Canadians Derek and Chantal Chen minister among the Tanguat people in Papua New Guinea. “Just like that, three quarters of 2020 is already in the books. In this universally challenging year, we are finding silver linings in our first year of living in the bush. Three blessings come to mind.
- Despite all the disruptions caused by COVID-19, we still have the privilege of staying and living in a remote village, learning the language and culture of the Tanguat people. Make no mistake, culture and language acquisition during a pandemic has its share of challenges. However, we are able to continue to know our neighbours and friends a little better, catch glimpses into their world, ‘walk in their shoes’ (not the best metaphor as most of them go around barefoot) and develop deeper relationships. For that we are truly grateful.
- After our teammates left in mid-April for home assignment, we have been living in the bush without co-workers. For bush newbies like ourselves, there was a somewhat steep learning curve in juggling culture and language acquisition, gently shepherding the young church, as well as learning how to thrive as a family in the bush. So, last month, we were very thankful for a break at our missions’ home office in the cooler highlands.
- The church has been going through a review of Creation-to-Christ foundational teaching on Sundays. The church has heard this gospel teaching a few times since its inception in 2015, but due to an extended time of no discipleship and leadership development, the people are still struggling with their identity: what it means to be Christian and what it means to be a church. We do not have the language capability to do in-depth discipleship yet, but these weekly lessons contain much-needed reminders about biblical truths. Please pray for the Holy Spirit to teach and encourage the believers daily about their identity in Christ."