Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Mibu Church Evaluation

As you may remember we asked you to pray for an upcoming church planting evaluation. The evaluation is done, and we want to share with you some of the excitement we're feeling as a result of that recent evaluation.

Three of the more mature believers from the Itutang tribe came to help with the evaluation as part of their training (red shirts in picture). This is different than how things have typically been done in the past as usually it's just expats doing the evaluation. The Mibu people connect on a whole different level with others of the same nationality. The Mibu people had all their time planned out; time to show them around, times and topics for discussion, who would host them each night, etc. The Itutang men had specific areas they wanted to talk about as well during their visit with their Mibu brothers. Their time together went wonderfully and we look forward to how this new connection with another body of believers will work itself out over the years. We're already imagining visits back and forth and leadership meetings.

Overall the evaluation was very positive. It was really great to get an outsider's perspective (yet, one based on experience in similar situations) on where things are at with the Mibu church. There are so many good things going on in the Mibu church right now. The little bit of teaching that the consultants witnessed was done very well. Translation (though slow) seems to be communicating clearly. The church is encouraged to keep pressing on for the most part. Lots of good stuff.

Yet as is to be expected at this stage in things, there are still a lot of areas of need. For example, while the church has been taught and discipled well up to this point (and they're really getting it!), there is still a big need to continue that process and develop leaders and certain skills that will allow them to stand on their own without so much external input. And while the church has quite a healthy view of who they are as God's people and their purpose, there are a few things that might need to be touched on again to help them see how what they believe definitely doesn't mix with some of the other prevalent beliefs that still float around out there.

We were able to talk about some different ideas for keeping things going in a healthy direction. It was also pretty clear that there is still a big need for another full time couple or family to help out with the Mibu Ministry, mainly with the tasks of continuing lesson development and discipleship/training. The Mibu Ministry will now 'officially' be listed as having this need. We're praying and hoping for God to direct the right people to us here.

Thank you all for your prayers and support!

Geoff and Shannon

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