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A Labor of Love To Reach the Unreached

A Labor of Love To Reach the Unreached

Volunteer work teams see the big picture of Training Center expansion.

We simply couldn’t be doing this without the self-sacrifice of so many volunteers.”

That sums up the feelings of everyone responsible for the campus expansion at NTM’s Missionary Training Center near Camdenton, Missouri. NTM partners like you have responded to this project’s needs in so many ways — especially the finances needed to build new missionary housing and the recently begun Multi-purpose Building.

Many have also given their time and their sweat to help with site preparation and actual construction. And the results speak for themselves.

Even with a summer complicated by record heat and torrential rains, the progress to date on the Multi-purpose Building is phenomenal.

Literally hundreds of tons of rock and dirt had to be blasted and moved in order to create a firm, level foundation for the construction to begin. The steel is already delivered and soon will provide the skeletal underpinnings of what will become the major hub of activity for missionariesin- training.

As the Training Center has labored to give birth to this vital new addition, dozens of volunteers have labored through nearly every aspect of the construction. Teams from across the United States have arrived in RVs and campers adding their expertise and hard work, making possible the expansion at significantly reduced costs.

But ask them why they’re doing this and you’ll learn it’s about much more than simply building buildings.

“This will help more missionaries get to the field.”

“I’m helping missionaries train to go to remote areas with the Gospel.”

“There are people out there who’ve never heard of Jesus.”

“We need more missionaries. This Training Center will prepare them to go to unreached people.”

The volunteers have played an invaluable role in the eyes of Marcel Flint. And he should know. Marcel is NTM’s project manager and general contractor for the expansion, and has overseen every aspect of planning, site development, construction and coordination of work-teams.

“Honestly, without the help of so many skilled volunteers — as well as people who have been willing to do just about anything to help — we couldn’t have made this kind of progress. These are ministry partners in the truest sense of the word. And they have a huge stake in preparing hundreds of future missionaries to reach unreached peoples for Jesus Christ.”

We simply couldn’t be doing this without the self-sacrifice of so many volunteers.”
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A Partner Visits Papua New Guinea

Longtime partners Craig and Cathy Sweeney have supported a number of NTM missionaries serving in various capacities in tribal church planting. Craig was part of a group that visited Papua New Guinea in the fall of 2009. Here he shares his story.

It was the journey of a lifetime … and I was able to experience firsthand how God is using the ministries and the people affiliated with New Tribes Mission to share the Gospel with the tribal people of Papua New Guinea.

My intent was to visit missionary families serving in ten different tribal locations where it was necessary to fly light aircraft capable of landing on short grass runways, often cut out of the side of a mountain or thick jungle. It is much easier now to appreciate the risk, sacrifice and selfless dedication of the missionaries, pilots and support staff of New Tribes Mission to reach the tribal people of Papua New Guinea with the Word of God.

I gained a unique insight of what it is like to live each day without many of the conveniences I often take for granted. Captured rainwater was used for drinking and bathing. Meals were primarily composed of fruits, roots and vegetables. Once I was treated to crocodile meat for dinner. (It was actually very good and had I not known differently I would have thought that I was eating pork.)

There are many lasting impressions from my missions journey, but two in particular stand out.

First and foremost are the tribal believers, who were most welcoming and generous. They were all eager to shake my hand and introduce themselves. People were always willing to share what little food they possessed. One morning a lady from the Mibu tribe invited several of us into her home to eat. As we sat on the wood floor around a smoldering fire pit, she served each of us a large bowl of cooked fruit, vegetables and roots. This may hardly seem extraordinary. But when you consider the food she placed in front of us was most likely all she had to feed her family for the next several days, you truly realize the magnitude of this sacrificial gift.

The second thing I will never forget was the impact the Gospel has had on each of the tribes I visited. You see, most of the tribal cultures are steeped in animism and the occult. In fact, one night, less than ten miles from where I slept, three women and a man from one family were murdered. They were mutilated and then thrown off a high cliff by tribal members who believed these four had worked witchcraft on another woman of the tribe, causing her to die during childbirth. The unreached tribal people live a life of abject fear and hopelessness.

But when they hear of the God of the Bible and the sacrificial death of his son, Jesus Christ, and learn of God’s sovereignty and of His infinite love, grace and mercy, their fears disappear. The Gospel truly changes them, to the point that many of the tribesmen are now reaching out to neighboring tribal groups, even sharing their newfound faith with those who used to be their enemies.

Today, having flown into these remote airstrips, meeting the missionaries face to face, and seeing firsthand the impact that the Word of God and the name of Jesus Christ is having on these tribal people, I now have a much greater passion to give and to pray for these people and the missionaries serving them. This trip opened my eyes and my heart to a new understanding: In order to be a truly effective and passionate giver, I need not only to give, but also to get involved and build relationships with those I support. My wife and I trust that the Lord will glorify himself as we continue to faithfully support New Tribes Mission.

Volunteer Profile:“Grandpa” and Work Team Help Expansion

David and Janet Tanner are relatively new NTM partners from Pennsylvania. A retired veteran officer and pilot, David saw the Missionary Training Center expansion as a chance to use his professional architectural and roofing experience to help — and to introduce a group of young volunteers to NTM missionaries!

Last August I was privileged to accompany youth from our church on a work-week mission to the Missionary Training Center in Missouri. My job: mentor. Translation: old guy. After a two-day drive in a 15-passenger van from Pennsylvania, everyone was more than happy to get out and get to work. What we found in that beautiful spot on Lake of the Ozarks was a dedicated staff that worked hard and smart to provide outstanding training for missionary families on their way to “the field.”

We were perhaps most impressed by the little Tech Center, which on a shoestring budget prepares missionaries-in-training to set up fresh water, electricity and communications systems in seriously primitive locations. Our government should take a lesson!

Our youth [and adults trying to keep up with them] worked hard in the unrelenting August heat. Both the staff and the missionary candidates themselves proved daily that, although they had the “right stuff ” to be successful in about any occupation or profession, they marched to higher orders. What a testimony to our youth group!

I came home with a new passion. The next month I was able to take my wife Janet to visit the Missionary Training Center. After a loving reception by the staff and a tour of the campus, Janet understood my new passion. As a retired military pilot, I’ve always dreamed of flying on the mission field. That opportunity is now in the past, but we are so blessed to support New Tribes Mission. This calling is for real, and for eternity.

The power of your partnership is making a difference. Thank you for your prayers and financial support as we prepare the way for hundreds of new missionaries to carry the love of Jesus to millions of unreached people across the globe. Thank you for your partnership!

POSTED ON Oct 01, 2010

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