When Natalie Hansen started her morning language session it was a bit frustrating and discouraging. One of the authority figures in the village visited and wanted to tell her all the little names for rats, bushrats, birds, frogs, tree kangaroos and so on. Natalie’s plan was to talk about pigs and she had already started talking with two ladies. Well, her plan went out the window but that was not too discouraging. What really discouraged her was when the man shared with Philip and Natalie’s friend about what a hard life the Kovol people have, working hard for food, hunting and searching in the bush for meat while the missionaries just take meat out ‘from inside their house’ and life is so easy. Therefore, he is looking forward to hearing how the missionaries do things so one day he can learn from them. This is called ‘cargo cult’ thinking. They believe that the team know the secret to a better life and that when the Kovol people later do what the team tell them, they will enjoy all the earthly riches without all the hard work.
Although the team know that this is what many are thinking, to hear that again so clearly, was not something Natalie liked to hear. She desires to see them really wanting to know and understand God’s Word and to seek the truth. She wants them to see that the team’s spiritual life is different and so much better and see Jesus in them and not just the stuff they own.
But there are two other reasons why the people say they are so happy that the missionaries are living in Kovol.
Firstly, they are looking forward to being taught to read and to write, as the village does not have a school.
Secondly, some people really do want to know and understand God’s Word. One man’s older brother taught him to read and bought him a Bible. It is in the trade language and is the only thing he can use to practise reading. At Christmas time, he teaches the young kids Bible verses that they have to memorise. In a conversation with Philip he was talking about sins and said that he did not know a way out. He is really looking forward to hearing from the team how he can be saved from his sins.
Right now, they are missing the most important news: eternity with or without GOD and a relationship with God and therefore they want the missionaries to live in the village. The team believe God wants them in Kovol.
Natalie was encouraged by his morning devotional by Elisabeth Elliot: Obey GOD and leave the results to GOD.