the bulldozer, can come at us with all his strength and desire, but as we stand firm on God’s Word, we will stand strong in His grace no matter what Satan tries.”
THE LIVING WORD It is no wonder that God has preserved His Word down through the ages — and He continues to touch people’s hearts to preserve and translate that precious Message into languages that are yet unwritten. Recently, in Bolivia, the Ese Ejja people were presented with the New Testament in their own language! New Tribes missionaries have completed 43 New Testaments. Around 70 translations are in progress. Pray for our Bible translators. The enemy does everything he can to frustrate and to stop this work. Isn’t it a privilege to have a part in providing God’s living Word to people that have no knowledge of what He has said to us? How we praise God for your partnership in making the Word of God available to those that don’t even know that he has spoken. May God richly bless and encourage your hearts today as you pull out your Bible and are encouraged and nourished by His precious Word.
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Here to serve you NTM@work connects you with tribal missions and provides opportunities for increased involvement in taking the Gospel to ethnic groups who have yet to hear about Jesus.
Vol.65 · No.3 · February 2007 NTM@work team Executive Editor: Macon Hare David Bell, Debbie Burgett, Rex Crawford, Marilyn Engel, Hedy Enns, Mike Enters, Ian Fallis, Jon Frazier, Donna Gibson, Chris Holland, Kris Klebs, Doug Lotz, Dena McMaster, Stan Skees NTM@work is published quarterly by New Tribes Mission. Periodical postage paid at MID-FL, FL 32799-9625
to NTM@work, New Tribes Mission, 1000 E. First Street, Sanford, FL 32771-1487 Subscriptions NTM@work is provided free to readers in North America on a year-to-year basis. To receive the magazine or have it sent to a friend, sign up online at ntm.org/subscribe, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 407-323-3430. The magazine may be read online at ntm.org/subscribe. Requests to reprint articles should be directed to Executive Editor Macon Hare at email@example.com or call 407-323-3430. Contents of this magazine may not be reproduced in whole or in part unless expressly authorized in writing. NTM worldwide USA 407-323-3430 Canada 519-369-2622 Australia 011-61-2-6559-8646 Europe 011-44-1472-387700
New Tribes Missions quarterly magazine. The 07 editions have great articles on the "Mature Church Model". A must read for anyone in or think...