Just yesterday, I was talking with some friends trying to explain the difficulties in the struggle to reach the Dong people for Christ. Though most folks have heard this before, I thought I would send in this e-mail so it could be shared as a journal entry there on DongTeam. Even if it is old news, they still need new prayer.
I was explaining to my friends the problem with financial dependency. Even when Dong Christians are offered only bus fare and lodging to leave their villages to attend a training, they always come and often even bring along other "interested" family members. They will have to attend training all day; it is no vacation. But there is the catch: to a poor farmer who never gets out, even that offer translates to them as an all expense paid vacation to the big city.
And that is only the beginning. What these non-local trainings have (quite accidentally) brought about is an expectation for compensation for any Christian activity. Well, they do not think of it that way, but that is what it is. Never do we hear about locals just going to the next village to share or anything simple and without cost.
I really feel a need to pray for their relationship with Christ. They seem apathetic to anything spiritual, and I very much fear for their growth. Please pray.