Trials, made to overcome

POSTED ON 2009-07-21
  by Christina Johnson

While God opened many doors for missionary Scott Flaugher to get a team together for construction, Scott finds that those doors come with many challenges.

It was hard enough for the team of volunteers to work in a remote location with basic tools and unfamiliar lumber known as ironwood.

"Ironwood is an extremely hard and heavy wood, difficult to move around and even more difficult to hammer a nail into," Scott wrote.

But once they overcame the basic trials of hard labor, the trials of environment and cultural differences came into play.

One of the first challenges came when the team’s woodcutter fell sick and could not continue working.

"That was disappointing as it limited the materials that we had to work with," Scott wrote.

The building trip also took place during the country's dry season, but rain fell nearly every day.

"It would last only a short time, but [for] several days, it lasted for hours, leaving behind a lot of mud," Scott wrote. "This added to the challenges, but God kept our morale high."

The team also experience opposition from a few of the Elseng villagers. One of the leaders in the village blamed the rain on a septic pit the volunteers dug.

"He claimed that the spirit of the earth had been disturbed and consequently, we would have heavy rains with thunder and lightning," Scott wrote.

An epidemic among the villagers’ pigs was also blamed on the septic pit. Two pigs died and an old one fell ill.

"It may sound insignificant, but these pigs are like family to the people [here]," Scott wrote. "The family who owned the sick pig, Kopsum, built a shelter over him in the place where he fell sick and took food to him and wept over him, wailing and speaking in a sing-song manner."

Scott was grateful when he was able to contact colleagues by radio, who helped arrange for a special medicine to be sent to the village for the pigs.

"Sometimes it seems that the pigs rule the village," Scott wrote. "We were concerned for a while that the villagers would order us to stop building due to their [beliefs], but we were glad that this never happened."

The final challenge surfaced when the volunteers were informed that an Elseng man, who doesn’t live in the Elseng territory, held traditional rights to the land they were building on.

"He was angry that we had not met with him yet, and was threatening to kick us out of [the area] if we continued cutting wood without meeting with him first," Scott wrote. "This came as a big surprise to us. We had understood from the cultural chief that the land and trees for our homes were ours and that he had the authority to give them to us."

Scott and other missionaries prayed about the situation and made plans to visit the man. One of the wives of the chief, who also happened to be the aunt of the man claiming ownership of the land, agreed to go with them to speak to her nephew in defense of the missionaries.

"Praise the Lord, the short meeting went very well," Scott wrote. "At first he wanted us to pay him for the wood in addition to what we have already paid to have the wood cut and carried, but after some discussion, he told us to go on with our work and not to give it any more thought."

Regardless of the challenges, God provided Scott and the volunteers with the means to complete the construction on the house.

"God worked multiple times to help us overcome obstacles and problems due to equipment and materials," Scott wrote. "It was clear that He was going before us and we praise Him!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Link Magazine March 17NTM Link Magazine

Stay connected with tribal missions with our NTM Linkmagazine that will be delivered to your door three times a year. It's FREE of course.
Subscribe Now

Email Updates

Receive daily or weekly emails delivered directly to your inbox.
Subscribe Now