Monthly Archives: February 2012

Gift of Encouragement

encour mail 002We praise the Lord for the gift of encouragement. These come to us in many ways and always in the Lord’s timing.

Each time we are the recipients of these acts of love, we find God’s strength to carry on in our tasks, His love to share with the unlovely, His comfort in our loneliest moments, and His hope to give to the downtrodden.

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from Ben 090The Banwaon know how to party!

There is nothing quite like a feast to celebrate God’s provision for them through a harvest. It’s a great time of fellowship as families from all over the jungle gather in our village. It’s such an exciting time!  Slaughtering, cooking, laughing, eating and playing fills the whole day. A beautiful time of worship and praise to God with singing, sharing and fellowship follows all night. I can hear all the sounds and enjoy the smells just thinking of these times past!


P1010156The whole village is in motion working before daylight! Wood is cut and brought out by anyone that can carry it from the jungle for the cook fires. Rice is being pounded by young and old all around the village. The pigs are butchered and prepared for cooking as smoke from cook fires blankets the whole village. A tall pile of banana leaves crowds a corner of the church. Oblivious to the work, the very youngest children play in the grassy spot in front of our house energized by all the activity. Dogs excitedly search for precious few bits discarded from the butchering.

wedding 091Eventually, a mountain of rice sits ready for serving, banana leaves are set out for the plates and the first wave of celebrants sit on the church floor to eat. As soon as one group eats, a new batch of banana leaves and food is readied for the next family group and this is repeated all day until everyone has eaten.

While the feast is being consumed, those not eating go from house to house relaxing together, catching up with all that has happened in the family since we were all together last. It’s such fun meeting and holding the new babies, hearing about the births, taking pictures of the families and listening how God has helped them through a difficulty or other event in their lives.

The best part of the day begins when the church gradually fills as people make their way though the village. Music praising the LordNew in Sept 09 064 and worshiping our God and Savior draws the rest into the tiny building. Scripture lessons are shared through several styles of chanting and spoken by the Bible teachers and church leaders. Groups will stand and sing songs of praise they’ve written and practiced accompanied by the guitar. If the full tummies lull a few to stretch out on the floor, someone will begin a drum beat and a dance or two liven up the crowd.

Yes, we are disappointed as well because, this year, we will not be celebrating Thanksgiving with our dear friends in the village. But we will be thanking the same God who cares so much for each of us. We lift His name in praise and thankfully remember the wonderful provision of salvation and love that cost Him so dearly. We praise God for He is worthy of all our praise.

Pogpasalamat kay (we are giving thanks),


Cataract Surgery Jungle Style

History being made!God has wonderfully restored the sight of so many of our brothers and sisters in Christ here! Hearing the praises to the Lord for all He has done for them has been heart warming and we join our praises to Him for the answer to all the prayers and preparation for this rare event in the middle of the jungle.


THE HUMAN TEAM EFFORT (Tribal and Missionary)

  • prayer
  • months of planning and adjusting schedules
  • countless emails
  • funds and medicine
  • preparing and fueling generators
  • purchasing equipment and supplies
  • planning and scheduling meals
  • flying the team of administrator, doctors, and nurses
  • flying in all the medical equipment
  • preparing rooms for the medical team
  • transferring the dining room into an operating room
  • adjusting the beds to operating table height
  • draping off a ‘waiting room’ and ‘shower’ outside in a covered area
  • attaching netting and laying brand new tarp in the room to make it as bug free and clean as possible
  • scrubbing all surfaces with bleach
  • screening patients for surgery and clinical checkups
  • preparing and serving the meals for the whole medical team and missionary team
  • the pre and post operative care
  • the surgical procedures
  • flying the medical team and equipment all out again
  • returning the OR into a home


It has been thrilling to hear how appreciative our friends are of this amazing and historical event. They have praised the Lord for His wonderful gift and allowing them to have restored sight. Their comments have drawn us into praise along with them and true rejoicing! God gave them spiritual sight and a relationship with Himself.  He has now restored physical sight and a visual relationship to their world again for so many. Again, we marvel that God allows us to be a small part in His work here among the Banwaon!

The day after surgery, a dear older man sat down beside me and with a twinkle in his eyes, said, “That dog there of yours sure has nice hair. Yesterday, I couldn’t even see the dog! Now, if that house wasn’t there, I could see the mountain.”

One patient had congenital cataracts since birth and she described what she saw through clouds immediately after surgery. Then, on the third day, she gave a trembling smile as she could see for the first time in her young life. She is 15 years old and from another tribe living nearby (at least nearby in the jungle sense.) We all tried to imagine that moment when she opened her eyes and could see for the first time clearly. My guess is we won’t even come close until heaven!

Prayer Points:

  • for the diligent use of postoperative medicine that continues and healing taking place
  • for the disappointed ones that did not qualify for the surgery just now
  • for those that will have to go to the city for surgery under general anesthesia
  • for those that didn’t have the spectacular results of their friends

Praise God for His alone is worthy!

A Christian news interview was made about the surgery and can be found here:

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Shouldering the Love Burden

Leaving her newborn behind, Mahi began a journey to the hospital that took 36 hours through the jungle, on the shoulders of believers.

We’ve shared often of the great privilege that is ours serving among our Banwaon brothers and sisters in the Lord. They have an acute sensitivity to His guidance as they wait upon the Bible in their language. We are two of the few outsiders that are granted the opportunity to witness their growth as we live side by side these Christians that have only met our Lord within the last twenty years. One of the areas that brings glory to God our Father, is a testimony to the work of Jesus Christ our Savior and the indwelling of God the Holy Spirit is their willingness to learn of Him and quickly respond.

One such instance began just outside our window. I was in the office when I saw a large group of men gathered in a circle. I heard the group count off in sets of four – “sabuwa – daduwa – tatulu – haupat” – until twelve men had a number. That finished, there was a scramble to borrow hats and boots as it was the middle of our rainy season. By this time I was outside with my camera to capture this new “event.” Quickly I learned the purpose of this unusual activity.

Two nights before, a good friend came to the house to tell me of a young woman, Mahi, that had given birth several hours ago to her fifth child, but she was not passing the afterbirth. Her family carried her five kilometers down the mountain, through the jungle to our village. As we met her immediate need of food and rehydration drink to strengthen her, we prayed.

They hadn`t traveled 5 minutes before the rains began.Our pilot was not available to fly her to a hospital so the ladies that work the clinic in the village attended to her for three days but there was no change. Mahi could not endure the long and dangerous trip on a motorbike. Prayerfully they met together and planned. Volunteers counted out as teams of four to carry her the forty-four kilometers (that’s 44K – or 27½ MILES!) through the jungle and crossing 3 rushing, swollen rivers on a stretcher made of trees and rice sacks . The teams continually switched off to a fresh set of four when they could bear the weight no more. We were told that when they approached a village 11 kilometers down the way, Banwaon believers ran out to take over and give the human “ambulance” some rest.   (check out the PHOTOS tab to see the pictures in “Jungle Ambulance” album)

Once out of the jungle, there was an additional 40 kilometers to travel by jeepney! Mahi arrived at the hospital the next evening where she was given medicine and soon delivered the afterbirth without further complication. We rejoiced over her safety and thanked God for the answer to our prayers.

Please pray that this witness of His love, literally borne on the shoulders of men, will awaken the groups of Banwaon that have refused to listen to the Gospel. Pray for this young family to grow in the Lord and for the two outreaches where the Gospel is being shared for the first time by faithful Banwaon Bible teachers. Pray for these men and their families that willingly demonstrated God’s love through the miles with sacrifice and effort. Praise God for His work here among the Banwaon and that their willing and obedient spirit will be used of God to help draw many to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Thank you as you partner with us for the Banwaon.

Because of Christ,

Chris and Lynne
But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. 1Thess 4:9

Sometimes We Fail

Cloudy Lessons

The morning passed molasses slow.

Usually a steady stream of folk flows by our house as early as five o’clock – especially when Chris is out of the tribe – and it is often ten o’clock before I realize it. My friends endeavor to keep my mind off the fact that Chris is gone. However, it was not like that.

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