Working in Papua, Indonesia, Jason & Jenny share their joys of building relationships with the Turu people for the past seven years. The Turu people engage in ancestral worship and animism. Previously, workers came only sharing God’s Word in the national language, a language that the Turu could not understand.
“It’s not an easy place to live, it’s not an easy place to work and they are not easy people to work with. We choose to persevere and stay because they have never heard God’s word in their own language.”
For Jason and Jenny, they have now created an alphabet for their people group with the most exciting part being able to teach the Turu literacy skills including reading and writing. The next phase for them is Bible translation. These have been huge milestones for them, considering that they had to learn the Turu language from scratch; a language which had not been written down previously.
Q: How have you seen God at work already?
Jason: God has opened the doors for us to work and stay here and the Turu have accepted us and want us to be here. Through God opening this door we see glimmers of hope for these people where their worldview is being challenged and they get the opportunity to understand God better.
Q: What has been something that has been challenging or difficult?
Jason: Working with people who are journeying towards faith is something that we really enjoy. However, learning a tonal language is difficult and challenging. The remote context is also ridden with difficulties as well.
Q: What advice would you like to give to people training for cross-cultural ministry?
Jenny: My advice is that it’s a hard slog. You need to be convinced from God that this is where He wants you. It requires lots of prayer but it’s totally worth it. ‘My grace is sufficient for you for my power is made perfect in weakness’ (2 Corinthians 12:9). This is something that I have really had to focus on many times because situations would come up that were so out of our control. However, I am weak and God is able to use me and my situation for His glory.
Jason: Where God has you is where He has you do your ministry. You’ve got to remember who you serve and it’s from there that you can draw your strength and say ‘I serve God’ and because I serve God, I know that He will equip me and strengthen me to continue in the ministry.
“Don’t go because someone else says you should go. Go because you know God is the one whom you serve and it’s Him you get your strength from because on the field in the thick of things, God is where you’re going to go to get your strength.”– Jason
Jason: Sometimes it will feel like one step forward then two steps back. Sometimes you will need to play the waiting game. Sometimes things will move faster than you can keep up with. However, it’s important to have that core peace that it’s God who you’re going to trust and it’s Him you will hang onto and that the ministry you are doing is for God and He is the one who will strengthen you.