Jason Williamson is not only experienced in learning languages himself. He is also trained in helping others to learn languages.
And Jason says one of the blessings he has enjoyed in the past year is the opportunity to assist some fellow church planters in their respective tribal works throughout Papua New Guinea by encouraging them in language study.
Recently Jason and a co-worker made a trip to several of NTM’s more remote ministry locations. “The teams in these places,” Jason writes, “have been trudging through culture and language study so that they can communicate God’s precious truths in a clear and accurate way. This is not an easy job and there are no short-cuts.”
Jason shares that when he learned the Tobo language, it was through the help and encouragement of co-workers and others who were trained to help others learn languages. “Man alive, was I thankful for the resources to help with that huge task,” he adds.
And now it is Jason’s turn to help others in the same ways he was once helped.
Several weeks ago, Jason and his language co-worker traveled via helicopter to sit down and visit with teams in several tribal locations.
In one case, after completing language evaluations, Jason and the co-worker were clearly impressed that one missionary couple, who had not had the opportunity yet to finish formal language study were actually nearly doing a fantastic job on the language and were nearly finished.
Jason told these missionaries, their team and some tribal elders gathered with them, “Learning a language is like a marathon. It has a start and a finish, but it’s a long road in between.”
By God’s grace, Jason told them, their missionaries were almost done and the finish line was in sight.
One of the believers responded, “I can see that very soon we will be taking this message out to our people. I hear this is what you’re saying and I’m so very excited.”
On another stop, Jason says that they flew to the mountains to visit the missionaries of another tribe. The last language evaluation for these missionaries had been nine months earlier. The language progress of these missionaries was also exceptional.
“We were able to tell one of the team members that they were done with ‘official’ language learning and could move on to curriculum development in preparation for upcoming literacy. Another teammate is on the verge of being finished and one new missionary family are blowing us all away by how quickly they are picking up the language,” Jason writes.
“What a joy it is for us to know that these people will soon be hearing about their Creator and the provision He made through Jesus Christ.”
Jason is thanking God for the blessings of these visits, which bring him new vision and motivation in his own ministry with the Tobo people. He also knows that the prayers of God’s people for missionaries who are studying culture and language are crucial.
He urges prayer for these missionary families who are studying languages and for the tribes they serve. Jason adds, “Pray that the people will have a curiosity about the missionaries and their message which will create a hunger within them for the Truth. Pray that they will understand the teaching when it starts and will come to an understanding of their sin and the remedy that God has provided.”