Saturday, April 2, 2011

Children of Hope... Part 1

Children of Mibu
One thing that often gets overlooked in our updates is the children of Mibu. Yet, more and more, the focus of the church here is on the youngsters. These young ones are where it's at when considering the long term continuation of the gospel message and thus, the survival of the church here in Mibu. I've heard it well said that, "If we don't learn how to train our children up to know and honor God then all this (the Mibu Church) will fall down someday."

So true. But this is no small hurdle to overcome. As you may or may not remember, a couple of years ago Shannon and I worked on developing and teaching some parenting 'basic training' type lessons. The idea was to plant the seeds of basic biblical parenting principles. The lessons covered topics such as God's design and his view of parenting, God given parental authority, His expectation of parents, our need and expectation (even having the goal) of obedience, basic disciplinary principles, and more. These lessons have been taught through one time (with the need for much review in the future) and printed as booklets. These printed booklets have been distributed to every family.

But as many of us parents have learned (and are still learning), changing patterns of parenting is a long, often very difficult journey. Adding to that difficulty is the fact that many of the old patterns here had arisen from a near zero hope of the parental capacity to shape and direct children, as well as a lack of understanding and/or willingness to exercise parental authority. The beginning of this journey here in Mibu has a sharp learning curve. At the moment, we would estimate that we're somewhere pretty early on in that curve with a ways to go.

With the current shortage of manpower present here the continuation of lessons and discipleship in this area is slowed tremendously. We're encouraged that Shannon has been able to get out with the ladies each week and spend time reviewing some of the topics in the parenting lessons, adding depth through more practical examples and discussion. Yes, we are indeed seeing growth as parents begin to take hold of the biblical truths that have been taught.

More useful than the book though is the idea of seeing these principles lived out before them; an example they can follow. Our family dynamics aren't perfect by any means. At the heart of things we share all the same struggles that our friends in Mibu do; Anger, frustration, feelings of hopelessness, apathy and more... All these are our natural bent. It is here that the one thing that can truly shine forth and make a difference is God's loving grace. His grace provides us with the foundation needed for forgiveness and understanding and unity as well as the ability to continue forward with our eyes on Him. When family life begins to be characterized by an understanding of his grace then that family is onto something. We hope and pray that our family and the families in Mibu would only continue to grow in their understanding and experience of the outworkings of God's loving grace in their lives.

In order to help you, our prayerful and financial supporters, 'connect' with this area of life in Mibu we'd like to take the next few updates and try to open up for you a window into the world of the children here in Mibu. If you feel the burden as we do, would you take some time to be in prayer on a regular basis for the future of these young torch bearers and for the parents, who by divine appointment have been given the task of passing the torch.

FYI... Translation check postponed
We were ramping up the excitement for our upcoming translation check. But unfortunately as our translation consultant was traveling from the US, he was informed that his wife had had a heart attack. We're glad to hear that she's OK now and ought to recover nicely. But this means that our translation check will have to happen another time. Till then, we'll just keep plugging away on this huge job of translating the New Testament.

1 comment:

Theresa said...

A lot of good information here, and it's profitable to know specifically what to pray for. Love to all of you! Praying for you as a family, and for your health!