Monday, August 15, 2011

Meetings in Mibu

Mid Saturday morning. I was working on a project under our house when I noticed Sesi coming up the trail to our house. I could tell just by the way he was walking that he had a purpose... and that he was pleased about something.

I stopped what I was doing and walked out to greet him. Then it clicked. Ah yes, this morning they had had a meeting for the men of the church; one of the first ones they'd been able to get together for quite some time now. Sesi and Keteng had been trying to get regular meetings like this going on and off for about a year now, but just couldn't get anyone to show any interest. The purpose of the meetings is to pray and discuss church matters (planning, issues, etc). The two of them wanted to try one more time here to get a meeting together. I remembered the recent worry that nobody would show up again and that maybe people are just upset for some reason. All this came back to me as I pondered the reason for his happy demeanor. I realized that the meeting had happened and had probably gone well, so after some small talk I asked him if they had met.

Sesi's face lit up as he prepared to tell exactly why he'd come up. Before he started though, we agreed that it would be good to talk over some coffee in my house. Once inside, what he proceeded to tell me had both of us smiling big and praising God. Quite a few people had shown up and were eager to be involved. They met and discussed topics of concern. Then they prayed together. Out of concern for the growth and well being of the christian community here in Mibu they focused primarily on these points in their prayer and discussion; 1) That God would help us, here in Mibu but also the church as a whole, to hear and follow his word and to be a good witness to those who have not yet heard. 2) After Sesi and Lookas have worked with me translating into chapter 3 of First Timothy, they've felt rather burdened about the need for overseers and other servants of the church to emerge over time. They acknowledged that nothing we men can do will make the right leaders. It's all God. So they asked God to begin to prepare these folks and help us discern who among them is qualified. They also discussed some other church issues like meeting times, and other smaller topics.

Knowing that a small contingent of national believers from the Itutang people is scheduled to visit this week. A good part of their discussion revolved around what they hoped to get out of their visit. The visit is part of an effort to provide mutual encouragement between churches. We hope that the visit of these Itutang men will be a huge blessing to the Mibu folks, maybe giving them some insight into their own church maturity and direction. The Mibus are extremely excited about it and as such, developed a game plan; a schedule and a list of topics they want to discuss with their Itutang brothers. A couple of the bigger topics they're hoping to talk about are persecution in the church and also to share about struggles that each church encounters.

Then finally, in their meeting, they decided to plan ahead of time a few of the topics they want to discuss and pray about next Saturday when they meet again.

Hearing about these men coming together for the sake of community dependance on God's direction and in the heart of keeping things moving forward was a huge encouragement to our hearts. Please join us in a prayer of thanks to God and also that this kind of involvement could be maintained over the long term.

Other prayer requests:
1) We're planning on traveling quite a bit over the next month and a half (Aug22-Oct5). We'll be away from Mibu all that time, attending a full month's worth of language and translation workshops and then attending our annual regional conference. Pray for our family during our travels to the different locations. Pray too for the workshops to be a fruitful time of both learning and fellowship.
2) Also keep the Mibu church in your prayers during our time of absence; that they would continue in faithful dependance on God's direction, in whatever they face.
3) Continue to pray for the translation process here. It seems so slow sometimes. We need constant growth in our abilities to be able to get this job done.
4) Pray for the health, logistics, finances and other support that is needed throughout this entire translation process. God's economy doesn't suffer like ours does. We trust and rest in him for all our physical needs as well as spiritual.


No comments: