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When the Church Reaches Beyond its Borders

Tags: Asia-Pacific, Establishing Churches, Mission News, Prayer, Philippines, Tangguat People,
POSTED ON Oct 30, 2016 by Rosie Cochran

A Desire Is Born

For decades the Tangguat and Inapang people groups of Papua New Guinea crossed cultural and linguistic barriers in intermarriage, creating a tight social network between their distinct language groups. Therefore, it was no surprise that, after hearing the gospel message, the Inapangs wanted their Tangguat neighbors to hear the same life-changing message. But they weren’t sure they could do it alone.

A Partnership Is Born

“Our family is dying and going to the place of fire!” the infant Inapang church told missionaries Tim and Tiffany Lanier. “We have to go tell them. But we can’t do it by ourselves. We need help.”

“The Lord impressed on us the incredible opportunity He was laying before us,” shared Tim and Tiffany.  “[But] at the time, there were logistical barriers that seemed prohibitive.”

It wasn’t long before the Laniers saw God remove the obstacles.

“We’ve seen your desire to take the gospel to the Tangguat people,” the Laniers told the Inapangs. “You’ve told us you are able and ready to teach literacy and  to teach the Bible, but you need help with translating the Bible into their language. We want to help you do that.”

A partnership was born. And out of that partnership, a church was born among the Tangguat people.

A Church Is Born

“Not only has the Lord birthed a church among the Tangguat people, but He has shown His church [the Inapang church] here in this valley that there is nothing He cannot do with men and women who are yielded to Him,” wrote the Laniers. “Who knows what the Lord has in store for His small band of believers in this remote part of the jungle? For now, though, they have their work cut out for them as they begin to nurture and disciple this brand-new church in the Tangguat area.”

Intermarriage may have woven a familial connection between these two people groups, but the power of the gospel made them brothers and sisters in Christ. What could be better than that? Pray for these brother and sisters in Christ.

When missionary, Tiffany Lanier, and Ellen, a Tangguat bride, first met, neither knew the special way God was linking their lives.