We are learning Portuguese right now! Well, at least a little bit.
But we are learning Portuguese not to learn Portuguese but to practice and learn how to learn a tribal language. We want to start learning a language as a child does it.
It points at things and then the adults or other kids say whatever they are pointing at. In the technique we use which is called total physical response (TPR) we ask the language helper to quiz us on things we learn and we point out to whatever the helper is saying, which is simply the reverse way. The theory is that this way our brain is better involved in language learning then by doing memory cards.
After 3 days out in the cold, we made it back! We had an awesome time out there! Just as the purpose statement of the class said it should bring the stress level up. And it did! Johanna and Ben had to leave after the first night (in which we did not sleep most of the time since Ben was crying a lot) because he became sick and ran some high fevers. But they were able to come in each morning and stay for most of the day. We had a couple of very interesting classes that will come in handy on the field. Check back later this week to see a bunch of pictures and a full update.
Today we will start a 3 day camping trip without tents. We will walk to the campsite with the use of a compass and gps, locate the tarps we need for shelter and the food. Upon arrival we will begin to set up our shelters with the use of string and tarp. During these three days we will have several outdoor classes and learn a lot of things about living in the outdoors and surviving on as little as possible.
The temperatures are in the 60s and lows of 40. Please pray for a good time out in the woods and especially for Ben that we can keep him warm!
This is the power system that is used to power a house in the tribe.
This is what happens if a cable overheats and burns up.
working on our own wall
tightening the srcews down
I have never build a house, nor even thought about doing it. I have no clue how to wire it and to provide electricity where there is none and what exactly needs to be thought through. This is a bad situation to be in when you are supposed to build your house overseas right?
We had a class called Missionary Technology, where we learned a ton of stuff from people who work in the NTM Tech Center on campus.
What would we be without our NTM Tech Center, a place where missionaries test, develop, modify and build devices that need to be used on the field? Lost, is the answer!
It is very encouraging to see how the body of Christ works together in this. Not everybody is skilled in that area. But God provides people who are experts at this.
If you live at a place where you have no power lines near you you need to provide your own power. Same thing with water. How do you provide clean drinking without having a water company delivering it to your house or being able to buy drinking water at a nearby store? These are some of the things we learned in class.
We also had soldering labs and got help in planning our future house. We are super thankful for having such people here that dig into material that we do not understand for the most part.
Seit zwei Wochen ist die Schule in vollen Gang! Dieses Semester hat bereits mit sehr praktischen Themen begonnen, wir lernen in Missionary Technology alles vom Löten bis zu wie man seine eigene Solaranlage baut.School is running since two weeks! This semester started out very practical with Missionary Technology. We are learning a ton of stuff from soldering to building your own electric power supply.
Today we finished our first week of classes and really started to settle in here. We love this place and the people! They are all really welcoming us and happy having us here. It is incredible to see the wisdom at this place with a ton of missionaries that worked on the field for quite a while and now being back here to work in maintenance, teaching or other things. We feel like we can learn a ton from them and their experiences with the Lord. It is so amazing to meet them and see how humble they are!
We are in a lot of classes right now and finished one already. We start off slowly with mostly basic introductory kind of classes which will be build on later in the course. We will have the responsibility to do a weekly ministry to practice what we are learning here which is 8 hours per week required for Frieddy and 4 hours for Johanna. Please pray for wisdom to choose a ministry – we have a ton of options here!
Right now a class that really sticks out is worldview analysis. We will learn what worldviews are, how they develop and how they can be changed to a biblical worldview.
Everybody has a worldview. A worldview is basically the lens which we see life through. It is an even deeper level then our values.
This is the level that we don’t think about but think with. It is like a pair of glasses that we use without even recognizing all the time that we look through glasses now. Sounds a little bit confusing? It does to me! But it is important for us to understand that because that is the level in which we need to minister, instead of addressing outward behavior or values, the worldview needs to change because it influences everything else. This is ministry at the heart level. This is a huge challenge. We need the Lord to really work on their hearts when the Bible is presented. Please pray for us as we are going through classes that we will be able to learn all that what we need to go and effectively minister in a cross-cultural, third-world context. Please pray for us also that we will be able to find a good church.
Wayumi is over. We had an incredible time being reminded by the missionaries to keep the focus and to see God’s big plan for the world.
Starting in Genesis and walking throughout history we saw God’s desire for having a relationship with man. This relationship was hindered through the fall and in the rebellion against God, which resulted in necessary judgment of mankind at the flood and the tower of Babel. Paralleling history with Romans 1 we watched mankind becoming more and more distant to God and actually forgetting the truth about him and making up their own ideas about God. Their minds became darker and darker .
They finally arrived at a stage where they are still at today: Totally lost until somebody brings them the Gospel and the light of God’s truth will begin to enlighten their understanding.
Several missionaries who worked for more then a decade in tribal works told us how darkened the understanding of those people is. There can be no greater darkness then at the absence of light. For example: Animistic tribal people (which most of them are) view God as a distant being not involved in what is going on here on earth. In one of the tribes people feared the water because of a spirit that would make them die, but that kept them from cleaning themselves which created a bunch of deadly sicknesses for them. Another one is that people don’t drink anything when they have diarrhea – which can lead to death because of loss of fluids. Another tribe throws handicapped babies in the jungle where they get eaten alive by ants because they believe that the babies are evil spirits. There are a lot of examples where truth was turned around and exchanged with a lie.
They live in total darkness and have no access to Godly light unless someone brings it to them. What they need is truth, the truth of the Bible.
Who has the truth? It is us that possess the truth and therefore the responsibility to share it. Thinking about that again was a very challenging thought for us.
Today we butchered a pig and prepared a tribal feast – a mumu. A mumu is a specific type of meal from Papua New Guinea where food is cooked on hot stones in a hole in the ground. We put the pig meat, potatoes and sweet potatoes in two layers on top of the hot stones and covered the whole thing up. In Papua New Guinea they use banana leaves instead of aluminum foil 🙂
See for yourself how we prepared the mumu:
After 2-3 hours the food was ready to eat and we had to get it out of the ground. Wow that was delicious! One of the best barbecues ever!