February 25, 2008

Markley Update from Dinangat

Dear Praying Friends,

As you know, the people of Dinangat have heard many Bible stories before, always in languages that were not their own. This week, as they heard the stories of Cain and Abel, Noah and the Flood, and the Tower of Babel, it was truly beautiful to watch them understand for the first time. Some people were taught that the story of Noah was completely figurative, that the ark is actually the world, and that God put us ALL in the ark, and so we are all safe. After the lesson, the people were all quiet. Gary went and spoke to Tom, one of the villagers. He asked him why everyone was suddenly so quiet.

“Because they are all measuring this talk. This is new talk. This story is really something. God just killed everyone… We are all thinking, ‘What can we do so this kind of thing doesn’t happen to us?’ That’s what everyone is thinking. Tonight I will listen to the lesson again and read the summary to think about it some more.”

“They said, “Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into the heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” Genesis 11:4

Now they have heard the truth, and seen that even though God started completely over again with Noah’s family, still, man chose their own way, and their pride led them to Babel. Here, we did a skit to give them a bit of a visual to see what it might have looked like when God confused the language. In the skit we portrayed the people trying to build their tower, and all of a sudden they couldn’t communicate even the simplest directives, then becoming totally frustrated, scared and finally they dispersed. This was huge for the people here. In a country with over 800 different language groups, they know well the frustration and fear of not being able to communicate to their neighbors. This language division is what has caused many tribes to live isolated, and has caused much warring among the people of PNG. They are understanding more and more that the root of every hardship is sin.

Here’s what Itrinke (man in above picture) said to the group. “Look, don’t think that because you’ve heard some of these stories before, you know it all. Look at me. I am a songong (a religious leader) and this is new talk for me!”

Giwet, a village grandma said to me, “Before, I’ve heard some of these stories before in Kote and Pidgin, and I never understood. Now I’m hearing it in my own language, and I understand! I’m so happy to finally hear the truth in my own language!”

This week we had our church planting consultants come for a few days to see how we were doing and if we had questions, etc. Normally, when visitors arrive, a few people may come and watch the plane, stay for a while, then disperse. This time, most of the village turned out. They greeted the consultants with GIFTS from their gardens (peanuts and oranges.) This has never been done before and it was a huge honor. Toji, our land owner, said to the consultants in pidgin: "I just want to tell you that we are so happy. We all are in darkness here in Sakam, but now these missionaries are telling us God’s word and we are so happy.”

We continue to praise God for bringing the Light of His Word to our Dinangat friends!

Also, do you remember a couple weeks ago we asked you to pray for a few people who had gone to Lae? This week, Yoro and his wife Wongege (with their new son!) came back! Please keep praying for the others! Bomi, Emma, Epepe and Morris are a few others who are also gone right now.

Please also be praying that next weeks’ lessons will continue to find their marks in the people’s hearts:

Monday – God chose Abram and guided him to Canaan

Tuesday – God renewed His promises to Abram

Wednesday – God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah

Thursday – God gave Isaac and delivered Isaac from death

Friday – God chose Jacob and rejected Esau

Thank you so much for your part in this awesome work that God is doing!

Jeremiah, April, Jordan, Judah and Alayna (who are also our co-workers and you’ll hear from them in next week’s update :)


Kari & Kijsa said...

What a wonderful thing is happening in this country....just wanted to stop by and say thank you...thank you...thank you for all of your sweet comments on my birthday (and happy birthday to your sister too)!

Have a blessed and wonderful day!

smiles, kari & kijsa

Kimberly LaBombard said...

Praise God - He is moving in ways we can hardly imagine. What an amazing thing to be part of. We are in training right now for living cross culturally. We are gonna be headed for NE Africa.
Thanks you for sharing.

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