A big frog feast

It's not what you or I would think of to illustrate Philippians, but it was great for the Dao people.

If you are privileged to be a Dao tribal person, you look forward to the moon at its highest and biggest; the time when it is the fullest. This is the perfect time because it makes the hunt for those delicious frogs easier. No need to carry a burning torch to light the way.

Sometimes the dreaded clouds begin to sneak in after the hunt has already started, covering up the source of light little by little. The more clouds, the fewer frogs can be seen. The need to wait and hope the clouds clear is critical so they can continue their hunt without getting lost by wandering off the trail.

But as the clouds move out of the way and the stars and moon begin to shine through again, the gathering of enough frogs to make a feast continues.

Scott and Jennie Phillips, missionaries in the Dao tribe, tell how Debatoma spoke about the analogy his people’s hunting practices relate to living in the light of Jesus.

He used Philippians to explain, “Just like the full moon and stars give off light and bring good things to us Dao people, when we live in the truth of the Creator’s Leaf Book [Bible] and according to the ways of His good spirit within us, it is as if we also are shining out and giving light to the things around us in the darkness.

"But if we let the dark clouds of sin creep into our lives and go off of the good straight trail our Creator’s only Son Jesus has laid out for us to follow, those clouds will grow thicker and thicker and our surroundings will grow darker and darker.”

It’s clear that the truths of God’s Word speak very practically no matter what the culture. Being able to relate to real life practices is something that only the spiritual eyes of faith can see.

This “unique cultural illustration” is what Scott and Jennie are thinking over as they translate and develop Bible lessons each day. “Sometimes the clouds move in. Sometimes we lose focus. Sometimes we stray off of the very trail that gives us purpose, the trail by which we receive anything and everything good. Then if we are not careful, eventually we are no source of light to anyone or anything at all.”

Pray for the work here in the Dao village as the Word of God is being translated and discipleship is taking place. The church needs wisdom so as not to let the things of their world to cloud their eternal perspective in the everyday things of life.

It is the believers’ prayers that their light will shine as 2 Corinthians 4:4 says for the lives of another neighboring group who has not yet heard the truth and continue to live in darkness.