|Missionary Updates: Chad & Janeene Mankins
Post Date: 2009-10-23 19:02:23
Hi again everyone!
It?s been a while since you?ve had news from Toboland. Our partners the Knapps have settled in and Jason has resumed the teaching of Romans, picking up where we left off at the end of chapter 5 and getting into the great meat of the book, chapters 5b through 8. Praise God!
Also, our partners the Williamsons are gearing up for their first home assignment in November. Jason recently sent out this update, which was a huge encouragement to us. We wanted to pass it along to you just as he wrote it, as we think you too will be encouraged! Enjoy!
God has been reminding me lately of just how lovingly and patiently He works with His children. I must confess that sometimes I look at this small group of believers here in Tobo and I often ask God, ?God when is this just going to explode and we will see everyone here in Tobo hear your Word and believe?? Sometimes I find myself discontent with where the Tobo church is at and so with this kind of outlook I so easily begin to lose sight of the fact that God is lovingly at work in these believers lives. God faithfully encouraged me as I was reading from 1 Corinthians 3. I was really encouraged by the example Paul laid out for us. He says ?I (Paul) was like a wise master carpenter.? The truth of this statement didn?t hit me at first but as I took time to meditate on it the Holy Spirit reminded me that God is our ultimate example of a wise and skilled carpenter in how He works in our lives. A skilled carpenter takes pride in his work and pours all of his love and care into that project. When he builds something, he doesn?t just try to get it done as fast as he can, cutting corners and working quickly. He takes his time to make sure every part of his project is done with skill and is done perfect.
Paul also says there in 1 Corinthians that God is the one that gives the increase, or does the growing. How true that is. So many times I have been waiting for a huge breakthrough in the lives of the Tobo believers, for them to stand up to their culture and see many more Tobo people added to our numbers here. But that is not how God is working here in Tobo, God isn?t concerned with our numbers! He is a wise carpenter and therefore is taking his time pouring his loving care and wisdom into this small ?band of believes?. Because God has been patiently teaching them, I have been seeing just how solid they are in their knowledge and understanding of the Gospel, their position in Christ and eternal security. As they have really come to grasp these complex concepts they have been becoming more and more bold in what they believe. Just the other day Welsin, my good friend came to my house to help me with some translation. Before we worked I was telling him what God had showed me from 1 Corinthians and how God is our carpenter and is always at work in our lives. He then told me?
?God is at work in my life too, and I want to tell you about a chance that God gave me. Just this morning before I came to see you, I was out in the Jungle with 8 other people cutting wood for a new house. I knew that these people didn?t believe that all we have to do is believe in Jesus and God would be satisfied. So I asked them ?do you think that you can follow our customs and do good things and that God will see that and be satisfied with you and you will receive eternal life?? They all just sat there and a few of them said ?we don?t know?. So I told them that we are all sinners and because of that we have a debt with God. However God knew that we couldn?t do anything to remove that debt on our own, so God saw this and was sorry for us and He freely gave Jesus to us to pay our debt. There isn?t another way to be acceptable in His eyes, it?s only by believing in Jesus that we receive eternal life. After I told them this, they all just sat there and said ?wow this is a really big true talk?.
I couldn?t believe it, this man is in Love with his savior Jesus Christ and he allowed God to use him to share with some of his friends what Jesus had done for him. I told Welsin how excited I was to hear this. He could have gotten scared and dismissed the opportunity to witness, but God gave him strength and he trusted in that. We both stopped and praised God and also prayed for those people that Welsin witnessed to that God would redeem them to himself as well. This whole incident brought me back to our great God the Wise Master Carpenter who has been faithfully and lovingly at work in Welsin?s life and in the lives of the other Tobo believers these last couple of years. He hasn?t been cutting corners, but taking his time so that these people here will be strong vessels that will bring glory to His name here in Tobo.
Thanks for praying for the believers here, please continue to pray that they will be a bold witness here in this dark place.
Your Hands & Feet,
Jason, Nisae, Kadynn, Judah & Eden
Thanks for taking the time to read this update, and thanks for continuing to pray with us for Welsen and our other Tobo brothers and sisters in Christ as they grow in their faith and boldness to share the Gospel in Toboland!
Chad, Janeene, Elijah & Zekey