Zach Cann

Zach Cann

Missionary in training with Grace Bible Church

On Saturday, April 6, a group of guys from three churches met to begin learning about the process of building a house in the remote mountains of Papua New Guinea. The day’s lesson was about how to construct a solar electric system.

Do you have any bad memories of insurmountable word problems from math class? I do, and all those suppressed fears came rising to the surface as our class studied paragraphs like this: “If you have a solar panel that produces 50W per hour than you will produce 300W of electricity after 6 hours of direct sunlight. However, you will lose 20% of that energy when you convert the electrical energy from the solar panel to the chemical energy in the battery. As if this is not bad enough, you will lose another 20% when it gets converted back to electrical energy in order to run your appliances. Therefore, once you have determined your load capacity you will need to keep in mind that only 192W of the original 300W will make it to your appliances.” WHAT?!

While I am somewhat tempted to just return the “dark” ages, this photovoltaic system will be vital for obtaining the electricity needed to power computers, printers, and recording devices for both church-planting and Bible translation. It will also supply us with electricity for lights, a refrigerator, and freezer.

At the beginning of the class, there was a wonderful reminder given that we ought to only bring in those technologies that will best aid our mission to reach a tribe with the good news of God’s Word. We must avoid the temptation of allowing the luxury of electricity to make us lazy or slack in our work. All such conveniences are tools to make the job move quickly and smoothly.

These are good reminders for all us, whether we are headed to other side of the globe or not:

Be aware of the mission! Read the Bible and see the mission to which God calls his children. In 1 Corinthians Pauls reminds his readers a couple of times that they are not their own, but they were bought with price (1 Cor 6:20). In his letter to the Ephesians, he writes: “We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works,which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

Beware the pitfall of laziness! Beware the thought that there is nothing for us to do, and that the mission is only for pastors or church leaders. Consider the exhortation of Hebrews to run the race that is set before us and to throw aside any encumbrance or entangling sin.

Please pray that these truths would be realities in our hearts and minds as we go.

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