I appeciate a clear instruction, don’t you? I’m sure we all have had one of those misunderstandings in a conversation, (and that we ourselves have been the culprit), where someone “asked you” to do something, when what they really did was say something like “man, this drawer really needs to be fixed” instead of “would you please fix this drawer?”
I’m so grateful for how clear the great commission is – how Jesus spells out exactly what missions ought to be aimed at.
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
When I did my training with Finisterre Vision, our first class was on “Big Picture” which provided us with practical steps to pursue the fulfilling of the great commission, and helps us to keep our ministry horse on track and stay focussed. The 10 points of the big picture are as follows:
- Partnership development
- Arrival on field & orientation
- Making first contact
- Moving into the village
- Culture and Language learning (CLA)
- Pre-teaching prep
- Evangelism (Chronological teaching)
- Establishing the church
- Phase out
So, where are we at in ministry currently?
Our whole team have completed the grey columns, 1 through 5. The Mitchells and myself are busy with Culture and Language Acquisition (explained down bellow) and the Canns, having finished CLA, are busy with Pre-teaching preperation. Step 8, 9 and 10 are yet to happen in our ministry.
The 10 steps explained:
- Training. Training was a 6 month program through our organization (Finisterre Vision) to better equip us for the tasks at hand here. Zach & Ryan both received seminary training as well, and Zach & Cass studied phonetics too.
- Partnership development. We spent time speaking to different churches and individuals about our desire to partake in the command of the great commission by “going” to Maweroro. We are very grateful for the fellow workers of the truth (3 John 3-5) who share in our desire and support our work here.
- Arrival on field & orientation. Once training was complete and I had the support needed, it was time to leave home and come to PNG. I spend spent time in a little town in PNG called Madang, learning the local trade language, Tok Pisin. Usually (as the Canns & Dodds did) this time is more lengthy since time gets spent researching different language groups, picking a potential village to move into, and then…
- Making first contact with the village that you are considering to move into, telling them what work you’d like to do in their village and if they’re interested in having you, you’ll be…
- Moving into the village. After the Canns and the Dodd’s picked a village and received approval from the village leaders, ground was given and they built houses along with the help of the villagers and 2 short-term missions teams. Since the Mitchells and I moved into a work started by the Canns and Dodds, we skipped doing surveys, making first contacts, and house building. After we finished learning the trade language, we skipped ahead to moving into our already built village house, and started with…
- Culture and Language Acquisition (CLA.) This gets worked through in 4 different stages, and usually takes about 2-3 years, depending on how difficult the language is to acquire. Here are two blog posts on what Culture and Language learning has been like. I’ve finished my 1st and 2nd check and am planning on doing my 3rd check in about 2 months from now. The Canns have finished their last stage 4 check in June, 2019, and have moved on to….
- Pre-teaching prep. This is a big job consisting of literacy classes, Bible translation, and lesson development in nDo for the Chronological Teaching. When that is completed…
- Evangelism!!! This is about 3-6 months of teaching, a few days each week. After each teaching session, we will sit with the people and make sure that they’ve understood what has been taught. Please pray with us that, by the end of this year, our Maweroro friends would’ve heard the Gospel and have obeyed the call to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. Following that will be the next big task of…
- Establishing the church. This is sixfold – Baptism, Preaching, Bible Translation, Discipleship & Counselling, Evangelism and Developing leaders.
10. Phase out. When the church is equiped to continue growing “into mature manhood” (Eph 4:11-16) on its own, we will leave our Maweroro friends and come back home. Though our home will not be with them anymore, we will always be praying fervently for their growth in the Lord, and will, Lord willing, be able to visit them occasionally.
There it is, our 10 step plan! As a team, we desire to stay focussed on what the Lord has commanded us to do, to keep our eyes on the target, to not loose focus, and to do whatever needs to be done in order to hit the “bullseye.” What a joy it would be if someday, we can walk away from Maweroro and say that we’ve, by the grace that God supplies, done in Maweroro what He’s commanded us to do in Matt 28:18-20.
Please pray for the success of every God-ward goal we have, and every action we take to obey the Lord, as Paul, Silvanus and Timothy prayed for the Thessalonian church, as recorder in 2 Thes 1:11-12:
“To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”