The subject of culture and language associated with this process, often comes up with missionaries. A drastic change such as moving to a different culture and language can be a stressful and sometimes emotionally painful thing. Attempts are made to understand and help the missionary to deal with this part of their work. Is it possible that the very stresses we try to overcome are actually designed by God as part of the work, rather than a side effect of it? It is always comforting to know that someone else can relate to your discomfort. It is a helpful thing to be able to say “I know how you feel.” However, what we say after that may not be helpful; it may be dangerous. More
The call to follow Christ is not an easy one. Some of Jesus’ hardest words were spoken in the context of his calls to discipleship. In John 12, shortly before his arrest, Jesus reflected upon his imminent death and interpreted it for his disciples: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (v. 24). So the principle is a universal one; it’s woven into the very fabric of nature. All life-yielding fruit bearing begins with death. Then, Jesus goes on to apply this “death principle” to his followers. What was true for Jesus was true for them as well. If they were to bear much fruit, they too must fall into the ground and die: “Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also” (vv. 25-26). Those who would follow Jesus in his fruit-bearing life would have to follow him in laying down their lives. Dietrich Bonhoeffer put it this way, “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.” (1) More
There are certain things we are used to seeing in our village. People heading out for the day’s fishing, a few kids getting a ride to the school 10 miles away, ever-present roosters searching for their breakfast and of course wandering dogs. Nothing new. Thats the rhythm of life here. It’s a nice rhythm that doesn’t beat to the drum of a clock.
So it was a break from the ordinary running into a man we usually have conversations with named *Ur. Running into him wasn’t strange, but seeing him hoist a ladder up to a street light was. As we quizzed him about this unusual event, we found out that the street light was broken. In fact, all of the street lights were broken. This was very surprising to me, since the village only received power 4 years ago. More
“Hey, that’s my language!” said a local villager as he sat outside our medical and dental clinic listening to the New Testament in his native Zapotec language for the first time in his life. In fact, this was the first time anyone in “People SMQ” (about 5,000 people who live in four neighboring villages) heard the Word of God in their “heart language.” Many have, perhaps heard small bits and pieces in Spanish (their second language) but never in their “heart language.” Why is hearing in one’s “heart language” important you may ask? One village put it like this, “I have heard some of the Bible in Spanish before but when I hear the Bible in Zapotec it sticks because Zapotec is in my blood.” More
Guest Post by Chris Johnson
To Every Tribe did an awesome and weighty thing on January 14! During our 2012 Open House, To Every Tribe adopted an unreached people group in the mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico. We first came into contact with this people group (named People Q for security reasons) during a 2011 scouting trip conducted by To Every Tribe missionaries. These same missionaries are now focusing on the People Q as the location for a church planting team.
People Q is the second group To Every Tribe has adopted in Oaxaca. A To Every Tribe church planting team now lives in a village of the first people group. That team is in the process of learning both Spanish and the Indian dialect of the people, as well as acquiring cultural understanding.
During the adoption ceremony, a formal letter of commitment was signed by the President of To Every Tribe, David Sitton, and our Mexico Field Director, AJ Gibson. AJ began the ceremony with an explanation of the people group adoption process. Missionary Chris Johnson then explained how To Every Tribe came to discover and begin to develop relationships with People Q. The ceremony ended with a wonderful time of prayer for People Q, for a team to go and give their lives to bring them the Gospel, and, no matter what the cost, for a church to be planted in this region of spiritual darkness.
To Every Tribe will continue get to know the People Q better through medical clinics we are planning for the village. We pray for the People Q regularly: for God to open their eyes and save them, and to build His church in that mountainous area. The formation of a team to reach the People Q is already in process. Please pray for a team of church planters to become well-formed and quickly deployed to the village, for the glory of God and the advance of the gospel of Christ into this unreached region.