“We get to see God’s goodness on a regular basis here,” Eric Hedeen writes.
A recent journey to visit co-workers at a tribal village was no exception.
On a recent Tuesday morning, Eric and co-worker Tim Shontere, who is a church-planter in the Yembiyembi tribe, were to catch a flight for the first leg of their journey.
They arrived at the missionary aviation hanger to find out initially that the flight had been cancelled due to scheduling issues. However, the pilot cheerfully offered to change his schedule for the day and graciously bumped Eric and Tim’s flight to the front of the line.
“The Lord is good!” Eric affirms.
It was only a 35-minute flight to the small bush town with the airstrip where they landed. Once there, they experienced another blessing of God’s care for them.
Eric says that he and Tim had a few hours to kill before the boat was to arrive to pick them up. Even though the little village is “fairly developed by bush standards,” Eric and Tim didn’t have a lot of options for killing time while waiting for the boat. They decided to wander down to the river and once there, ran into a missionary couple from another mission organization who have ministry in that village. The friendly couple opened their home and the four spent time together sharing about their various ministries.
“It was an encouraging time and completely unexpected,” Eric notes.
Once again, God was at work in the details.
When their boat arrived, Eric and Tim were surprised to see it come ashore just 50 feet from the back door of their new friends’ house. “We simply stepped out their back door and jumped in the boat. What could be easier?” Eric says.
The five-hour trip upriver was smooth and uneventful and cloud cover even kept it from being too intensely hot.
Upon arrival, they were welcomed at the river’s edge by the Pei church-planting team and a majority of the 150 friendly and helpful villagers.
The church-planting team of missionaries that God has moved to the village to begin the task of learning the language and culture of the Pei people is composed of Justin and Lauren Rees, Chris and Evie Jones and Candace Swift.
“Our main purpose for making this trip was to help establish this church-planting team in the whole process of learning the culture and language of the people … three months from now, we’ll head back in to see how they are doing.”
Eric and Tim spent much of the two days in talking to the team about “the nuts and bolts” of learning culture and language in a tribal village. They walked them through getting into the village to practice different techniques for learning.
Another opportunity they had to serve and encourage the Pei missionary team was more in a practical area.
“Only the Rees’ house is more or less finished,” says Eric, explaining that the other two missionary houses still have a considerable amount of work to be done on them before they are completed.
Candace’s house still didn’t have solar panels installed and her chest-style freezer was not working.
“We had a bit of extra time … we offered to tackle those projects …