A light in hard times

POSTED ON 2009-04-03
  by Christina Johnson

A Morop village is growing vastly. Woodcutters and carpenters have come in to build a school and a medical clinic.

"This is good and bad for the people," missionary Joy Elliott wrote. "With growth like this comes everything else like sickness from the outside."

But the good thing is that one of the local carpenters, Toni, sent in to help in the building process of the school and clinic approached Joy and her husband, Jim.

"I, like you, am a Christian," Toni said.

Jim gave him a copy of the book Firm Foundations: Creation to Christ by Trevor McIlwain, which will eventually be used by the Elliotts when they learn the Morop language.

"We didn't think much else of it until the next day. He came to us and said that he had been reading about the Palawano tribe in the Philippines (in the introduction)," Joy wrote. "Until that moment, he had never realized that salvation was based on faith alone and not by our good works."

Toni was used to reading his Bible for three hours each day and making sure he did the right thing. He was even feeling guilty about being in the Morop village, talking to the Elliotts, instead of attending church.

"I just now understand that it is not what I do, but what Christ did," Toni said.

Toni will be in the Morop village for a week and asked Jim if he could teach him for a few hours each night before he leaves.

"Jim agreed and they are going through the lessons together," Joy wrote. "Pray that this new believer will grow in his new found faith in Christ."

Toni is excited about what he is learning and hopes to return home able to share with those he knows about what Christ has done for him.

"This has been a light in hard times for [me] and Jim…we are working so hard to get this language in the tribe," Joy wrote. "It reminds us again why we are willing to be here among a people who are often hard to love."

Please pray for Jim and Joy as they continue on in learning the language of the Morop people. Pray that they will continue to have the strength and love to build relationships with the Morops.

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