March 9, 2023

Carl and Joy Follingstad
“We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead."
2 Corinthians 1:8-9

We thought the Tyap translation project we were working on was dead. There had been ethnic unrest between the Christian background Tyap people we were doing language development and Bible translation, and another group from a majority world religion. As a result, more than 300 people had been killed from both groups, and the entire leadership of the Tyap, some 80 chiefs in all, had been put in prison by the opposing group’s politicians, awaiting execution. We ourselves could not live in our village location to work with the translators but had to make quick trips in and out of the area. We were at a loss of what to do, and everything was out of control project-wise (and otherwise)!

But the Lord was “resurrection-active” despite this bleak situation! First, the attempt to execute the Tyap chiefs backfired because the other group’s politicians’ prosecuting lawyers “mistakenly” sent their case files to the Tyap defense lawyers instead of the judge, so the defense attorneys were able to get the capital offense charges against the chiefs dropped! Second, while in prison, the chiefs were able to check “Luke” that we had helped translate into Tyap, which strengthened them in prison. They read the Lord’s Prayer and other teaching from Luke in their mother tongue each day. Third, because of this situation, a crucial relationship deepened with a prominent chief which would prove foundational for finishing the Tyap New Testament! Truly, God had brought life into a dead situation for His glory and the benefit of the Tyap people!

We have seen God’s hand at work again and again in our lives and work, bringing life out of dead situations. Jesus’ mighty resurrection power brings us not only the assurance of eternal life, but assurance of this resurrection power applied to every “dead” and hopeless situation we find ourselves in.