Praise God with us for seekers inquiring about unclear translations. It opens doors for great conversations. In the passage on prayer, the word for “knock” was used. Although a proper word, real entrance doors in Laarim are few and far between. So when a listener heard the phrase “knock and it shall be opened”, he immediately thought of the more frequent use of “knock” as “beating (people)”. He recognized this idea did not fit with the other parts of the story!
The elders of one community stated that they now know the stories of the Bible. A missionary wanting to help them understand it is not enough to just know the stories, gently asked why the big tree under which we were meeting was not cut down and used for firewood. The community group said it was a good tree and provided for them shade and fruit. Other trees which are not helpful or bearing fruit are cut for firewood, he was told. It was a natural lead in to share that God sees us as trees. He wants trees that are bearing fruit—the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, etc. Other trees will be cut down and thrown in the fire!
Marino, the now retired police chief, has been the welcoming host for a weekly Discipleship Bible Study in his compound; the group is predominately young males between the ages of 6 and 12 years. Recently he asked if he could come for regular Bible study with one of our team members, which he has faithfully been doing. Now he is inquiring about baptism, so a special teaching time has been arranged for him and some of the youth from this compound group. Pray for the Holy Spirit to baptize them also with His presence and power, so that the Spirit can teach them all that they need to know in applying the gospel to their lives in this culture, and remind them of what they have heard. Marino was the outspoken leader who said to the AIM surveying team ten years ago, “Come and teach us the Word of God. That is exactly what our young people need!”
Two female youth recently were baptized and are learning the ways of God. Culture here dictates which clans can marry. In their new awareness, they have started to pray for Christian male youth of eligible clans to choose to follow Jesus also, as many of those making decisions thus far have been from their same clan group. Pray with them. Ask for the strength of these believing youth to stand up against the common immoral sexual practices of this people group, and prepare for a Christian marriage.
Angelo walks weekly to his family village of Karamorok for a Discovery Bible Study. He comes back with encouraging reports of how eager the people are to receive him and the Word of God. Yesterday, he returned with 8 boys who have declared they want to follow Jesus. I quizzed them for their testimony. Once their shyness lightened a bit they gave some encouraging answers. One said, “Before I knew Jesus, I had a mean heart. I did not care about others’ misfortunes. Now my heart is soft toward them.” We did the discipleship lesson on baptism and all 8 of them said they are ready!
Recently Naremo, a young widow who had bilateral cataracts, has had her sight restored physically through surgery. She is listening to the Word of God on a digital solar device, and she is attending a local Bible study in a village compound. Pray that she will believe the truth of the Word and see the big picture of God’s plan for her and her family—transformation through faith in Jesus Christ.
Pray for those contacted through the medical ministry. Pray that their physical needs will be the gate to their spiritual needs. Little five year old Lokine and his family and his ward mates are listening to the Treasure recordings of Bible stories and songs much of the time, along with observing the lives of believers.
Pray for the new believers who are youth. Three young men were baptized this past week, and ten more youth will be studying the discipleship lesson on baptism this week. One who was recently baptized with his family members is an unschooled youth with definite spiritual insight. Pray for the believers’ boldness and courage to share their testimony and all that they are learning with others.
Nakai and Napir, two Laarim girls, were baptized this morning. Praise God for building His church among the Laarim! Pray for these two girls to grow strong in the Lord and share with others the good things God has done.
On team day, we dedicated 80 Treasures, loaded and ready to give away. This is a huge milestone that required many hours of Bible story crafting, translation and recording, editing, and choosing/adding memory verses for each one. In addition, almost 200 chapters of scripture were recorded by various Laarim readers. Also 21 original Laarim songs were carefully recorded and included. Despite its small size the Treasure has a speaker that is easy for a group of 20 people to hear well. We are pleased. Now we are planning and praying for the right people to give them to. We consider these to be 80 little digital missionaries to take the Word of God to the Laarim in ways we cannot. Please pray for many Laarim to hear the Word and respond in faith.