The teamwork needed to reach the Tangguat people stretched far beyond the Inapang and Tangguat villages, all the way to Indiana.
That’s the home of John and Margaret Martin, who have financially partnered with Tim and Tiffany Lanier, and helped in other practical ways. “Margaret is a graphic designer and has designed several pieces of material for us over the years,” Tim said. “There are many different kinds of things we as missionaries often have to be able to do and it is very helpful when people step up and help us with some of those things.”
“I love the work I do,” said Margaret, who works for Purdue Universities, “and believe that it is only by God’s grace I have a career in the field of graphic design at all. It is the least I can do to honor Him by using the skills and resources I’ve been given to further His kingdom.”
And she’s grateful for the opportunities. “I could decline to be a part of the ministry and watch their work on Facebook and say, ‘Yay, Tim and Tiffany!’ Or I could be invested through my gifts and talents and be speechless that the pittance I gave could be used by God and turned into something so awesome.”
In Florida, missionaries on NTM USA’s Communications team also play an important role in the Tangguat team.
Tim and Tiffany were just home from the field and needed resources to represent their ministry. The Communications team quickly prepared what they needed for meetings with current and potential supporters, “and the final product was very well done. We are currently using all these pieces of literature to further inform others about what the Lord is doing in Papua New Guinea. Their help has been invaluable to us.”
Rex Crawford, who coordinates that work, is also grateful for the opportunity to be part of the team.
“I play a small part in seeing that missionaries have the tools they need to present their ministries to churches and individuals,” he said. “Developing partnership relationships becomes easier with the quality tools we have crafted and developed.”
Closer to the village, but still a long way away, Dennis and Jeanne Best in the Tribal Resource Centre in Papua New Guinea have printed literacy curriculum and Bible lesson books and booklets for the Inapangs and Tangguats.
“Their help has enabled us to continue producing the huge amounts of materials needed to keep the literacy programs running there and to keep the new church fed with God’s Word through the Bible lessons,” Tim said.
“We count it a privilege to have a part of what God is doing all over the world,” Dennis wrote. “When the Tangguat church was born, we knew we had a part in seeing this happen, and this is what will last for eternity.”
“Our aviation personnel have been incredibly supportive of the effort going on there,” Tim added. “Our pilots, Ray Finsaas and Mike McGregor, have gone out of their way time and again to serve us and the church planting effort.
“Every time they come into the village where we live they are eager to know what the latest news is and what is happening. They pray for us and the church here, and it is clear that they and their families see themselves as an integral part of what is going on there and we are so thankful for that.”
“The thing that has kept me here through the hard times,” Ray said, “is knowing that my ministry is a vital part of a team effort to take the gospel to tribes like the Tangguats, who have never heard. The Tangguat ministry is an extension of the Inapang church, and for me it has been especially rewarding to watch this church planting effort unfold since the very beginning.”
Margaret has also found it rewarding to be part of the Tangguat team. “This may be a no-brainer, but you can’t outgive God. The older I get, the more I disdain the ‘stuff’ we spend our lives to get or achieve. … I support Tim and Tiffany in their work with the Tangguat people because God gave me life, and a mission, and abundant resources to use to further His kingdom.”
“What God has given us,” Dennis said, “He wants to use for His glory. Whatever skills, abilities, and gifts that He has given us, will have eternal results if they are placed in His hands to use in His way.”
“You don’t need to be a church planter to get involved in missions,” Ray added. “Our ministry is definitely a team effort, and we could not function without each other’s gifts and abilities.”
With countless other financial and prayer partners, encouragers and a team of missionaries doing everything from training and administration to supply buying and accounting, the teamwork that is takes to reach the Tangguats and others who need to hear looks a lot like the Body of Christ. All of us and each of us are blessed when each member of the body is doing his or her part. Thank you for the role you’re playing in the body.
And if your eyes are open to more opportunities to be His hands and feet, subscribe to NTM’s Opportunities to Get Involved email.