While many look for job security, a very unique aspect of the job of tribal church planting is the desire and process of working yourself out of a job.
As missionaries Paul and Bella Gervasi, along with their co-worker and daughter, Cori, teach, train, encourage and correct, there is a consistent growth that will one day allow them to leave the Sekadau people on their own.
That growth is evident as Sekadau believers take on roles that have historically been carried out by missionaries.
The church there is learning to take care of each other. The gift of helps is being cultivated more and more.
God is teaching them to be good strong leaders as He qualifies them to be elders and teachers of His Word.
They are taking their responsibilities seriously by having meetings where they talk about the life of the church and what is needed to continue to mature. Lesson plans are being developed and reviewed for teaching chronologically through the Bible without a missionary involved.
There are outreaches to other villages as the desire to share God’s Word with others grows.
Even as all of these things are positive and good, there is hopeful expectation that growth will multiply as the first printed portions of Scripture are actually being distributed. The Word of God is being held and read with their own hands and eyes.
Two hundred ninety-two verses were recently checked and printed. These were given to the leaders so that they will begin to take what they read themselves and apply it to their lives instead of just being taught from the missionaries’ study of God’s Word.
There is a lot of need for improvement in literacy so that good and plenteous reading cultivates more hunger for study. The missionaries have been so faithful with having classes and programmes for literacy. They’ve developed books of stories to use in their class time, printing them for everyone from children to the grandparents to enjoy and learn from.
Literacy is another responsibility that Paul, Bella, and Cori are asking God to create a desire and felt need in the adults to teach others to read and write. This is a huge responsibility but one that can be taken on and done well by the Sekadau people.
Let’s pray for this literacy programme where, when successful, having Scripture in print and in the hands of hungry believers can have deeper and deeper life changing affects.