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L & T—a glimpse into trust

CMS worker T shares a story that highlights the significance of partnership with local believers in her location.

S, one of the women from our ladies’ fellowship group, had moved to a village with her husband N (a pastor) and two-year-old son, to support a daughter church of N Church. She called me to share about the struggles of village life—cooking over firewood, the daily trek down the mountain to source drinking water (and then carrying it on her head back uphill!), the poor schooling options for her son (there’s only one choice), the lack of vegetables and fruit for sale. But these pale in comparison to the struggle she has with the people. “They’re lazy,” she said. We would probably describe it as being ‘stuck in a poverty cycle,’ hopeless and depressed.

A trip to the village

I wanted to encourage her, as did G, a deaconess from N Church and leader of our fellowship group. So, G and I made a six-hour trip to her village in the height of the monsoon season. Waiting in the midday sun, in sweltering humidity for the bus to fill and get going was particularly difficult. The trek up the hill at the end had me looking so red in the face that S was shocked and worried for me when I greeted her at the top.

The weekend was a remarkable experience. Together we walked from house to house, meeting people, hearing their stories and praying with them. Inevitably they’d try to feed us—I was served goat curry on rice bubbles for breakfast for the first time in a while. G and her husband did most of the talking. As we visited with local believers, our discussions covered a vast range of topics: choosing marriage partners, marriage counselling, husbands who won’t stay at home, drugs and alcohol, when to get tetanus and rabies vaccinations, wound care, schooling and further study, pros and cons of seeking work overseas versus staying in the village, breastfeeding and care for underweight babies, interpretation of dreams, church leadership, planting of crops, management of high blood pressure, and storage of petrol.

Empathising with Rachel

At their fellowship I shared with the ladies about Rachel (Genesis 29-30). The pain of infertility, the jealousy in families when husbands take more than one wife, anger and frustration at situations out of your control—these issues and feelings resonated with the local women. When I met with N a month or so later, he said the women were still talking about it.

The visit was brief, but extremely beneficial in the strengthening of an ongoing relationship. S and N are front-line workers. I am thrilled to be part of their support team, partnering with them in seeing the expansion of God’s kingdom.

G mentored, supported and encouraged me in the lead up to the visit, during the trip and afterwards. I am grateful for her partnership too. There is no simple solution to the challenges around us, but as we partner together, we can share the burdens, supporting and praying for each other, and delighting with each other in the victories—both big and small.

PRAY

Pray that L & T would continue to develop relationships of trust with local believers.