Ministry to remote tribal group faces new challenge and new goals

By January 14, 2009

Papua New Guinea (MNN) — Bill Housley with New
Tribes Mission
is seeing the Gospel come to life among the
Inapang speakers of Papua New Guinea. "When we went in about five years ago, we spent a lot of time
learning their language and their culture. And then when we presented the Gospel, basically the whole village made
a switch from their old ways to their new ways." 

Teamed with Mike
Henderson, a missionary who is experienced in tribal church planting, and Aaron
Hefner, a missionary from Senegal, Housley flew into an Inapang village to encourage the
believers as well as assess the church's growth.

Before returning  to the U.S. on home assignment, he wanted to
make sure the literacy teachers had all the supplies they needed and that they
were looking to the Lord for strength and guidance.

The Inapang villagers are excited
about ownership of the ministry. Already, they have plans for teaching. The
chief and the literacy supervisor said, "The Lord is helping us….because
you all taught us well and have put it in our hands like you said you
would."

In fact, they have plans to step
out of their comfort zone and teach literacy. Housley says, "This year, there's going to be an outreach to the
next village. One of the goals this year is to get enough Bible lessons
and translation down there to where we can do the outreach."  

According to the ethnologues,
there are fewer than 3,000 speakers of the Inapang language. The next step is to preserve the written
language by getting a Bible translation ready.

Housley says, "I've been
working on it for about a year now. I'm
thinking that when I get back, I'll have about five more years and then another
year with the printing.  I'm hoping that
in about six years, they ought to have a copy of the Bible in their
hands."

Pray for the Inapang believers as
they begin their first literacy outreach. Pray that they will look to God for
strength and guidance.

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