Martin Mar 2021 - Papua
Every time we visit Kosarek, it seems to have a slightly different feel to it. Last December was festive and loud, with lots of activity surrounding our house. Our visit this past February was back to a normal pace of visitors and activity. Yet there were several significant conflicts that arose during our time there that allowed us to assume the role of peacemakers. It was such a blessing to have Scripture in the Kosarek language as a roadmap for peace. A number of people involved in one of the conflicts expressed their sincere doubt that it could be resolved. Nevertheless, the resolution became a testimony of the power of the Good Message of Peace that unites brothers and sisters in Christ.
The Bible gives us many examples of forgiveness, encouraging us to value other people at least as much, if not more than ourselves. It warns us to deal with our anger before Satan can use it to divide us. Conflict is going to happen; but it was a rewarding experience to be part of showing the Kosarek people how to deal with conflict in a biblical way rather than in the anger and slander that characterizes "the old self," and the old cultural norms. We walked away from each conflict mentally tired, but confident that every party had been heard, and
feeling that peaceful restitution had begun. We LOVE being able to use the Scripture that has been translated. Adit and Putri asked Mike to lead devotions with the teachers of their school on Monday mornings. What a joy it is to listen to these teachers interact and think through Scripture in their own language. Adit and Putri commented on how the teachers are more involved in the discussion when Mike leads because he does it all in their native tongue.
Mike also had the weekly opportunity to work with the evangelists in preparing their Sunday messages. One of the churches we visited approached Mike and invited him to deliver the sermon "on the spot" that Sunday morning.
Bible translation is a long and tedious task, but it is so worth the effort to witness God's Word reaching deep into people's inner thoughts.We also had time to celebrate while we were in Kosarek.
Our sweet, little, adorable neighbor Fena turned 4 years old. Amy got the opportunity to bake her a cake, and we celebrated the occasion together with her family. Many people in Kosarek do not even know their actual birth day. Yet this little girl had a cake to celebrate the day she was born. That is something pretty special in Kosarek land.
Following the traditions of their Javanese/Chinese culture, Adit prepared a traditional meal to celebrate the start of Putri's 7th month of pregnancy. We are excited to meet this precious "Kelme" (Kosarek word for "girl") someday soon!
Of course, we couldn't let February 14th go by without celebrating it in some fashion. Amy made a special coffee treat, enjoyed alongside some fried treats from Adit. It was like a Kosarek cafe!
Life is much more simple in the village. The older I get, simplicity seems all the more precious. There is no pressure for "big, better, best." Whether it is making a cake in a pressure cooker and decorating it with candy, or merely sharing food and fellowship with neighbors, that is about as fancy as it gets; and it is good enough!
We're thankful that...
Amy received her resident visa just in the nick of time!
Consultant approval was given for the publication of 2 Corinthians! Only four remaining books of the New Testament need to be approved!
A group of Kosarek men decided to donate their honorarium from a government project to provide Kosarek Scripture portions to all of the local churches!
Pray with us for...
Our planned trip back to the United States in May to attend Creston's graduation from USAFA, and to connect with all our kids and parents.
Mike and Gerson as they will be working on the Gospel of Matthew in the next couple of weeks.
Peace and harmony within the Kosarek team, and in the local church as we work cross-culturally.