Jonathan and Devon Ames with Isaac, Jackson, Leah, Carter, and Selah spent five weeks among the Akolet, immersing themselves into a maturing cross-cultural church plant. The purpose of this time of bush orientation was to interact with the believers, further their Tok Pisin language studies, sample what bush life will be like as a family, and glean from the experiences of the onsite church planters.
The Akolet church views interaction with new missionaries as a ministry, in which they can also participate in making disciples of all nations (Matt 28:19). They eagerly received Jonathan, Devon and family into their community and recognised the role they play in preparing them for future ministry amongst a different (yet to be determined) people group.
Immersion is the best way to learn a language, so bush orientation is a prime time for growth in language proficiency. The Akolet language remains strong, and it is evident that they prefer to communicate using their heart language. However, they also speak Tok Pisin well, and are eager to help new missionaries grow as communicators.
One of the highlights for Jonathan and Devon was how well their kids adjusted and became comfortable in the village location. Their language ability grew, and they really enjoyed their time with the Akolet kids. It is important for their whole family to feel at ease in this context. It is so easy and normal for them to be shy and fearful, especially when their PNG friends tend to be the same way. They really enjoyed their time with Adam and Julie Martin, and their two kids, Lela and Havalah.
At the end of their bush orientation, they had their third language evaluation. Jonathan is thankful to have completed formal Tok Pisin study, and Devon is progressing along well.
Jonathan and Devon are now back in Madang to continue to help out with centre management, as they were doing before bush orientation. Their number one priority remains team formation, then people group choice. Please be praying with them as they watch God put together His future church planting team.
The future people group
Starting back with home schooling
Devon as she finishes Tok Pisin studies
To love God, love others, and impact His world