Thursday, January 12, 2012

Hope for Tariknan

Tariknan was the very first place the Mibu church decided to start an outreach back in 2006. The teaching went well with a great response to the gospel message. Like Mibu most of the village who heard the gospel message came to believe that Jesus paid the price of death for their sin, thus restoring a broken relationship between them and their creator.

But relatively soon after that, as the bible teaching began to progress toward the growth and maturity of these new believers, something happened that has been a heavy burden on the heart of the church in Mibu ever since. Several key influential people there joined the opposition that came from the predominant religious system in that area. These influential people made it difficult for the teaching to continue, even frightening much of the rest of their community away from continuing to hear God's word. As a result, the teaching in Tariknan fizzled out with no one left to continue it.

Since then, over the years, there have been a number of folks in Tariknan who have said that they want the teaching to come back despite the opposition. The church here in Mibu has shared this burden with them and has tried to find a way to get the teaching jump started again in Tariknan. But each time the church found that they just didn't have the people in place to send. But this didn't stop them from revisiting the idea again recently. A couple months ago an exploratory visit to Tariknan was made by a small delegation from the church here in Mibu. They wanted to assess whether or not, after all this time, there might be some way to bring the teaching back. They needed first to find out who all is interested and where the teaching might be able to happen. What they found there was amazing! Publicly, a huge number of the people of Tariknan were asking for the teaching to come back. This includes those influential folks who originally led people away from the truth in the beginning. In fact, the one person who exerted the most negative influence back then publicly admitted that he was wrong for doing so and that he too wanted the teaching to come back. The people there said that they know they heard God's truth, but pulled away from it. Over time, they realized that their continued commitment to that other religious system was a mistake, and they thought they might not ever have the chance again to hear God's word. The overall sentiment was of great gratitude for God not having given up on them and continuing to pursue them through the efforts of the Mibu church!

The problem still remained though. Who would the church send to continue teaching in Tariknan? The solution; The church in Mibu has begun a new round of teacher-training. About 10 guys are being trained and discipled in their desire to be a part of the ongoing teaching needs both here and in Tariknan (and possibly other areas someday). Please be in prayer for these gentlemen as they are groomed for service by the church here in Mibu. Pray for their ongoing persistence in being faithful with the task that is being entrusted to them.

Quick update on Geoff's illness: Geoff returned yesterday (wed) to Mibu since being medevac'd last week. He seems to be completely recovered and we're not expecting any more complications. We're all super glad to be back together as a family! Thank you all so much for your prayers for us during this last week!

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