During December we’re focusing on learning to disciple. Please see the Prayer page to read our strategic prayer request for this month.
By Delaina Spence
One of my favorite things about living in Dallas is the relationships we can form with present, future, and retired missionaries around the International Linguistics Center. During the second half of this fall I met weekly with a 6-year-old boy and his 8-yr-old sister whose family is about to move to Papua New Guinea to do Bible translation. The primary purpose of our time together was for me to give them a head start in learning to speak Tok Pisin. We played Simon Says, invented multiple games to play with little picture cards, read stories and Bible verses in Tok Pisin, sang songs, and drew maps of a Papua New Guinean village, labeling everything in Tok Pisin. The maps had the added benefit of bringing up conversations about what life might be like for them as they face this grand new adventure.
On our last day together, I read them a traditional Papua New Guinean folk tale, and something in the story prompted the 6-year-old boy to ask me, “But magic isn’t real, is it?” That was a bit of a difficult question to answer when he was expecting me to answer “no” (as most Americans probably would) but is about to move to a country where magic is very much a part of people’s worldview and experience. I reminded him and his sister of what happened when God sent Moses to speak to Pharaoh. By God’s power, Moses’ staff turned into a snake to show Pharaoh that Moses came on God’s authority. Pharaoh’s magicians were able to replicate the miracle by Satan’s power, but Moses’ staff ate the magicians’ staffs, proving that God’s power is greater. Yes, I told them, Satan does have spiritual power, but they do not need to be afraid because they belong to God, whose power far exceeds that of the devil.
I believe that an important aspect of discipleship is living life with other people, knowing what questions they are asking and pointing them towards answers in God’s word.
Delaina is trained to serve as a Bible translator.