Josiah and Rachel Van Der Decker minister among the Anem people of Papua New Guinea. “’The road of before wasn’t true,” Komo says emphatically. ‘It was just skin. Not like this road — this road is true.’ We’re sitting cross-legged on the back porch at his house, listening to him explain what he’s been hearing in the first week of the Creation to Christ Bible teaching. Our ears and brains are trying hard to keep up with his fast, animated speech that’s slowed only by the tapioca and coconut he’s trying to eat at the same time. Komo and the others are hearing the Bible taught in a mix of Pidgin with some explanation in Anem. His earnestness and ready smile are contagious. Trying to keep up with him in a conversation on a spiritual level is a challenge that only fans the flame of our burning desire to learn the Anem language and culture well. Well enough to talk about God, His Word and His redemptive work throughout history in the language that the Anem know best. Having Scripture in their heart language is imperative if they’re to be grounded and growing in the Truth. It’s conversations like this that give us continued motivation as we labour long hours in language learning. Our brains ache from the constant influx of new information and the ceaseless reviewing of the old. A year of plugging away on the road of culture and language acquisition has shown progress, but the finish line is still far off. Pray with us for God to give us the Anem language and culture so that one day Komo and many others can read God’s Word in their own language.”
The prayer request above is one of five that we emailed to the Ethnos Prayer Team on Saturday.