Paul and Marina had a very encouraging time with the Loron people over the past eight weeks. They visited numerous villages and they are thankful for all that the Lord enabled them to do and see. There still seems an awful lot of work to be done among the Loron people, but they are pleased to see progress in many aspects of the work, and also growth in the lives of quite a number of the Loron believers.
Over the past two months, Paul and Marina had opportunities to speak at several Loron churches and with some individuals. They focused on the needs of each particular group or person, and the response was usually encouraging. They covered various topics including the Lord’s Supper, baptism, and church discipline.
Marina had literacy classes every weekday in their village from 7am until around noon. She also travelled on some afternoons to classes in other villages to guide and encourage the literacy teachers there. Several small literacy classes and reading groups are meeting regularly in various villages. A literacy workshop in being planned to train new literacy teachers and will take place, Lord willing, in January 2018.
The Loron translation team has just completed a brand new version of the Gospel of John in the Loron language and is hoping to meet with a translation consultant in January for the final check. Paul and Marina thank the Lord for the translation team, committee and helpers for all their efforts in going through the various stages of the translation process – initial exegesis and translation, content checks, comprehension checks with people of various ages, back translation into French, and formatting.
Loron Bible teachers continue to reach out to new locations with the Gospel. Some places are more receptive than others. One of the teachers, is planning to travel to a large Loron village in Burkina Faso, in January to follow up on contacts made on a previous trip.
Paul and Marina were able to spend quite a bit of time interacting with Loron believers and Bible teachers considering biblical perspectives on various topics. Some had questions about things that had them scurrying back to their commentaries and study Bibles.
A young Loron man, who spent ten years at school, recently impressed Paul and Marina with his knowledge and understanding of French. They asked him to translate some Bible study materials on 1 Thessalonians from French into the Loron language just to see how he would handle it. Even though he has never received any training in translation techniques he displayed a real flair and ability and did an excellent job in communicating the content in Loron. Potentially he may be able to help to expand Bible teaching resources for the Loron teachers, church leaders and believers.
Quite a number of people in the village expressed their appreciation for the lashings of safe, clean water that is now available to everyone from the three newly installed pumps.
Many Loron people have mobile phones or MP3 players that can take memory cards, and there is a growing interest in listening to recorded Scripture and Bible teaching. It is a great tool for evangelism and Bible teaching. Paul and Marina have been developing a library of Scripture and Gospel recordings for the Loron language for teaching and review, and they have audio in French and some Ivorian and Burkinabe languages that can be used to reach out to other people groups.
Scores of Scripture and Bible teaching booklets and lesson packs were printed, distributed, and sold over the past couple of months. Pray that the Lord would use all these audio and printed resources in the hearts and lives of the believers.