BY BJ SANDERS
We just finished our first year of Culture+Language Acquisition (CLA), and our consultants just came for our 1 year evaluation. We are thanking the Lord for His faithfulness in this process! We are 1/3 finished with CLA, which is right on track with our desire to finish within 3 years. Pray for continued patient endurance, and pray that God continues to give us an "unusual aptitude" (Daniel 1:17) for Wantakia culture and language.
One beautiful thing about the field of PNG is the consultant program--all the way through our ministry we will have consultants--CLA, literacy, translation, and church development consultants--these are missionaries who have gone ahead of us and are committed to see this ministry succeed. This week we had 5 of the consultants here, and not only were they hugely helpful for our CLA program, but they helped us keep in mind the big picture of the future church in Wantakia.
For example, our CLA helpers in the village are not just language vending machines where we press G7 and they have to puke out a new bag of language goodies everyday. These Wantakia men and women are becoming some of our best friends. Relationships are huge! We will be able to tell them (in their language) one day that "we have shared our very lives with you...and we toiled day and night among you," like Paul said to the Thessalonian church.
Our CLA and continued relationships with the people
That we will always prefer our teammates over ourselves
That we will keep walking with Jesus and being led by the Spirit