Thank you for you faithfulness in prayer.My family and I and our Northern Luzon ministry (CMI Partners) by God’s grace and mercy, are OK AND WELL when typhoon Haiyan entered Philippines and created unimaginable devastation and losses–that words are not quite sufficient to described it.The wind was very strong even here in the mountains. It was first time for us to hear howling wind that strong. Sounds like turbo jet passing overhead, and I was telling Nenette the wind seems to be creating “music” like that sound the movie Encounter of the third Kind (to some of you that perhaps saw this movie decades ago.) We are grateful to have move to a new house and place. In our old place, I would imagine it must have been stronger.It’s central Visayas that had really suffered terrible loses of lives, livelihood, properties… ocean water surge (becoming like tsunami) because of the super typhoon, that has really created devastation and lost of lives.Local news (tv and print) continue to show very sad footages and stories.I got in touch with our Palawan and Calamianes Group of Island CMI Partners (Coron and Busuanga):Pstr Angel S., Area Coordinator, texted telling losing his house, livelihood, and their church building. Pastor Renz shared the same thing, and so were some of the Pastors. They are grateful, though they lost whatever little they have, no lives were lost or even injury. Let us continue praying for them and find ways to provide assistance in tangible ways. Ministry equipment are okay. Palawan Team did not suffer much damages or loses.Difficult days awaits our Palawan and Calamianes Group of Islands partners. Coron still isolated and needing relief goods, etc. Check out link below for some video/photo and story.
Author Archives: Pam Larson
VVMI is a small mission. How can we encourage small churches to join with VVMI in partnership to spread the Gospel through video and other media?
Matthew Spandler-Davison has served as pastor of Redeemer Fellowship Church in Bardstown, Kentucky, since 2004. He is the director of the BCF Network and Urban Impact Missions. Originally from Scotland, he is a graduate of the University of Aberdeen and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He writes at The Gospel Coalition blog:
Most churches in the United States have fewer than 100 in attendance, and many of us are serving in small towns. We have very real challenges when it comes to mobilizing our churches for missions. Many of our members have never traveled overseas. Many others cannot afford to spend thousands on airfare to go there. Moreover, a church that isn’t experiencing growth will often question the wisdom of committing resources beyond its own community.
But even a small church can be strategically involved in international missions. The missionary movement has never been divorced from the church; it is the church.
Churches, both big and small, can support VVMI.
VVMI is a mission that focuses on proclaiming the Gospel to peoples in their native, heart language (vernacular language). This was recently posted by the Global Outreach Department at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, MN. It is a wonderful reminder of the importance of language, heart language.
When Jesus came in the flesh we explored some of the implications of incarnation the translation of divinity into humanity. (see Post 05) But as we enter holy week we meet a Messiah who is in the darkest hour of the human condition, face to face with the enemy of death. And yet his death is not completely like ours, just like his birth was not completely like ours. In his birth he came to make the message of God known in terms we could readily receive. In his death he was making a way that we could be received before the holy presence of the Father.
The biting pain of Jesus’ human crucifixion has been explored and expounded far more deeply by other authors but one aspect of his humanity is often overlooked – language. While language is not unique to the human condition, for God and angels speak intelligibly to mankind, the barriers of Babel still stand as a reminder of God’s mercy and judgment on the sons of Adam (see Post 06). Jesus, while yet on earth, was most likely trilingual speaking Hebrew (the language of his people and scriptures), Aramaic (the language of the region), and Greek (the language of the empire).
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying,”Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46 ESV)
The New Testament was written in Koiné (common) Greek and yet here we find a place where the biblical author does not just give us Jesus’ words in Greek. Jesus’ cry is recorded in transliterated Aramaic (though the first two words here are Hebrew) which Matthew then goes on to translate into Greek (Mark does something similar in his account, Mk. 15:34). Why employ this narrative device? Why here at the climax of Jesus’ ministry? Why sidetrack us with linguistic details in the record of his darkest hour?
For one thing, it shows us that at this moment Jesus was probably not crying out in Greek but in a mingling of his heart languages. For another, as the skies overhead grew dark in judgment, the mere speech of men would not suffice but out of Jesus’ heart comes the very language of scripture to clothe his anguish. Many have recognized this phrase as coming from Psalm 22:1 which Jesus may well have known in all three languages, but again he quotes it in the languages closest to his heart and people. Debates abound regarding what Jesus was doing here, but suffice it to say here, Jesus is drawing up these despairing words of the psalmist in the language of the common people and in a tongue close to his heart. It just came out that way.
Language is not merely a tool that we use to convey information or ideas. Language is much more fundamental than that, it gets to the very core of humanity. We are spoken beings who come into this world with a cry and leave with a groan, and in between is filled with an expression of our spokenness. But Jesus’ heart cry from the cross was so that our final groans would not be final. He groaned at his abandonment that we might rejoice in our adoption. His cry was real, and it really took our place.
So we say, “Hallelu-yah!”
VVM’s newest production, Treasures in Clay Jars, was dedicated and premiered last weekend at a medical mission outreach partnership held in Amlimay in Benguet Province, Philippines. The following statistics were provided from the event: 600 patients were treated (dental, basic medical,
surgical, and optical); over 300 attended the VVM film showing; during the weekend 188 persons received Christ; 177 recommitted themselves to Christ; 157 wanted to join Bible studies; and 104 Bibles were distributed. Praise God!
Colin and Zach arrived in the Philippines and have several praises in direct answer to specific prayers:
- To go along with the good equipment sponsorship, God provided an additional and unexpected “no fee” third checked bag to Colin for the trip. More equipment could be carried and there was also room for a few clothes!
- A potential tropical depression (or worse) did not develop its full potential and moved away from the areas to be visited just before the team’s arrival in the Philippines. Air turbulence predicted by the pilot to be very bad did not occur. In fact, things went so well that the flight arrived over 30 minutes ahead of schedule.
- The team’s baggage all arrived and was located easily and then cleared customs without difficulty.
- VVM Director Bayani located the team without difficulty in spite of a brownout that made the lighting inadequate. o The team has been able to meet with several Bible translators who are encouraged by the good results of VVM’s Church Mobilization Initiative, and are hopeful that Bible distribution efforts and film production will expand.
In Genesis 12, God tells Abram, “And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
VVMI’s ministry partner, VIÑA, created “Deditos” to share the Good News of the Gospel with ethnic minority language groups in Guatemala. On the other side of the globe, another VVMI ministry partner, Vernacular Video Ministry (VVM), was creating original Gospel-proclaiming films in remote tribal villages in the Philippines. God, through VVMI, brought these two groups together. They began to share a vision and goal of reaching children for Christ. VIÑA shared, and VVM started the work of dubbing Deditos into multiple ethnic minority languages in the Philippines.
Through Abraham, and through VIÑA, all the nations will be blessed! This video CAN be viewed on Vimeo; just click “Watch on Vimeo.”Here’s the episode, Los Hijos de Abraham (The Sons of Abraham) with English subtitles.
A dramatized Bible story using actual fingers as actors. We are a small non profit showcasing our videos on Vimeo. Anyone wanting to dub these videos into their own language, contact us and we’ll be glad to arrange it.
Una historia bíblica usando dedos como actores. Esta serie esta diseñada para ser doblado a idiomas autóctonas.
For more information on VVMI or any of our partners, please go to vvmi.org