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Little Fireflies

Standing on the veranda of the missionary’s house after sundown, Doug thought, “I’ve never experienced darkness so black that I can’t see my own hand in front of my face!”

There was no moon, no campfires to cast light onto the airstrip nearby or the other structures close to the house where all the students were sleeping.

Missionaries Doug and Cheryl Schaible were team leaders for a group of Interface students on a side trip into the remote Iwalaqamalje language group. For four days, the students were to experience tribal church planting. They interacted with the small body of tribal believers and got a glimpse of Iwalaqamalje life and culture.

Interrupting Doug’s thoughts, a single firefly twirled by, leaving a trail of light in its path.

Like fireworks that explode into light and illuminate silhouettes for an instant, the firefly continued its dance.

“That’s just like this place,” Doug mused. Amid the suffocating spiritual darkness from centuries of sinful practices, the believers shine like so many little fireflies. Their lives reflect the light of the Gospel of Christ in a dark place and cast hope and truth in their wake.

The next morning, Doug shared this analogy in the church service with the tribal believers. He could see flickers of understanding in their eyes and heads nodding in agreement as he encouraged them with their job as “fireflies” lighting up a dark place.

Shortly thereafter, the Interface students and tribal people parted ways, returning to their different lives, but fortified by the encouragement to be fireflies in their respective communities.

Interface is a four to six-week college-level missions course held in the highlands of Papua New Guinea. 

Find out how you can experience tribal church planting.>>
POSTED ON Oct 23, 2007

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