“The heart of a man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps” (Proverbs 16:9 ESV). On our journey into Southeast Asia, I’ve sometimes felt hesitant about the first part of that verse. How do I plan? Which people group do we pursue? Where in the world should our next step be?
In our journey to work with the Sungai people, I hoped to use my hands-on skills and love for farming to bring the gospel to them. It has been a long journey. We started on visitor visas. We tried doing some nonprofit work, but did not get much interest in the program.
Yesterday a neighbor inquired, “Could you give us a ride to a birthday party an hour away, since you have a van?”
A year ago as I moved my family into the cultural center of the Sungai tribe in southeast Asia, I remember looking around and feeling awed and overwhelmed at the dominance of Islam in this region. I saw huge mosques, little mosques, training centers, and devout Muslims all over.
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.
What do you get when you take an Anabaptist farm boy and his family from the mid-western United States and deposit them on the other side of the earth? You get culture shock. In our training we learned about culture shock. I am grateful for our training. It removed the element of surprise.
An *ABT field member fell to the concrete yesterday when the structure from which he was picking rambutan fruit gave way. A fractured wrist and bad gash in his forehead have been treated. Although there are no fractures in his back, the pain in his back is still very bad and debilitating.
By a member of the Sungai team