Sometimes things can get a little crazy, writes Joy Elliott who, along with her husband and family, recently returned to the village where they minister to the Morop people.
As God has prepared them for this ministry, He has included training in many of the practical aspects of meeting the needs of tribal people.
Take the last few days, for instance.
Recently, as they were preparing for an evening meeting with some village men, a young man limped up. He had accidently shot himself in the leg with a pellet gun. Jim had to cut open his leg to remove the lead pellet that was lodged there. They closed up the wound and Jim went on to the meeting.
Several days earlier, a 3-year-old was cut while playing with his little friend who was swinging a machete around. The chop into his leg was deep and about three inches across. Jim and Joy dealt carefully with the wound.
“The kids here start using machetes so young,” Joy observes. Only a few days earlier, she shares, a 3-year-old girl was tragically hit in the eye with a machete and will, in all probability, lose her eye.
Jim and Joy have also been treating Meksi, a village leader who has been very ill and lives at some distance. They have been hiking to his home daily to take him food and medication. “We are so encouraged to see his progress,” Joy says.
“This week,” Joy adds, “we are treating a baby who fell feet first into a fire. Both of his feet are burned with extensive second-degree burns. So every day the mom comes with little Yunus to have his bandages changed.”
The Elliots are also treating two people for tuberculosis currently and praying God will enable and speed their recovery.
Jim and Joy are not primarily in the village to meet medical emergencies. They are there to learn the culture and language and to plant a church there. But in the process, God has expanded their ministry task. Ministering to the Morop people and pouring Christ’s love upon them in a multitude of ways is an essential part of this task.
The comprehensive training they received at NTM’s Missionary Training Centre has helped greatly in preparing them for the practical aspects of ministry, Jim and Joy say. Recently many of those opportunities have been related to medical needs. They are needs that open up Morop hearts to receiving the Gospel which will meet their even more crucial spiritual needs.
“The Lord is always stretching us. … When we are the only lifeline the people have, it is often what we choose to do or not do that may make the difference. … We are willing try to hurtle over the obstacles in front of us in order to see another person live to hear the truth,” Joy writes.