Wayumi – Monday

Here is the New Tribes Mission campus in Jersey Shore, PA. It is beautiful! It has been drizzling for the past few days, so everything is nice and green.

We are staying on the first floor on the building on the far left. There is also a gym, other staff houses, and an activity center (with pool table, games, etc.).

Today was our first day of classes, and boy are we in for a ride! We had two sessions, one on the Bible and another on Culture.

Bible Session
We went over what God’s purpose is on planet earth, here is a brief overview: We started in Genesis 1:26-28 and saw that God commanded man to fill the earth. Because of Adam and Eve’s sin they condemned all men, and by the days of Noah, our righteous God had to judge the earth because of their sin (Gen. 6:5-6). Noah was the only righteous man that God found, and he was righteous because he believed in what God had said. After the flood, God commanded Noah to fill the earth. So by this time it seems obvious that God was wanting to see the earth filled with godly people. Later on in Genesis 11, God had scattered man because of their rebellion towards Him. God did a pretty good job at scattering, because Wycliffe tells us that there are 6,912 known languages on earth. But anyways, we soon see that God began to raise up a nation that would be a lighthouse to the scattered nations. That nation is Israel, the descendants of Abraham. God told Abraham in Genesis 12:2-3 that “in him shall all families of the earth be blessed.” ‘Families’ in Hebrew means “a tribe or a people.” Then God chose Isaac, Jacob, Judah, David, and (many years later) Jesus. Jesus came to earth to die to produce that “blessing” for all the families of the earth. In Matthew 28:18-20 Jesus commands His disciples to go and make disciples of all nations. ‘Nations’ in Greek is ethnos which means “a tribe, nation, a people group.” The orders of Jesus were to go to all tribes, all people groups, all families, and share the Good News. In Acts we see the gathering of a new special group, the Church. In Acts 15:13-14 James tells us the Church is made up of Gentiles and Jews. The word ‘Gentiles’ in Greek is ethnos (the same word used in Mt. 28).

One of the responsibilities of the Church today is to take the Gospel message to every ethnos (tribe, nation, and people group).

6912 – total languages on the earth
1168 – have the NT in their language
438 – have the entire Bible in their language
876 – have at least one book of the Bible
1953 – translations currently in progress
2251 – without any portion of the Bible

(a Juti man from South America)

This evening we went to visit a “tribal village.” Some of the missionaries who had been tribal church planters took on the roles of the tribal people they had worked with (Yanomamo, Juti, and Malaumanda). They are extremely fluent in their language and culture, so it felt like we were really interacting with indigenous people.

(a Malaumanda man from Papua New Guinea)

We went in small groups to attempt to learn different words in each language with barely knowing any of it. This would be what it would be like to enter into a new tribal work for the first time. To ask “What is that?” in Yanomamo you say, “fe whey de tah wuh” and in Juti you say, “kweh hi dyah”.

Man, we left this experience with so many questions in our minds. Like how do you enter in a tribe, whose language and culture no one knows, and learn how to ask, “What is that?”. This reminds again of why we are in training with New Tribes Mission, cause we couldn’t just go out to some remote location and start teaching people the gospel without being prepared how to learn a language or a culture.

Culture Session
Your culture is what and why you do, think, and feel the way you do.
The culture drives and dictates the norms in our mind.

Examples in our culture:

  • Who wears lipstick (usually the women).
  • How we eat a hamburger.
  • How we slice pie and put the slice on the table with the point facing towards us.
  • We drink cow milk.
  • Kiss on the lips.
  • Sit at table instead of floor.

Examples in Yanomamo culture:

  • Never sleep flat – always in hammock.
  • Don’t wear any clothing, besides a sting around their waist (for modesty).
  • When a body dies they burn the body, grind up the bones to drink later and remember the deceased.
  • Always kill twin babies or babies with deformities (even just a missing knuckle).
  • Condone severely beating up 14yr. old wives (skull cracked open) who ran away with another man.

A culture without God can become very depraved.
The goal for the missionary is to clearly communicate the Gospel to another people in another language. Because culture clearly impacts the communication of the Gospel.


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