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The first time I met Eminut, he was a young, unmarried man about the age of 17 or 18. This was back in 2006 when we built our first bush house. He was kind of tall and lanky for a mountain tribesman and always had a friendly smile on his face. He was always around to help teach us the language or to carry Asher on his shoulders as we navigated slippery logs or washed out muddy trails. He was very sure footed, and I trusted him with Asher way more than myself on the trails!
Since those first days, we have continued to be friends. Eventually, I learned the tribal language, and we developed a literacy course, Bible lessons, and translated the Scriptures. When we first taught through the Bible, Eminut was not around. But he did eventually come around and sat through our six-month literacy class.
Eminut was very quick to learn to read and write, and soon after became a literacy teacher. He was very faithful and turned into one of the best teachers in the village. He had three other brothers, and since we have known each other, two of them have died, along with many other friends from his hamlet. During these sad times, I have sat and cried with him and prayed that God would preserve him to hear and believe the gospel.
Over the years, as he would come back to our village with sick kids or to bring some news, I would talk with him about God’s Word and the way of salvation, but he never really had a clear understanding. He eventually sat through the creation to Christ evangelical Bible lessons, and, at the end of the lessons, he finally understood his sinfulness and need of a Savior. He quietly believed in the Lord Jesus and has now been taught through the book of Acts, Romans, and other books of the New Testament.
He recently expressed interest in helping out as a Bible teacher. I am thrilled to see how the Lord has preserved Eminut’s life, drawn him to Himself, given Him a family, a purpose in life, and now a desire to teach others God’s good Word!
Twelve years after our first meeting, Eminut now has four boys, just like I do. God has kept us friends all these years, and now we will be coworkers in the gospel. I thank God for Eminut and my other tribal coworkers who, although they have very difficult lives, love the Lord and sacrifice to serve Him.
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