Though ministering to the 8,000 Patpatar people of Papua New Guinea is his primary focus, missionary Aaron Luse has the opportunity to minister beyond that tribe’s borders.
As a skilled culture and language learner, Aaron travels to other tribal areas to evaluate and help missionaries who are in the culture and language learning phase of their ministry.
"Since every tribe has a completely different language and unique aspects of their culture it is impossible for me to comprehend what is being said," Aaron wrote. "But with the help of the trade language and other tools, it is possible to do some testing and then give [other missionaries] direction on how to become more proficient in their tribal language and culture."
Last month Aaron traveled three hours by boat to a village in the Siar tribe to evaluate the progress of two couples -- Lane and Karrie Sanford and Chris and Erin Lujan.
Aaron is excited about the work among the Siars "because some of the Patpatar people have inter-married with the Siar people. This was the final evaluation for one of the men and so now having completed language and culture, he has been busy translating portions of Genesis into their language."
This month, Aaron took another boat ride -- two-and-one half hours. He then found a vehicle to take him another hour before a three-hour hike finished his trek into the tribe.
"This is the same tribe that I was able to do a survey into when we first arrived in Papua New Guinea and that Lori [his wife] and I desired to go into, but God shut all the doors at that time," Aaron wrote.
There are now two families ministering in this tribe and Aaron was able to evaluate one couples’ progress on this trip.
Last weekend, Aaron gave another evaluation, but no travel was involved. A co-worker, Madonna Yates, joined the Patpatar work in April 2008 and has been working hard to learn the tribe’s culture and language.
"Though still in the learning stage, she has helped our team a lot already by building great relationships, visiting with the ladies, teaching some classes about sewing and baking, helping enter literacy information into the computer, printing Bible lessons and more," Aaron wrote. "She did well on her evaluation and is about half-way through this grueling process."
Please pray for these missionaries who are learning the culture and language of the different tribes so they can they can effectively present the Gospel.