John & Paula Oliver - Missionaries with New Tribes Mission
Serving at NTM International Headquarters in Sanford, Florida
Newsletter 25 - May 2000
In 1995 we were privileged to visit Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) to help install and customize a computerized multi-currency accounting system for our bookkeepers there. While there, one of the very special opportunities that we had was to visit the Palaka tribe. For those of us who serve in support ministries back in the United States, it is especially meaningful to be able to visit the "front lines" and be reminded again that this is what we are all about - helping to reach the unreached with the gospel.
The process of learning a new language and culture is long and difficult. Our co-workers in the Palaka tribe, Allan and Mandy Caley, Verne and Denny Johnson, and Steve and Holly Robertson, were developing relationships with the tribal people and increasing their fluency in the Palaka language. (It is important that the missionary teachers have a good grasp of the language and culture in order to communicate clearly.)
Early this year, the missionary team reached the point where they were sufficiently fluent in the Palaka language, their teaching materials were prepared, and the people were ready. They proceeded to spend the next three months teaching chronologically through key passages from the Old and New Testaments. They laid a foundation and built upon it, trusting God to open the eyes of the Palaka to their lostness in sin and God's greatness, grace, and provision of salvation. On March 29 they presented the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, the culmination of months of teaching to them and years of learning about them. After the presentation, the missionaries asked the crowd of 400 if anyone had anything to say. Some testified of their new faith in Christ! Others had questions. The evening ended with the missionaries talking to individuals and groups until about 1 a.m.
Please keep the Palaka people and the missionaries to the Palaka in your prayers in coming days. The presentation of the Gospel, and their response to it, is a result of years of work. Next come discipling the believers, evangelizing other Palaka villages, continuing the New Testament translation, and looking to God to raise up godly Palaka leaders.
Over the past several years, a number of folks have contacted NTM concerning the possibility of making contributions through electronic funds transfer (EFT) from their checking or savings accounts. The EFT process allows donors to set up an automatic monthly donation to designated missionaries or ministries.
NTM has handled these EFT transfers, on a small scale, for a while now. As the number of monthly EFT donations has continued to increase, though, it became apparent that we needed to automate the process. John recently had the opportunity to work with our finance office to design and program a new EFT subsystem, which will enable NTM to track and automatically process EFT donations on a much larger scale.
With the new programs now in place, the finance office expects to see the number of EFT donations increase significantly. The EFT process has the potential to save time and postage for donors, reduce the workload in the NTM finance office, and help missionaries with their monthly budgeting.
Thanks for your prayers, encouragement, and support. We appreciate your continued prayer for wisdom in training our children, and for guidance and direction in our programming. Let us know how we can be praying for you also.
John, Paula, Nicholas, Joy, and Hannah Oliver J