Abraham and Isaac

Sorry, it’s been a while since we’ve sat down to write an update about the teaching.  We’ve made significant progress into the story and taught about God asking Abraham to offer Isaac.  We used a series of skits all done by the Mibu people to help tell the story, and we brought out the dilemma that Abraham felt, “If I offer my son, from where will the promised Deliverer come?”  We shared how Abraham reasoned that maybe God would raise Isaac from the dead.

At the climax of the story when Abraham was about to kill Isaac, we related Isaac to us.  Here are we with this death sentence.  “Kepoo karaknyin upusi” or, “We have no feet or hands”.  That is the Mibu idiom to say “our hands are tied”.  In that way we explained that salvation is totally a God thing, we cannot get ourselves out of our hopelessness by ourselves.  We are continuing to lay this foundation for the Gospel which we are hoping to present by this Spring!

After teaching is over around 9 AM, I (Joey) usually hang around the village for several hours talking with individuals and small groups answering their questions about the lessons.  It is so exciting to see God’s word at work!  This culture is permeated with  the mindset of “If no one saw me do it, it wasn’t wrong”.  But over and over again we’re showing through the Old Testament lessons that God always sees us. This has many people admittedly scared.  One person shared, “It’s like I’m in court, and I just keep hearing ‘you’re this kind of person’.  And because of that I’m fearful.”

While judgment comes out over and over in the lessons, we also see over and over again God’s merciful provision for those who trust in Him.  This is a glimmer of hope, and many of expressed their eager anticipation to see what God’s way is going to be for us sinners.  Two men said in reference to this promised Deliverer, “It is that crossroads that we are waiting for.  We wonder, what is going to happen?”

From what we can tell, most everyone from the village is attending the teaching.  This is an answer to prayer in itself!  Please continue to pray for their hearts and minds to be open to the truth, and that they will be ready to accept the Savior when His life is taught.  Thank you!!!

Love in Christ,
Joey and Brooke Tartaglia

Literacy

The very first Mibu Literacy Class finished  just yesterday!!  We are so happy that from this first class there are 14 graduates, including 4 who are trained as teachers!  We had a little ceremony for them after Bible teaching.  They accepted their certificates proudly while the whole village looked on and clapped.  🙂  Plans for future literacy classes with Mibu teachers are already in the works, starting as soon as January.  In looking ahead to bringing God’s word to the sister village of Tariknan, we are hoping to begin a literacy class there, too, early next year.

Fourteen new literates who can read the Bible lessons in their own language!  And four new teachers who can teach their own people to read and write – and carry on the task of teaching the rest of this people group!  Our hearts are full to bursting.    We print copies of the Bible lessons we are teaching, including the Scripture portions, and put them in the newly established “Mibu Library” (one shelf in a hut – for now!).  The new literates have already begun checking out the materials. Please pray that they will read and re-read them to their families and friends.  God’s Word is powerful and can change lives!

Love in Christ,
Joey and Brooke Tartaglia
Shiloh, Marietta, Solomon