Recently I went with one of my local friends, Mr. W, who works for the department of transportation, to learn about beekeeping with local stingless bees. We met with Mr. X who has a lot of colonies of these bees. I bought two hives from him. He told me he also had some Asian hive bees (which have stingers) living in a hollow tree on his property. He invited me to come and take the Asian hive bees out of the tree. So, I made arrangements with another of my friends Dr. Z, a member of the church we have been attending, and Mr. W, to go remove the bees. However, when we got to the tree with all our equipment, the bees had already left. We were disappointed.
Just then one of Mr. X’s friends, Mr. Y, who is a soldier, showed up. He said he had a friend who is a policeman that has a colony of bees living in his house wall. He made arrangements for us to go there instead. We went to the policeman’s house and opened up the wall and proceeded to take out the bees. It was a good strong colony. These bees are generally quite gentle, but since this colony was extra big, I got stung quite a few times. No problem, I’m a beekeeper and I don’t mind being stung. I was just having fun interacting with all my friends in the context of the bees that I so much enjoy.
I considered the irony of an Amish-Mennonite beekeeper relating with local police, a soldier, a doctor, etc., on a friendship level all in one day. How and why does God arrange all these friendships and relationships? What is His ultimate goal and purpose?
I believe God really loves each one of these people and He is desperate to bring them to Himself. God wants to use our skills and gifts (even something as simple as beekeeping) if we are willing to surrender ourselves and our gifts to Him.
—LS, with the Sungai team
Sungai Team Update
The most important thing that God has been teaching us recently is the necessity of prayer. He has impressed upon us the extreme urgency of praying for those who do not yet know Christ. God chooses to work through humans and to wait on His children to ask for His will to be accomplished on earth as it is in heaven. God is already working here, and we want to join Him through our daily interactions with people, and especially through prayer.
Recently, we have begun gathering regularly for prayer meetings, imploring God to work in the hearts of our local friends. The local people are notoriously closed to the Gospel, and currently we know of no Sungai believers right here in our city. Despite this resistance to the Gospel, we sense strongly that God has something big in mind for these dear people who are still lost in darkness. We invite you to partner with us (and more importantly with God) in begging Jesus to work in the hearts and minds of this people group.
We have begun to learn Sungai but have yet to start formal studies. We continue to pray that God would prepare gifted individuals for translation work who are surrendered to Him. We do have one Christian contact from among the Sungai who might be able to help us with translation work; however, with the coronavirus pandemic we have not yet been able to meet with him.
Because of Indonesian bureaucracy, it is difficult to get work visas here. Currently, we hope to use an organization from the States that specializes in providing business teaching and overseeing savings-lending groups in low-income countries. We pray that God will open the way for us to obtain long-term work visas here and that many people will be blessed both economically and spiritually.
—MN, with the Sungai team
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