Today I went out to Hoax’s place again and found him erecting this fence to make a pig-pen for the piglets he expects soon. After chatting for about an hour (which is culturally appropriate prior to “getting down to business”) I told him what was on my mind.
I started by again telling Hoax our goals in Menya: to learn the tribal language, teach the gospel, translate the Bible, and train leaders and teacher in order to establish a self-sustaining church. I then told him how I had started that process with him by learning Pidgin and sharing the gospel with him, but now I would be leaving. This makes my “gut heavy.” I explained that I don’t want Hoax, now that he has heard the gospel, to live the same old life just waiting for heaven. Instead I want him to live his life for God in the way that God would want. To accomplish this, Hoax needs to be growing in his knowledge of God and his understanding of God’s will. I read the first twelve verses of Colossians to illustrate Paul’s similar desire for new believers. Having said all this, I told Hoax that there is a Bible Study going on very close to Sobega (a 45 min walk for Hoax) being taught by some other missionaries every Sunday and Wednesday night at 7pm. I told Hoax that I want him to go so that he can continue to learn and grow. I also told him that six months (or so) when I come back to visit him from Menya I want to hear from him about what he has been learning or about how he has been teaching his family or neighbors.
Hoax was excited about all this and expressed his thankfulness that I have been thinking about him and am concerned for him. He said he liked the idea and would come to the study. I’m not sure, though, if he will come because of his relationship with me or because of a desire to learn and grow. And right now, as I write this, it is 5pm on Wednesday and has been raining most of the afternoon, so I don’t know if he will walk all the way in the muddy dark. Please keep praying–I would love to get him hooked on this study before we leave. I’ll keep you posted.