Thursday was an amazing day. That morning, part of our team got the chance to fly in a couple of the aircraft here at JAARS. Everyone dispersed to their projects and in the afternoon JAARS personnel took us on the driver’s course. Several of us are no stranger to driving around in the woods, but they took us through areas we would not have dreamed of trying to pass through. These guys go all over the world delivering vehicles to missionaries. With that delivery they also train them how to operate the vehicle delivered in some of the harshest and roughest imaginable. In the evening we hosted a dinner at the senior center on the JAARS complex for retired missionaries. That was where we met Ruth. She shared her story.
44 years. It blew our minds, the commitment, the long obedience, towards one goal. At 26 years old Ruth left the United States for the Philippines. For the next 44 years Ruth would dig in deep to the lives of a secluded tribe and begin the lengthy process of learning the people’s language, of learning their culture, and teaching them how to read. All this before she could even begin to translate the New Testament into the people’s heart language. A long obedience. That is what each of us is called for. Over and over this week we’ve heard similar stories with the constant reminder that those in the field were only a small portion of the bigger story. It takes a translator and a pilot. It takes logisticians, mechanics, builders, computer technicians, teachers, health care professionals, so many more – all working behind the scenes of the missionary in the field. This doesn’t even take into account those who fund – and pray – for those in the field.
We are leaving challenged for our next assignment.
Jeff and Susan