Many of you have read my December post on what the Lord is doing among the Moi people of Papua, Indonesia through the Browns and other New Tribes missionaries. This week I received a response to that post from a dear family friend, Ron Hoffman. Ron and his wife Eileen are themselves retired missionaries. Ron was moved, after reading Rich's story, to share his meditations.
You may want to take a peek at Rich Brown's post to refresh your memory. Then read and be encouraged by Ron's inspiring devotional response:
After reading the Browns’ experience with the Moi People, my mind went to the Apostle Paul when he visited the city of Corinth. Here was a city known to be without the true God. It was common to hear at the time that when one was self-indulgent and controlled by sensuality, he was said to be “living like a Corinthian.”
When Paul began preaching at Corinth, the Lord spoke to him in a vision one night,
Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city. Acts 18:9, 10 NIV
As with the Browns, Paul was seeking to “see a church born from ashes.” Apparently, fear that this might not happen crept into Paul’s life. The Lord was reminding Paul that it was His Church and His people. Paul’s responsibility was to present the Gospel, and it was the Holy Spirit who would bring the Corinthians to salvation. The results – Paul stayed a year and a half teaching the Word of God as the church continued to grow.
Isn’t it wonderful to realize that the Lord is still bringing people to Himself from all over the world through men and women like the Browns? We all agree with Rich in speaking about our part in this process:
"He desired to use people like me, who are naturally selfish and unloving to show the Moi His entirely selfless and loving Son. The plan really didn’t make sense, but strength being made perfect in weakness is a foreign concept anyway.”
The thrilling results of their ministry encourage all of us. It is wonderful to hear,
“I am totally overwhelmed…I thank you, I praise you Creator.”
And, this is from a man who all his life lived in a society “full of fear, hate, and treachery” one that had “frequent sickness and homicides” and “had lost all knowledge of God.” Then we hear that not only do the Moi believers call out “Thank you Creator!” and “Praise you Creator!” but also have written countless songs of praise and thanksgiving.
These words of praise invite us to visit the future scene in Heaven found in Revelation 4 and 5. As we cast our crowns before God, all believers will be exclaiming:
You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you have created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being…You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation…worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise…To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power forever and ever. Rev. 4:11; 5:9, 12, 13 NIV
Isn’t it exciting? We might be standing next to a Moi as we experience this ultimate praise service!
Ron shares his own story:
Ministry did not begin for me until later in life. I was raised in a somewhat religious home but did not trust Christ as Savior until I was 20 years old at a religious retreat in Berchtesgaden, Germany while serving in the U. S. Army.
Ten years later, after marrying my wife, Eileen, and as a father of Tim and Sharon, I was called by the Lord to get further Bible training at Moody Bible Institute. At that time, a friendship was nurtured from a one-time meeting in PA with John and Jan Loyd.
After graduation from Moody Bible Institute in 1976, we began ministry with American Missionary Fellowship – locating in S IL as Area Missionaries to local rural churches and Camp WE WO SE JE. In 1992 – locating near Nashville TN - we began ministry as a Regional Director with AMF. This involved leadership with AMF missionaries in 7 Mid South states. Our son and family continued the ministry in S IL and at Camp WE WO SE JE.
Since retiring in 2007 from the Regional Director position, Eileen and I have enjoyed visiting with family and friends in TN and IL. I also enjoy writing, assisting in camping ministries, woodworking, gardening and home improvement projects.
Ron Hoffman 1/22/12