Dale & Carin LeRoy (left) of Pioneers came for a visit for the last time before returning to the USA, maybe for the last time. They are the ones who brought to the North Fly methods of „storytelling“ as a way to deliver the Bible. On the right is Godfrey Sim of Mission Aviation Fellowship, visiting for the Jubilee.
In 2013, Dale & Carin LeRoy of Pioneers returned to Papua New Guinea and introduced Simply The Story, which was adapted to the cultural context for the Pastors‘ Workshops trialed by the North Fly Bible team in 2014. This past year has in turn been focused on building capacity in the team, in infrastructure, and in financial resources.
Now in 2016, Dale & Carin are back in PNG for six months and hope to take the orality project to the next stage by introducing the concept of story sets. They hope to facilitate small workshops with a couple trainers to craft the first set. This set is designed to give an overview of the story of God’s interaction with his people „from Creation to Christ“.
However, the people targeted by this project have also been affected by the drought caused by the most recent El Niño weather pattern. Therefore, Pioneers is still raising funds to help with drought relief, as well. Anyone interested in donating to this project can do so through online: GOBASI PROJECT – PHASE II
Currently on furlough, Johanna and I look forward to returning to PNG in April and working with Dale and Carin. Our intention is to then be available to help ECPNG to continue this project and extend it into other language communities.
Saturday I was able to make my weekly two-way radio meeting from here in Ukarumpa. This time I talked to Pastor Kilas in Yehebi (Gobasi). They had had a young man from outside their tribe who was distributing marijuana, and then somehow went crazy and started threatening people. After a couple days he settled down enough to be escorted back to his home area.
Kilas used the occasion to urge the community to reject marijuana altogether. This is another side of the life of a pastor in a tribal setting where modernity is rushing in with all its attractions – some good, some bad. We are encouraged that this young, marginally educated pastor has had the courage to speak out in this way.
The other side of this coin is that he is asking for our help in encouraging another way of bringing an income into the community – rice production. This is another side of being a missionary in a tribal setting where the cash economy has developed just enough for people to realize how „poor“ they are!
We and the pastors want to concentrate on giving God’s Word, but we cannot ignore these practical needs. This is an important ongoing prayer need.