Paul and Marina had an encouraging and challenging few weeks with the Loron believers in August and September. The believers are excited about growing in their walk with God. They want, so much, to do what will please the Lord that some have tended a little towards striving in their own strength and legalism. Paul and Marina were thrilled to see their response when they were reminded them that in providing us with His word and His Spirit to lead and guide and encourage us as we serve Him, God has given us everything we need to enable us to please Him. As we allow God’s Word and His Spirit to take control of our lives, we will produce the fruit that brings glory and pleasure to God. Some asked Paul for more teaching on the subject. He covered the issue again a couple of weeks later and also addressed some subtle, long-time misunderstandings. Praise the Lord that He continues to give Paul and Marina the joy of being able to help the Loron church as it continues to grow and mature in its knowledge and understanding of its privileges and responsibilities.
Interest in literacy among the Loron people grows unabated, with some unsaved villagers wanting to be taught how to read and write in their own language. Unfortunately an impression has developed that literacy is only for the Christians, so it’s a great opportunity to dispel that notion.
Late last year, seven Loron believers, six men and one women, received an intensive introduction to Bible translation principles. Paul and Marina trust that each of these folks will continue to be involved in some way with the Loron Bible translation project. Earlier this year the Loron believers committed themselves to gather money to contribute to the translation project. They raised about £630, which is a phenomenal amount of money for a group of subsistent farmers who use nothing but a small hand hoe to cultivate their land. One of the Loron church elders has started doing exegesis on the book of Matthew with a view to beginning translating Scripture by himself. Paul and Marina plan to continue his Bible translation training so that he can in the future become responsible for continuing the project with other Loron believers and co-translators. The Loron want to have the whole Bible in their language. Pray for this elder as he engages in this new ministry. Pray also for the needed books and equipment (computers, solar system, etc) for the project.
Paul and Marina have been repairing one of the old missionary houses in the village and converting it into a literacy, Bible translation and Bible study facility. During the war in Ivory Coast a few years ago, the house was stripped of its window screening and plywood ceiling, and was taken over by a large colony of bats. But the basic structure is still pretty sound. They have been gradually replacing windows and the plywood ceilings and hope to see it completely renovated and painted so that it can be used as a multi-purpose building to help forward the work.
The first trip to the village in their new truck was enjoyable. It drives just like a car and is so comfortable. Paul and Marina thank the Lord for providing this new vehicle for their ministry in West Africa.