It was a Sunday morning when missionary Matt Musser glimpsed his friend, Metinas, running toward him.
“An nemberak u ngok worak,” Metinas told Matt breathlessly. Across the valley in a distant village, he said, his grandfather was gravely ill. Metinas begged Matt to go with him to see if there was anything he could do for the old man.
“I grabbed my pack and we took off for the village across the valley,” says Matt. “We knew that Jakob had been to town a couple of months back trying to find out why he had been so sick. The doctors in town had no answers and he had been sent back to his home village to quietly pass from this life surrounded by his family and friends.”
Matt already knew there was nothing he could actually do for the dying man. “I knew that there were no meds that would help and with each step, although my head was telling my legs to move forward, my heart was telling them to run as fast as they could in the opposite direction,” Matt says sadly.
After hiking for two hours, Matt and Metinas finally reached Jakob.
“Things didn’t look good,” Matt says. “A crowd had gathered outside his hut. I set my bag down and slowly crawled up next to him through a small opening into the dark smoke-filled hut. He looked up at me, waiting for me to say something.”
But the right words were not there yet, Matt explains. The language barrier was still too great. After three years of diligently studying the Kora language, Matt felt able to communicate in the complex language only in a very limited way. He knew his language skills were not nearly enough to clearly communicate spiritual truth.