The D.R.D.O.

On the field, we will have to fight over the special title/role of "The D.R.D.O." That is, the Designated Refrigerator Door Opener!

That's right! In our Missionary Technology class (which we JUST finished on Feb. 29th), we have learned lots of helpful skills and concepts, of which one of the most important is that of conserving electricity and preserving the life of whatever appliances we have in a remote location. In a tropical climate, it is a much bigger deal to open your fridge or freezer! We will need to organize the contents in containers, keep moisture out, cover ice trays, and open/close it as efficiently as possible. This is something we don't think about too much in the States (other than the sensibility of not leaving it open!).

Looks simple enough, right?.....
We finished the Missionary Technology course with some small group labs- learning about Twin Tub Washers (goodbye giganto-normous 45-minute drop-it-in-and-go clothes washer!), LP Gas and Stoves, Ferro Cement, AC/DC wiring (not related to the band... sorry if you were confused) and Laptop Setup/Grounding (yep- a bit more complicated in the boonies!).

We also recently completed the Field Health course, during which we evaluated potential health scenarios in remote locations, discussed not only physical health but also mental and emotional health, AND we had an exciting practical skills lab! We practiced:

  • giving each other a shot
  • learned how to check vital signs (with a stethoscope, blood pressure monitor, and a mercury thermometer- remember those? Yeah... bringin' 'em back! Actually, it's because the wonderful, high-speed digital thermometers wear out too quickly, particularly in hot, humid climates.)
  • Learning how to give shots!
  • checked each other's ears- including Naya's (!), with an otoscope, which we will need to add to our comprehensive Field Health kit (not your average, everyday first aid kit that you put in your beach bag- don't you?)!
Checking vita sounds .Naya
was a great patient!
Now we have begun our Animism class. What is Animism? There are many definitions, but here is just one:   A worldview that understands human existence to be environed by numerous and diverse spirit beings and impersonal forces that affect human experience and well-being. It is held within this system that man can control or significantly influence these capricious entities by proper incantations, rituals, offerings, sacrifices, or magic to bring about desired outcomes. Animistic man’s regular pursuit is to stay in control of all aspects of life, with all things serving his will” (Worldview Resource Group)
It CANNOT be stressed how important it is to learn and understand thoroughly the worldview and belief system of a people group before sharing God's truth with them! This allows two things for the missionary:

  1.  Truly understand the people's animistic worldview. In so doing, they learn exactly what and how they should teach God’s Word for optimum understanding.
  2.  Share God’s truth in the context of trusted relationships. In the end, the people hear God’s Word from friends, not from strangers.

NOT just "traditional costume"- EVERY mark and EVERY different
piece they wear and have is significant- almost always animistic in
nature- for appeasing or warding off spirits
And have you recalled even from the tribes we have recently shared with you who have just heard the Gospel for the first time-- many, many testimonies from new believers who have realized how secure they are in their salvation by faith in Christ alone, as opposed to their former animistic belief systems? After all, how do we KNOW we are saved? Through Christ's perfect, once-for-all work on the cross! These new believers recognize that before hearing this, they were in fearful bondage, trying to work their way into appeasing the spirits they believed in- and it was never enough. Similarly, our works can never be enough- God required blood (death) as the payment for sin. But what is the difference between God and these 'spirits'? God sent His Son who satisfied our sin-debt completely! No continual appeasement necessary! No life lived in fear!
Likewise, these new tribal believers have been taught the Word from Creation through Christ- they understand that it is not "going to church" that assures them they are saved. It is not their family's belief that assures them they are saved. It is not "a happy feeling" that assures them they are saved, nor it is the desire to "do good". No, the assurance of salvation comes directly from the Word! It is plastered throughout! CHRIST IS ENOUGH!! It is not our works or feelings that convince us that we are saved. It is BELIEF, it is TRUSTING that what He has done was sufficient, and what He has declared in and through that! At the moment of salvation you were bought, you were sealed, you were justified, you were guaranteed eternal life with Him, you were adopted into His family... and more!

So what about you? In what are you determining if you are saved or not? Do you believe that His work was enough for you?
(Quite a challenging thought to end this blog entry!)

We're SO thankful to be here, and so excited for all that we are learning. We are continuing to converse with the field of Papua New Guinea. We'd ask for your prayers in that process!

~Noe, Lisa, Naya and Jocie