Even to the End of the World…..
Guest Post by Paul Brown
“Is this the end of the world?” I thought as we again drove to the remote mountain village of Canaan last week. Now I know we were only close. This week I think we reached the very end.
And what a warm and joyous welcome we received in this village of Hoe Dua. We have been seeking to get here for over six months, but the road (if you call it that) has been impassable because of the rain. It is a..l..m..o..s..t impassable for a vehicle anytime.
And here we found Christians. An elderly man told us that a missionary had come in 1978 and preached the Gospel, but did not stay long. Several said that they were converted then, and there is good evidence of that.
As I spoke for nearly two hours, going over the Gospel, there was not only riveted attention to the words as Lek interpreted, but joy reflected in their countenances.
After I finished, the elderly man said with beaming face, “That’s the Gospel! Thank you for making it so clear! That is what we believe!” (Again, thank the Lord for a faithful interpreter that loves the Lord and loves his own tribal peoples). In the discussion time that followed the elderly man went on to tell us that they have not had a pastor among them for many, many years. Maybe over five years ago one had come from time to time, and he was not very educated in the Scriptures. Then several years ago A’sa, who labors with me, went to preach to them, but has only been able to get there three or four times.
When I first came into the village the children ran from me. One particular little boy looked at me and burst into tears, and ran away. But it wasn’t long before they were almost smothering me. (This would be a good way to die.) They were such warm and teachable precious little ones. They were soon picking up a few English words. I wish I could pick up LaHu as quickly as these little minds were getting English.
They do have solar panels for electricity, but their water is very poor and the cause of a lot of sickness. We brought portable water filters with us in case we were stranded. We gave five of our six to them, but these aren’t sufficient for a village of 13 families. They said that these would help a little, particularly while in their fields and while hunting in the jungle. They asked if we might be able to help with a larger filter that will work for the whole village in the future. We are praying and will be looking into that.
Though food and water are essential, they said they had a greater need: “We need a pastor! Will you pray for God to give us a pastor? We need a pastor who can lead us and teach us the Word of God.”
I told them that this was my great burden, to train pastors and missionaries to reach and care for the Lord’s sheep. I then said, “Maybe the Lord will raise up one from among you to come and join us in January for the preachers’ training, or maybe the Lord will call one from among those men to come here.”
Brethren, pray for this need as well as the others.