The Problem with Sharing Christ in Dong Villages

"I am not eloquent...but am slow of speech and of tongue" (Ex 4:10). God had a message to speak through Moses, but Moses did not exactly agree with God's plan. Many of us, Dong included, suffer from the same "uncircumcised lips."

We need to pray for our Dong brothers and sisters. One particular group of believers has not grown for over six years. There are none beyond the initial few believers and they feel no motivation to share any further in their home village or area.

What is really going on? When we dig a little deeper to understand the trends and motivations behind the actions of our brothers and sisters, how can we help? How do we pray? We do not want to apply the Exodus verse too liberally and imply that they are not sharing enough.

We also have a message, though. And we definitely have a mandate from Christ to share that message. Still we struggle with our Dong brothers to find the best way to encourage and pray for them. In the process, we just might hear words for ourselves.

This group of Dong believers has had a lot of interaction with foreigners. One possible problem is that they are mimicking the only pattern they know: what they have seen the foreigners do. Foreigners are, by definition, not local; they travel from place to place and do not put down roots in all of the villages they visit. That same model does not necessarily work for a Dong believer.

The Dong believers have roots in their home village, whether they like it or not; they have a home community; they are Dong. That is not to say they cannot travel or even that they should not go out to share the Gospel. The problem arises if the methods and patterns rise above the message. Those methods might take them from the one place they can most effectively, most natively, share the message. The message of Christ and eternal life with him is the whole point.
Several Dong people have made comments that could be losely translated to "I am a man of uncircumcised lips," just like Moses. God was kind enough to send a helper, Aaron; or maybe something like Barnabas to Paul. Let us pray for our Dong brothers and sisters to have opportunities and courage to share the Gospel, especially in their home villages. Let us pray that the message would grow within them and Christ and his saving power would naturally begin to work through them.

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