Tears of a Longing Fulfilled
Back in May, Josiah and Rachel Van Der Decker (Papua New Guinea) made the survey to find out where to build their house in order to work with Mouk co-workers to translate the Bible into the Anem language. As they arrived, the following took place, as told by Rachel: “I took a minute to sit down on a bench in the shade, grateful to be out from under the burning gaze of the sun. An old man whose facial features looked Anem made a beeline to come and shake my hand. The next thing I knew, one of his hands held mine, while the other wrapped around me in a tight embrace. And he was weeping. Loudly. As uncommon as it was for a man to hug a woman publicly, something told me this was okay.
“For this moment in time, the ordinary was eclipsed by the extraordinary. Our arrival had some sort of significance to him. The tears that fell freely from his face and onto my lap were tears of joy. Tears of hope. Tears of a longing fulfilled. ‘He heard the teaching in Pidgin through us Mouk,' our Mouk co-workers pointed out, ‘but he, along with the rest of these Anem believers, are longing to hear God's Word in their own language.’ Our coming meant he was one step closer to that day — the day when God's Word could be read and taught in the Anem language. The day when God would ‘speak’ the Anem language.”
Logistics and Timelines
Things are coming together to make the move happen. About 70 Mouk church leaders met to plan the logistics and timeline for the Van Der Deckers’ house-building process. The resulting plan was for Josiah to take the first load of house-building supplies (stuff for pouring concrete) into Anem on September 10. The Mouk are sending a team of guys down to Anem this week to start washing and hauling sand and gravel for mixing with the cement for the footers of the house posts. The Mouk are also locating a portable sawmill so they can begin slabbing the lumber for the house frame.
Transporting the building materials into Anem is on the agenda for the end of October, after which the house-building process will officially begin. The task force for getting the house built will be coordinated by the Mouk, who plan to involve several churches from other people groups as well as work teams from the Mouk church. The plan is for house building to continue through mid-December, with the move-in taking place soon after that.
What Hath God Wrought?
When we stop to consider how much has gone into the house planning (survey, logistics, building and moving), there is one thing that stands out. That is the magnificent work of God, leading in the hearts of the Mouk believers, moving them to reach out to the Anem. The Van Der Deckers are members of the Mouk team, taking their translating skills to the Anem people.
There is no doubt that the Lord has directed the Mouk church, the Van Der Deckers and the mission leaders to see this step forward in making the Anem church a thriving one. Pray for the Mouk believers, the Anem believers and Josiah and Rachel as they work together to see a thriving church in Anem.