Sunday, January 26, 2014

Torches of Joy

I use Grammarly's plagerism checker because it is important to share what I have to tell, not what others have said!

Torches of Joy by John Dekker with Lois Neely is the story of the early mission work of John and Helen Dekker in the 1960s.  The couple traveled to the Indonesian island of Irian Jaya where they lived and ministered for 21 years.  Beyond being the story of the mission work to the Dani people, this book has several points of applications for Christians.

The Dekkers sought to share the Gospel and disciple new believers without imposing their cultural traditions upon the Dani people.  They also worked to equip and encourage the new believers to grow and take leadership of their local churches.  Equipping national pastors is a very important task, one that I learned about in the church we currently attend. Our own pastor travels internationally to train and encourage national pastors through expository teaching of the Bible.

On a recent Wednesday evening the leader of our T&T girls read a story during the large group time, The Pineapple Story.   The application of the story was to ponder our own “pineapple” or “rights”, and how our rights may be hindering the Gospel.   As I completed reading Torches of Joy that idea grew ten fold.  Reading how the Dani believers became missionaries to other peoples groups, fierce murderous, even cannibal tribes and gave up much more than their comforts, but even the right to life if that is what it took to share the hope of Christ.

This story has given me some good things to ponder.  Where my "rights" may be getting in the way of sharing hope, love, peace with the people around me is on my mind!  Reading biographies and missionary stories is a great way to experience life in a different time, different place.  The stories also become mentors, prompting us to explore ideas and think about our own lives.

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