A searing wind blew down the Rayusan riverbed, driving fine silt into their eyes. Forty-three native church leaders, evangelists and missionaries from the Tawbuid and Alangan tribes huddled under a tiny square of shade in a desert of sand. They hardly even noticed the heat and dust, though, as they reveled in studying the Bible together.
Twenty-three years ago, my parents and I joined the AFM Alangan Project. Over the years, my parents and the other missionaries who partnered with them fought, wept and bled to train up native leaders who would carry on the work of evangelizing the tribe beyond where we could go.
Now I sat and marveled at God’s providence as the Alangan church leaders came together, of their own accord, to pass on the knowledge and wisdom they had learned from their spiritual parents. The second-generation Alangan church leaders weren’t the only ones in attendance. Many of our youth and nearly a quarter of the entire Tawbuid church came together to learn the wisdom that the first native leaders had found in the Bible.
“For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, . . . so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void” (Isa. 55:10, 11).