In a recent update Geoff and Shannon shared about specific struggles in the church in the very first outreach the Mibu church did back in 2006. They are pleased with the way the churches have responded! They were able to stand their ground, and refused to participate in the activities of the former legalistic ‘church’ system that is trying so hard to keep them under its deceit. Continue to pray that the church will mature.
Please pray for the leaders in Mibu. Geoff has been working a lot with them since he arrived back to the village in March, continually challenging them as leaders toward preparation for elder roles. The missionary team has been seeing lots of growth, but also see the need for them to mature in the things they’re learning. The biggest lessons with the most impact on their leadership mindset is the idea that in order to lead you must humble yourself and serve. This is the polar opposite of what the world around them says. The world around them emphasises success and prestige, the indebtedness of those under you, and your own greatness. Jesus says to wash each other’s feet, and that the first will be last and the last will be first. Geoff frequently hears these leaders talking about how these concepts challenge their own thinking! Geoff and Shannon feel it is time to take this material and start teaching it to the wider church congregation; so they know what to expect biblically of their elders, and also for the elders in training to review and be given the opportunity to write some of these things out in small lessons so they, in turn, can teach others once the missionary team phases out.
Geoff has been telling the Mibu people ‘we are leaving soon!’ He makes it a part of many many conversations, public talks, and teaching and discipleship times. This needs to be looming big in their minds as they’re being asked to take some of these final steps toward proper shepherding of God’s people in the missionary team’s absence. In some recent discussions with consultants the approximate time to move out of Mibu is within one to two years. They would then continue to serve and train itinerantly. It also means the team ought to be able to focus more full-time on some of the bigger tasks at hand… mainly translation… just working on it from town. Pray for the team to discern properly the time to move out.