Philip & Saukeen
At the present, here are some things we have on our heart to do:
- Raise a family for God: This takes time, patience and perseverance, but it is a vital part of who we are and what we do. We must do our part to raise up those who will be salt and light in the next generation. We want to pass on our faith to our children like Abraham did for Isaac, and Isaac did for Jacob, etc, as we see in Heb. 11.
To that end we seek to involve our children in every aspect of our lives, from praying for people to serving coffee, work, washing dishes and hiking to villages to share Jesus. We want them to learn to “bear the cross with joy.” For Saukeen this also means teaching the kids school and spending the majority of her time taking care of them and running the household. She also continues to pick up the language and help me in ministry as she is able.
- Disciple a nation: This we do by--
- Example. As we come into contact with neighbors, workers and all sorts of people in our daily lives, we seek to do what is just and right.
- Translation of the Scriptures. This has not been a priority for us but I now see it as our most important job at this point. Being a “detail person” I see my gifts fitting in with Timothy’s “big picture” strength and David’s exegetical questions to help us produce a quality translation that is accurate and natural. Tentative goals are to finish the revision of the New Testament by the end of 2007 and Old Testament translation by the end of 2017. We also see ourselves continuing to produce literacy and school materials that will result in more/better readers of the translated Scriptures
- Teaching of believers. This takes place in the gathering of believers at our place on Sunday and in their homes during the week. It includes the study of the Scriptures as we go through books of the Bible as well as teaching based on specific needs and issues that arise.
- Outreach to new areas. There are about 10 communities in our assigned area, out of which two have a viable church and gospel witness. The Nari church has been doing outreach to a major community in our designated area, and our church has done some outreach in about 3 other communities. My goal, (Philip) is to make one trip a month to oversee these outreaches. This is another aspect of our teaching as we teach our disciples to make disciples.
- Training. Within the next two years we hope to start a more formal training for leaders at our place on a regular basis. The specifics are not yet clear but it would be called the School of the Prophets. The purpose would be to give uniform teaching to all the people in our churches, provide training in basic spiritual disciplines, and spearhead outreach to new areas. It would include a practical component for helping the leaders and their people improve their lifestyle through work habits, farming techniques, hygiene, etc. A tentative 5 year goal, after initiating work in local communities, would be to begin outreach to the Guaymi people in Southwestern Costa Rica. A 20 year “goal” would be to begin outreach to other nations?!
- Expand. We have come to realize that our vision is too big for us to do alone, if we are to focus on family, translation, and teaching/training, which is what is foremost in our hearts. Following are components of our vision for which we are asking God to send us the right people to help:
- Christian High School. For this we need a director, two or three teachers and a classroom building. We also need financing for paying the teachers or a business to generate funds to pay them. The high school would include a Bible foundations component and a practical component as outlined above.
- Projects. This would mean primarily micro-loans to help believers improve their lifestyle and generate income. Some ideas are horses to haul bananas to sell, beef cattle to sell, dairy cattle for milk for the home, fish ponds and raising chickens, growing alternative crops like vegetables, initiating small businesses and stores, and building small bridges. We would need someone to oversee and manage these projects and provide oversight and technical assistance/training. These projects would be done in conjunction with the School of the Prophets and the High School as part of people’s training (i.e. the “practical component”)
- Radio Station or programs? Someone to run it, record, produce audio materials, and distribute.
“He measured off another thousand [cubits], but it was a river that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in -- a river that no one could cross. He asked me, ‘Son of man, do you see this?’” — Ezekiel 47:5-6