Saturday, October 1, 2016

A Place to Call Home

Last month we shared with you about God providing us with a potential place to build our home in Enga in the village of Immi. We want to thank you for all of your prayers and give you an update on our building plans.

The day after we arrived in Enga, we met with Benjamin Leo, the man who has offered a large portion of his land for us to build our home. We talked very openly about all of our expectations, and he was in agreement with us. The following week we met with all the community leaders and shared our testimony of how God brought us to the work of translating the Bible into the Enga language, and again we shared our expectations. The community leaders were all in agreement and eagerly welcomed us with open arms.

The village of Immi, where we will build our home, is part of the Dyuapini tribe. The Dyuapini tribe has historically been known for its incessant tribal warfare. However, a new generation of leaders is arising among the tribe, and they are refusing to continue the cycle of violence. At a ceremony on September 28, the Dyuapini tribe paid compensation to their (former) enemies, which is a customary way in Enga to apologize for past wrongs and put an end to fighting. At the ceremony, they gave 27 live pigs, 10 cooked pigs, 2 cows, and over $10,000 to establish peace.

The Dyuapini tribe giving compensation to their (former) enemies
Benjamin and I along with the community leaders made the decision that, just prior to the beginning of the compensation ceremony, I would get up and share a brief testimony in Enga, explaining how God brought us here, the work we are doing, and our expectations for building a home in Immi village. So I stood up and address the hundreds of people gathered around, yelling at the top of my lungs in Enga and sharing the heart of why we are here.

The last remaining order of business is to sign a Memorandum or Understanding regarding our house with the community leaders, which we are doing this very day as you receive this email.

We are thankful that God has given us this opportunity. Even though the Dyuapini tribe has a history of violence and tribal warfare, Martha and I both sense that this is where God wants us to be. We sense that God is moving among the Dyuapini tribe and that He wants us to be a part of the community. We pray that we can be a light in what has traditionally been a dark place.

We are scheduled to start building our house on January 23, so please pray with us that all preparations will go well. Thank you for your continued partnership, without which none of this would be possible. We greatly appreciate your support.