A timely letter

Though newer technology is making its way into some tribal areas, there are still people like the Daos who are very isolated from modern forms of communication - and even from the older form of letter writing.

Scott and Jennie Phillips, who are in the USA on home assignment, often wake up in the middle of the night thinking about their Dao friends and wondering how they are doing.

"We would love to write them letters," the Phillips wrote, "just like Paul wrote back to the places he ministered to. The problem is that even if we were to write back to them, there are no roads to where they live and there is no post office or postal address to which we would be able to send our letters."

As they thought about it, they came up with a possible solution -- writing to another mission station four or five days hike from their village.

"It is not too common that people from Dao are over in that area but every so often a few of the Dao men go over to that area to look for a wife or to trade," the Phillips wrote.

Scott and Jennie decided to write a letter to the Dao believers and send it to the mission station where some of their good friends work. Perhaps some of the believers would show up there.

"So we wrote the letter and put in it some much needed instruction for the Dao church leaders and evangelists, and also some encouraging words for the group of Dao believers as a whole. Then we sent it … though we had serious doubts that it would ever make it into the hands of the Dao believers."

The letter arrived to its appointed village last Thursday, first thing in the morning, and right around noon a group of Dao men, including the Phillips’ good friends -- Painaa and Kogeku -- showed up.

"They had made the four day hike over for their own purposes, having no idea that a letter was waiting for them there and they arrived just in time!" the Phillips wrote. "While they were there they passed on to our missionary friends over in that area that the teaching and outreaches are still moving forward. Amazing isn’t it! A little bit too ironic to be anything but God’s directing.

"God is so faithful! He is leading and directing His people both here and all around the world. Praise Him for His intricate working and encouraging both our hearts and the hearts of the Dao people.

"Please continue to pray for the Dao believers that they will grow in their faith and passion for Christ and His Word. Pray too for the teachers and evangelists we have trained, that they will stay faithful and keep teaching."