Good News from Mindoro!
When Ramon and I went to Tamisan last week, we finally got to talk to Fausto. He was busy, with several small meetings going on in his house at the same time. We sat for about an hour trying to get a word or two in edgewise, but nothing was happening. His daughter, who is a village and township political leader, was sitting next to me. Since Fausto wasn't talking, I decided to make the best of things and started asking his daughter what various words I had heard meant. This started a conversation which led to my explaining why I was there, that I wasn't trying to sheep steel from the lowland Batangan who have been evangelized, but that I intended to go to the highland Batangan as soon as I could. I explained that I had come to Tamisan as I needed to learn the Batangan language, and I wanted to be all above board and not be going behind Fausto's back.
I was counting on Fausto listening in on the conversation, and I was right. As I continued to talk, Fausto turned to Ramon, and for the first time started talking to him. I couldn't hear the entire conversation as his daughter wouldn’t stop talking to me, but Ramon says the upshot was that Fausto said, "Well if he's just wanting to learn the language here (in Tamisan), there's no problem with that."
Before the end of the conversation, we had full permission to come regularly to Tamisan, learn language there, and go anywhere we want in the village's territory. Faustor's daughter suggested, as have three or four other people, that I move to Tagalongan. This is a village just upriver from Tamisan, and is the last lowland Batangan village. It has not been evangelized, and is a little more removed from the lowland influence. I planned on targeting Tagalongan as my first move before trying to get all the way into the interior. Now Tamisan might give me a free ticket into the village!
God is very good! It has taken a while, and I still don't have permission to live in Tamisan or any Batangan village, but it is a start. We have our foot in the door. By God's grace, the work of the Holy Spirit, and a lot of time spent with the people we will be able to work up from here.
Thank you for your thoughts, prayers, and support! Please continue to pray as this is just a start, there's a lot of work ahead. I head out to Tamisan in a few minutes, and if it is God's timing, I'll be asking to move into either Tamisan or Tagalongan. Please pray that God will continue to soften their hearts.
In His Service,