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One of our faithful tribal Bible teachers named Iya’ comes from a hamlet about a 2.5 hour hike away from our village. For many years, he and his wife, Yavulekwe, have faithfully walked the treacherous, steep, muddy trail from his home over to our village to be a part of seeing God’s Word take root in this remote, mountainous region. Iya’ and Yavulekwe also lived in an outreach location far from their own home for six months and helped teach and disciple new tribal believers from that area.
All in all, they are a super-faithful couple, and I was happy to see Iya’ start gathering supplies to build a house in our own village. Having a house here would allow him to store some of his stuff and be able to live in our village for long periods of time. Now, building a house out here in the bush is no easy task. There is no Lowe’s or Home Depot to go to, and all the material must be cut from the jungle and carried by hand to the house-building site. Iya’ didn’t want to be a burden to others and was doing a lot of the work himself, but the other believers from our area were quick to take notice of that and pulled alongside him to get his house finished.
In one day, they leveled the ground, put up the walls, and tied everything together tightly with vines. The next day, I helped as we went into the jungle to gather small poles to build the frame for the roof. We brought back the materials and tied all of the poles together to make a sturdy cone, which would support the roofing material for his little, round mountain house. As the men worked, the ladies gathered some supplies, built a fire, and cooked a lunch of greens and squash.
By the end of the day, Iya’s house was constructed and, with a huge grin, he thanked all those that came alongside to serve him. This is the typical way that the local people build their houses. But this time the believers didn’t help out of obligation or social pressure, they helped out of genuine love for another fellow Christian. This is yet another outward example of how God’s Word and Spirit are changing the hearts of the people on this mountain.
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