When we landed back in Mibu from our yearly conference out in town, we found out that something was wrong. Our good friend and member of our first literacy class had died while we were gone. How many times can a heart break? The funeral and mourning rites took over a week, and our date for beginning Bible teaching was put off several days.
In spite of the rough homecoming, the day is finally here – and TODAY WE SHARED THE FIRST OF 68 BIBLE LESSONS IN THE MIBU LANGUAGE! The day we have all waited and worked for is finally here! Our hearts are full to bursting!
As we shared here this morning with our Mibu friends under a bamboo lean-to, THIS is the whole reason we came, THIS is the reason we learned their language, the reason we have begun to teach them to read – it is for THIS – SHARING GOD’S TALK WITH THEM! The Bible contains His message for mankind, and this is the Mibu’s time to finally hear it in their language.
We went on to tell them that in other places where the Bible message has gone, some people have believed the message, and some have not. We 3 missionary families (Husas, Walkers and Tartaglias), we all believe it, and that’s why we came. It’s true our home country is very far away, but this message is so important, that we want everyone to hear it. That’s why we came to Mibu. Our friends nodded in agreement to this. It’s not news to them, it’s a tune we’ve been playing since we moved in.
We covered who the Bible was written by, (not by Americans, to their surprise! And not even in English to begin with!) We gave the origins of the Bible and explained who wrote the Bible, as well as giving the REAL Author behind the words. There was even a skit! Though the actors were a bit nervous, and had to do it three times to be heard, it was responded to with hearty applause. 🙂
We held up a world map, pointing out the area where God’s Word originated, how it came to Europe, on to America, and how we are carrying it on to them. When we announced it is finally THEIR TURN to hear what God wanted to share with man, the cheers and huge smiles brought tears to our eyes.
Here in Mibu, people love to leave “memories” of special events. A bone left in a tree, even a food wrapper stuck somewhere, it becomes kind of a 3-D scrapbook. When we instructed everyone weeks ago to bring a rock with them to the first day of teaching, they thought it strange… but when Joey announced that we were going to all pile our rocks into a “memory” of this first time God’s Word came to Mibu, the response was exciting. Rocks started piling up in the spot they chose near the lean-to. Kids who forgot rocks ran around eyeing the ground for a contribution. The grin splitting the face of one little girl who lugged a flat rock the size of her little sister to the pile still brings a smile to my face.
As the lesson wrapped up, we handed out word for word copies of whole lesson to all the literates (which comes to a whole dozen people, at this point!) We pray that these lessons will be read and re-read – not only as practice for the members of the literacy class, but as they read and their families and clans listen, that the truth may sink slowly and deeply into their hearts and minds.
And now, making the joy of this incredible day overflow, after hiking home, an emissary from another small hamlet stopped by to talk. They had been visiting this morning for the lesson, and are so excited about what they are hearing that they asked if we would mind if the entire hamlet could pick and move nearby to be able to attend the daily teaching! We came overseas hoping to be a blessing, but we find ourselves blessed more than we could have asked or imagined. To God be the glory, great things He IS DOING!! 🙂
From our hearts to yours,
Joey and Brooke Tartaglia
Shiloh, Marietta, and Solomon