Tribal visit provides insight

POSTED ON 2009-07-06
  by Christina Johnson

One of missionary Alan Whatley's responsibilities is to take new missionaries and visitors on excursions to the Lauje tribe in order for them to get a feel for what God is doing there and to see the needs that still need to be met.

Last week, two women in the middle of language study and a man from the USA came to visit the church in Lauje. Alan told them how he had stayed with some believers rather than other missionaries while visiting in the jungle.

"I had mentioned ... how much more valuable the visit seemed, living with them for a few days rather than at an arms length away in a more westernized missionary home," Alan wrote.

Because the group of visitors consisted of a mix of men and women, the accommodations would present a few complications.

"First of all, there would be no bathroom to speak of other than what we could slap together after we arrived," Alan wrote.

The men dug a hole in the ground for the women and assembled a wall out of palm fronds and old bamboo.

"A bucket of water and dipper were added as a touch of luxury," Alan wrote.

The men also had to sleep in a separate house from the women. Among the Laujes, if a man and a woman who are not married sleep in the same house together it is assumed that they are sleeping together.

"This does not mean that Laujes as a whole are a rather suspicious lot, but rather because of their small little houses having only (not always) a kitchen area and a sleeping area, it really would be like they were sleeping together," Alan wrote.

Once Alan and the visitors did settle in they had a great time of fellowshipping with the Laujes by attending Bible studies, eating with them and hiking through the mountains.

Alan and the male visitor from the USA, Cole, decided to join one of the Lauje believers on a boar hunt.

"My tribal buddy whipped together a small, rather uncomfortable platform high up in a smaller tree nearby," Alan wrote. "The idea was to wait for the bristled tusked monsters to come ... looking for fallen ripe mangoes, and then -- thwipp -- shoot the blow gun."

After hours of trying to keep giant fox bats and cows away from the mango bait, the men slid down from their perch at 4 a.m. without seeing one boar.

"We heard many a boar in the end, my buddy saw a wild cat, and I saw only cows, but it was worth it all," Alan wrote.

Please pray for this part of Alan's ministry as he connects missionaries and visitors to the church in Lauje so they can witness life in the jungle and the tremendous work God is doing in the hearts of the Lauje people.

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