When missionaries Nate and Elizabeth Claasen arrived in Papua New Guinea earlier this year their desire was to reach one of the more than 800 language groups with the Gospel.
Next week Nate and his teammate, Mason Lockwood, along with an experienced church-planting missionary, will fly by helicopter to a village about four hours hike from Abasakur tribal villages. They will visit several of the mountaintop villages, talking to leaders and gaining an understanding of relationships between villages.
The missionaries will hike through the area, interviewing Abasakur people to discover the possibility of moving to a village and beginning a church-planting ministry.
Before beginning a new tribal work they need to check several things.
- Long-term language viability -- making sure that the language is still spoken by the younger generation and that it is not being replaced by the national language.
- Openness to missionary involvement -- discovering whether a people group is open to hearing the Gospel message.
- Population and dialects -- determining the number of people in a particular language group and making sure that there is not a closely related dialect that already has a Bible translation.
Pray for the Claasen and Lockwood families as they consider beginning a new ministry. Pray that God will clearly direct them in where they should minister.