Out of my match box

Gilbert, with his infectious smile

Gilbert, with his infectious smile

As we prepared to leave for the recent Yabru Oral Bible Storytelling course, it became apparent that we would be short of the trainers needed to run the course. Now what? We knew that at least one of the Wewak trainers mentioned he would be interested in helping with an OBS at Yabru if we needed an extra trainer. We contacted him and he said that if he couldn’t, possibly a fellow pastor and trainer could. This was indeed the solution. Gilbert cheerfully agreed to come and help out in whatever ways he could.

Having never flown in a plane before, boarding the small SIL Kodiak was a bit daunting. White knuckled, he sat in the very back seat, with fear and trepidation, and waited for what would come next. However, once he was in the air, he marveled at all he saw. Seeing the little villages that dotted the ground and the great expanse of trees was amazing. He said it was as if God was showing him that there was so much more to Papua New Guinea than his little corner of the world in his village.

Gilbert (second from right) facilitating group work

Gilbert (second from right) facilitating group work

In coming to Yabru, there were many things new for him. The plane that brought him, the canoe that took him back to meet the airplane, the myriads of mosquitoes, the intense heat, and new people from new places were all part of his experience. He said he learned so much from the people he met and it made him realize that no matter where he goes, there are believers who he can bond with in the body of Christ. He feels that he has gotten out of his “match box” from his own world and been given a glimpse of other people in Papua New Guinea. Rubbing shoulders with people from other denominations and hearing their stories has given him opportunities to learn as well. He has no idea what the future holds, but he knows that it may not look the same as the past did.

We don’t always know why God allows our plans to change, but we know that He has a purpose. Expectantly we wait to see what God has in store for Gilbert and his family. OBS is changing not only the lives of participants and communities, but trainers as well.


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