I want to introduce you to Luke Aubrey, a young man who works in Papua New Guinea. I’m friends with Luke’s family in Upstate NY. Recently I spoke with Luke over the phone. I had contacted him because I’d like to promote a new generation of God’s missionaries. You can see my white hair, and I realize other younger people need to step up to the plate. Luke has done so and I applaud him. He works with what he calls SALT courses. SALT stands for Scripture Application and Leadership Training, encouraging villagers to read and study their newly translated Scriptures.
It is a vital first step of course to translate the Scriptures (like Edmund, myself and others did for the Nabak) but if those Scriptures aren’t used, then all that work is for nothing. Luke is a carpenter and talked about how important his tools were to him. He likened the Bible to a tool and it’s no good if it’s just collecting dust. The Bible talks about four kinds of soil and the Word of God being the seed. To bear fruit that soil needs to be fertile. The SALT courses help prepare the soil so that the translation can take root. It was very encouraging to hear how the SALT Bible courses are opening peoples’ hearts to the translated Scripture.
When I asked Luke about prayer requests he told me that settlements are exploding all over Papua New Guinea. Many young people wander around aimlessly, he said. There aren’t enough jobs to go around and this idleness and dissatisfaction leads to gang and criminal activity. Luke gathers young men around him for Bible study and to challenge them to move from the path of destruction. One young man came to him one morning all upset. It turns out he had shot a security guards and wanted Luke to mediate for him. Luke said that he would have to go to the police and turn himself in.
Luke understands that such behavior is exactly why he must be where he is. One of Luke’s favorite verses (as you’ll see in a later post) is 2 Corinthians 4:6 “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” This country is definitely ground for a spiritual battle. Satan is standing in the shadows not wanting to give up his position. Please join me in praying for Luke’s safety and for victory in this battle for souls.
As part of my efforts to promote new missionaries, I had also contacted Luke by e-mail and we had an e-mail interview. I asked him a few questions, and he gave his answers, which I will be including in parts 2 and 3 of this blog. I hope you appreciate the chance to get to know this exciting young man over the next few weeks!