Jonathan and Naomi have found it a joy to see so many familiar faces over the last few months whilst they have been on home assignment and are thankful for the encouragement that it has brought to their hearts.
The people group they plan to live among in West Africa need a church establishing and a Bible translation finishing. Jonathan, Naomi and family still plan to join the efforts to do this. Many individuals there continue to be hungry for Bible teaching, yet key influential individuals remain opposed. Ideally, they need to live amongst them so that they can effectively learn their language, religion and way of life and build friendships with them. Following that, they would want to be involved in teaching literacy (so people can read the Bible), Bible translation and Bible teaching, eventually leaving behind a church that does not need missionaries.
You cannot mysteriously appear and live in one of their villages. How would you feel if a stranger turned up in your living room? Jonathan and Naomi need to move to a nearby town (where there are many different ethnic groups who speak different languages) and then enter into the village(s) through relationships. However, in this town, they currently have no house, no friends, and no contacts. They are looking to the Lord with fear and trepidation to provide them with these contacts. This may mean they go back to living in the city for an undefined amount of time whilst these connections are set up. Please pray for the team and this situation.
One of Jonathan’s friends in the city has family who live in the town where they want to live. Please pray for the possibility of him helping them and how best to ask for his help. It is tempting to contact him by telephone because they want to press forward. However, relationships are always more important than schedules in Africa. It would be much better to do this in a relational way i.e. go and visit him and talk about it, but then that would have to wait until they arrived back in West Africa.
They are still looking for somebody to help Naomi with home schooling and childcare once they return to West Africa.