Tuesday, 25 September 2018
“Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn”
As SIM celebrates 125 years of making disciples where He is least known, we give thanks that God has brought nations into the light of His son! Paul Lukins shares below about SIM’s work amongst the Mursi – a nomadic and unreached people group in southern Ethiopia. Paul and his wife Carol, alongside their four children, spent 14 years serving with SIM in Ethiopia. Paul was responsible for a food security project and church planting in the local Mursi language. He remains passionate about seeing Mursi understand the Gospel in their heart language and understand God’s grace to them in Jesus!
When we went to Ethiopia in 2001 to work amongst the Mursi, we were by no means the first SIM workers. Way back in 1957, an Australian by the name of Dick McLellan first visited the Mursi. However, it wasn’t until 1989 that SIM workers took up residence and started living amongst the Mursi. Other workers, including a key Australian family were significant in building relationships and foundational work for ministry that continues today.
As Romans 10:14 says, “how can they hear unless someone tells them?” No one can understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ unless they hear God speak through His own Word. In the case of the Mursi, they are an oral people with no written language. Yet, they still need to hear the Gospel of Christ in their mother tongue to really understand it.
Translation of the Bible for the Mursi has been an oral work for almost 30 years. We praise God for recent progress. In August 2018, the first book of the Bible in draft form was completed! That’s 1 out of 66! This translation work has many challenges. It is dependent on having Mursi who understand another language such as Amharic or English, so they can translate back to their own language. They need to have a robust understanding of theology to ensure a good translation. Please join us in praising God for raising up Mursi to take part in the translation work, but pray for Mursi speakers with linguistic intuition and some education to be drawn to this work.
It may be slow-going, but God is growing his church and transforming lives! As with our own churches, there are plenty of rough diamonds but also wonderful stories of grace! There are Mursi, who have said, by the work of the Holy Spirit through His Word, “yes – I believe this is true!” There are leaders amongst the church, men and women, who are faithful and passionate about sharing what they have in Christ. In human terms, they don’t have much in terms of comforts, pleasures and education, but they are willing to sacrifice everything to make people aware of the Gospel and its transforming power. In this way, we Christians in the West can learn from these Mursi believers.
• Join us in giving thanks for the thirty years of work that has gone into translating the Bible into Mursi, and the recent completion of the first book in draft form.
• Give thanks for how God is transforming lives, and for the Mursi church leaders who are sharing Christ amongst their people.
• Pray that there might be many Mursi counted around the throne of the lamb and worshipping Him for eternity (Rev 7:9).