|Missionary Update: Chad & Janeene Mankins
Post Date: 2012-07-23 12:39:22
We all know the saying, `Silence is golden`. Well, in our case, we will break that silence to update you on some golden opportunities that have come up, some more precious than others. It`s too rich to keep to ourselves, after all!
The `Gold Rush` of 2012
One opportunity that has come up recently in our area is a sort of `Gold Rush`. With the recent retrieval of some gold from area streams, most able-bodied Tobo men have caught the fever and there has been some prospecting in earnest. They are still trying to determine the purity and value of the ore, which may include some copper, so the excitement may be premature. If things do indeed `pan out` for our local prospectors, this will surely usher in yet more changes, some of them good, some not so desirable. One thing is for sure - the interest for spiritual treasure has remained at a low, and this renewed interest in earthly riches has kept it that way for the time being.
Some Even Richer Gold
Interestingly enough, the `Gold Rush` has brought to light some real Gold which is being refined and shines brighter as time goes on---the Gold we are referring to is my co-translator Ambox. Many of Ambox`s relatives and friends have asked him why he is not joining them in their prospecting work. His answer? `Right now, I have more important work to do. We are turning (translating) God`s Talk into our language. That is too big a work for me to stop to do gold work.` What a brilliant testimony! We thank God for Ambox, and his continued hunger for spiritual truth. The other day, we were getting ready to leave each other on the trail, and kept on talking for the better part of an hour. Finally, Ambox said to me, `This talk is so sweet, it`s hard to leave. I feel like we could talk about this all day until the next morning!` We laughed and parted ways.
Laconic Ambox has become quite the talker of late, talking about the things of God with family, friends. In gatherings with his wife and the small band of believers at his house, he is sharing from the Word, encouraging them, and sharing from his own personal life and testimony in a way that we have rarely seen among the Tobo people, and certainly unlike what we`ve ever heard from him in previous years, where he would barely utter a sentence in most past believers` meetings. Seeing the growth in his life has been like discovering a hidden treasure - and in our minds, way more fun - and vastly more important - than prospecting for gold in a stream! Please continue to pray as God refines his Gold here (and that would include His other works in progress, His missionaries to the Tobo as well!!).
Working in God`s Gold Mine
We have been doing a bit of gold mining ourselves in the ultimate treasure trove - the Bible! Again and again, we are reminded of the awesome privilege of being involved firsthand in putting the riches of God`s Word into the Tobo language. God has blessed us with some good opportunities to make some serious headway in translation these past few months. Ambox and I have finished the first draft of 1 Corinthians, 1 Timothy, and Titus. Lined up next are the two epistles to the Thessalonians, the rough drafts of each of which I recently finished. These books contain a wealth of truth that the Tobo church will benefit greatly from in the future. Thank you God for giving us such good progress to date! And thanks to you for the part you are playing in helping us get His Words into theirs!
Golden Moments with Our 3 Little Nuggets
Though our Bible translation career does not exactly qualify us for the Who`s Who of the world`s rich and famous, we consider ourselves extremely rich - and our gold is in the form of 3 little nuggets named Elijah, Zekey, and Levi! Our three boys continue to entertain us with rich memories. As well, through the sheer hard work of parenting them, God is refining us at the same time (we need much refining, apparently!).
Elijah is growing up fast, and we are proud of our `little` 7 year old, who is now up to Dad`s shoulders and Mom`s neck!! At this pace, he will pass us up well before high school! He is growing in other ways, too, learning new chores and being our big helper. He is still learning to play well with his brothers, particularly our second son.
Zekey, too, has been growing and learning as the days go by. His ever-expanding vocabulary and the creative ways in which he expresses himself never cease to bring a smile to our faces and often many chuckles. When his mother mentioned that her amaryllis was blooming on the porch, Zekey rushed to see the `gorillas` out there and was a bit disappointed not to get a glimpse of jungle apes! Sorry, just a red flower.
As he approaches the 15-month-old mark of his life, Levi has finally begun to sleep through most nights, giving his weary parents some relief - when healthy, that is. Unfortunately, our poor little guy has continued his monthly outbreaks of hives, which leave him quite miserable and itchy for the week (and it used to be two!) that he has them. As if that weren`t enough, the week before his hives, Levi contracted his first cold which is just now improving after more than 2 weeks! And we have been concerned about his digestive difficulties which causes him much pain and tears. Something we will be checking on when we next see the doctor - which brings us to another nugget of information to be gleaned in this update -
A Golden Anniversary and a Golden Opportunity
A golden opportunity has come up for us as a family. Through some extra financial provision (no, no revenues from gold mining!!), and a number of circumstances that have come up, not the least of which is Janeen`s parents` Golden 50th Anniversary this month, we have the green light to make a quick summer trip back to the US! From the end of June to the middle of August, we will be in Texas to spend some time with family as well as take care of some medical (and dental) issues, including Levi`s tummy troubles and Chad`s annual checkup. We had originally planned to take a quick trip down to Australia for this, but given these major family events and the extra funds available to do so, and where we are currently in the ministry, after much prayer we have decided that the timing is just right to take this time to make the trip. One extra blessing for us is that we will miss most of our infamous rainy season in the village, where life can be a major challenge for several months, and cabin fever takes on a whole new dimension with 3 young boys! God is so good to us, and we will treasure this brief time with family. Our time away from the village should also be a good chance for Ambox and the other Tobo believers who meet at his place to continue applying what they`ve learned by encouraging each other and sharing with their families and friends. We are praising God for His timing and goodness to us in all this, and look forward to a much-needed time of refreshment and being both encouragers and encouraged this summer. Happy prospects indeed!
Thanks to each of you for your continued love and encouragement! We (dare I say it) treasure you!!
Happy for Eternal Riches (1 Peter 1:3-9),
Chad, Janeene, Elijah (7.5), Zekey (4.5 ) & Levi (15 months)
Here`s a little nugget of info for you: Did you know that the small country of PNG is among the top 10-12 gold-producing nations of the world? Though still one of the world`s developing countries, this south Pacific island nation is rich in natural resources.
Chad & Janeene Mankins
New Tribes Mission
Private Mail Bag
Madang, MP 511
Papua New Guinea
Chad & Janeene Mankins
New Tribes Mission
1000 E. 1st St.
Sanford, FL 32771