Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Tay SALT - July 2014

From the 22nd of July to the 6th of August 2014, a team of four SALT instructors ran a two week SALT course in the Tay language group.  It was a joy to see God work and move in the hearts of Tay brothers and sisters. The Tay people live in a remote mountainous region of Madang Province in Papua New Guinea that sees little outside attention or government service. Though isolated and seemingly forgotten by the world, they are far from forgotten by God.  

As the Tay people celebrated the dedication of their NT and then began to study from it during the SALT course, they were reminded of how God had not forgotten them.  Praise and gratitude to God overflowed in the lives of many as they received training and truths they had been hungering after for years.  Many church leaders got up to share how they had prayed for years for this kind of training to come to their area.  Now their prayers were being answered by God, the God who cares about a small remote people group in the mountains of PNG that the rest of the world is unaware of.

From the start it was clear that God had something special planned for this SALT course.  In September of 2013, SALT trained Tay co-translators John and Gabriel at a SALT instructor training course held in Ukarumpa.  These two men then returned to Tay and began to faithfully lay the ground work for the Tay SALT course.  The translation of material was completed with the help of PBT translators Steve and Rhonda Hayward, awareness was made, and invitations were sent out to reliable pastors and church leaders scattered all throughout the mountains and valleys of the Tay language area.  Word had gotten out so well that when the team arrived by plane, many of the participants from far away were already in the village waiting for the course to begin.  Some hiked two days just to get there.  On the first day of the course the participants were so eager to begin that they beat the instructors to the church area where the course was being held; and from day one till the end of the course the hunger of these pastors and leaders for teaching from the Word did not lessen.  

In total there were twenty-eight pastors and church leaders who graduated.  However many other community members attended the course as well to hear teaching from God's Word in their own language.  After hours, the participants could be found studying or discussing with each other the truths they had learned that day and how to apply them to their lives, families, churches, and communities.  The humility displayed by these pastors and leaders was amazing as they were stretched, grown, and challenged from the Word.
Perhaps one of the most exciting things to see in this course was the desire and hunger of these church leaders and pastors to take these teachings from God’s Word and share them with others.  SALT’s motto is 2 Timothy 2:2 and it was truly a joy to see these reliable men and women getting excited about how they could now use these tools, truths, and teaching to help others in their homes, churches, communities, and language group.  The 28 men and women were truly hand picked by God to come receive this training, and it was a blessing to see them processing all they were learning during the course.  In morning devotions held by the participants, truths from previous lessons could be seen being presented.  At night, participants spent hours sitting around fires discussing how they could apply these truths and teachings to their ministries. Their focus was truly one of self-less service to the Lord. 

It was amazing to see God work and move through His Word as many of the older generation who have trouble understanding Tok Pisin were touched by God's truths being expressed in their heart language.  Many were in tears. After the service, members from all of the churches expressed how they were blessed by coming together for worship.  Some pastors shared how they were challenged by seeing how they need to be using their heart language to deliver God's truths to their congregations so that all can clearly understand the message of the Word. 
United in Christ's love,
Luke Aubrey
Pacific Area SALT Instructor 


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