Today (Sunday) Geoff and I hiked down to Beng, one of the two nearby villages about forty minutes away, for church. When we got there, we found out that church was happening in the other village, Mibu. I was thankful that we had not brought any children with us today since that meant another twenty minutes of hiking.
There isn’t a precise schedule for church, so once we arrived in Mibu we waited and talked for some time before church started. It didn’t conclude until 1pm. When it was over, as I prepared for the thirty minute hike up the mountain in the rain, I was thankful for the emergency Cliff Bar in my backpack (thanks Keevers.) Overall, it was a fair workout and I arrived home dripping, but pleased with my rain gear.
Despite the extra hiking and the pouring rain, it was a very encouraging morning. Last Thursday Posilonge,* (pictured above) and I had a great conversation about Galatians 5 and the fruits of the Spirit. Galatians is not a book that has been translated into their language yet and has not been the subject of any church lessons. So using Pidgin and the Pidgin Bible, I had done my best to talk about what Paul had written about the fruit of the Spirit and specifically about the fact that we are dependent on the Spirit to produce these good things in our lives.
Today after the church lesson on Romans 12, Posilonge stood up with something to add. The only thing I actually understood (since he was speaking in their tribal language) was “…Galatians 5….” When I asked Geoff afterward what Posilonge had said, Geoff explained that Posilonge had been relating the instruction of Romans 12 to the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5.
Though I don’t know exactly what Posilonge said, I’m sure you can image how thrilling it was to see God using a simple conversation of mine to influence Posilonge and in turn the Mibu congregation. As Geoff said, it was obvious Posilonge had been thinking quite a bit about Galatians 5. Additionally it was sobering to think about how hungry these believers are for God’s Word in their own language. A day like today makes me excited about our future ministry and eager to “get started.” I hope that all of you who are a part of this with us are equally encouraged.
*Posilonge is the guy who has been my most consistent “language helper” here in the bush and certainly the guy with whom I have spent the most time during our stay.