By Rhonda Hayward
As you read this, the Tay New Testament should be printed and soon to PNG and the awaiting Tay people. Steve and I are also eagerly waiting for a precious DHL delivery to our mail box… a 30-year anticipated copy of the Tay New Testament.
Such an event invites reflection. Recently, a question was posed to us, “What kept you going back, term after term?”
Hebrews 10:36-37 says, “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised.” The simple answer is: we persevered because God’s will was yet to be accomplished for the Tay people.
Only recently, at 50+, am I learning that the grace and even the pleasure of persevering flows from a holy romance. God is wooing and wowing my heart with the depth of His love. Quite literally, I am left stunned and speechless by the scandalous depths of this love. And I am gripped by the passion that everyone must experience this love. Including the “least of these” hiding in the rugged interior of PNG.
Oh, the pursuing, persevering love of my eternal Bridegroom! This is the reason I persevere. He and I are mysteriously one. So, I must be with Him. I echo the words of Ruth, “Oh, My Beloved, don’t urge me to leave You or to turn back from You. Where You go I will go, and where You stay I will stay.”
“Faithful obedience to God is vital, but it is not all God draws us to…It will not be enough in the long run to carry us through…More Christians are being martyred in our lifetime than in any other time in church history. It is not obedience that is carrying our brothers and sisters, unwavering, steadfast, eyes ablaze to their deaths. It is holy, fierce passion. Hearts afire. For the root of all holiness is Romance” (Captivating by John & Stasi Eldredge, p. 115).
Rhonda is a Bible translator serving the Tay language group.