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Friday, November 24, 2017

Quast Archives

Graduation

Saturday, December 19, 2009

So yeah…I don’t think any of us were quite ready for this picture, but it’s a good parallel to today. Graduation from our church planting training almost took us by surprise. This semester has been our most chaotic by far, and we still feel like we just got back from summer break (actually I think I honestly still have a bag to unpack…) I guess we have hyped up our graduation from the Missionary Training Center enough. We have been talking about the implications of completing the required training, being cleared for membership, and accepting membership starting January 1st. I guess probably the bigger question on everyone’s mind is: what now?!

Immediately? Have a baby :) Baby Jade is due any minute, and we are waiting for her to come. No real contractions yet, but we are expecting her to be here at any time. Until then that’s what is on our mind. We look forward to (hopefully) catching our breath and enjoying Christmas as our little family. We have some family coming to visit after Christmas. We will be in Missouri our whole Christmas break.

In January we start anew with shift in focus. I (Jon) am starting my linguistics training. I have mentioned this before, and will only mention it again. The study of linguistics is a pretty technical field, and pretty boring when you go to describe what it is. But where I might be able to garner some interest is in describing how it will be used in a church plant. We are endeavoring to go where no missionary has gone before. Therefore the language of the people will not have been learned by outsiders before. Therefore there will be no textbooks to learn the language, and more than likely no system for even writing the language down. Linguistics will take care of those problems (among other things) making it very valuable. Now, its not required to know linguistics to go with New Tribes Mission, and that’s why we were able to graduate tonight. But we have been advised to spare ourselves some time and frustration and get trained in linguistics. So, we will take another semester to do so.

So what will Jen do while I’m in class? Well, besides adjust to the craziness of two kids (mom’s are knowingly nodding to that statement), we have just bought Jen a language course in Latin American Spanish. While this course won’t take her to fluency in the language, it will give her a jumpstart into one of the national languages of Paraguay. Many of you know that I lived a year in Argentina, and therefore have a good start in Spanish. This is an effort to even our language abilities so we are closer to the same spot when we get to Paraguay. We also feel that this move is in accordance to a principle we strive to live by: redeeming the time.

Everything we are doing at this point we are evaluating in light of Paraguay. We don’t want to be caught twiddling our thumbs waiting to arrive in Paraguay before we are actively involved in the work. We will do what we can now, to redeem the time to be better affective when we get there.

Till All Are Reached

Jon and Jen Quast

The Latest

Tuesday, December 15, 2009
 

This is kind of like a recap of things as we approach the end of 2009, but not entirely, because it also looks forward. Anyways, here's the latest news and prayer points from our end.

NTM Members

Our most exciting news is the fact that we have been approved to become members of New Tribes Mission. After 6 years since deciding to want to be a part of New Tribes, this has been a long time coming. This membership will become effective on January 1st.
 

The practical aspects of this membership are many. We are now able to serve overseas with New Tribes is the biggest thing. Also by taking membership, we are now recognized as clergy by the IRS, so any financial gifts are tax-deductible for our donors.

Linguistics

Jon's linguistics training starts in January. This is a specialized training designed to help him break down languages both by sounds and also by grammar. Also he will learn the steps to take an unwritten language and develop a system for writing it. While Jon is taking linguistics, Jen will be at home getting used to having two kids, while also getting a head start in Spanish so she will have a foundation when we arrive in Paraguay.

Partnership Development

Partnership Development is starting for us in January as well. We are trying to be in Paraguay early 2011, therefore it is necessary for us to start now to assemble a team to be behind this ministry in both prayer and monthly donations. Right now we receive monthly about 3% of what the field of Paraguay recommends we have pledged.

Baby Jade

Baby Jade is not here yet, but she is expected to come this week. Both the doctor and the chiropractor expect her to come before the week is out. Everything at this point appears fine, and the baby appears healthy so we are praising God for that.
 

We're not sure what Jamen will think of his new sibling, but are really looking forward to it. Jamen has amazed us as he is now nearly fully potty trained at only 20 months. Praise God we'll only have 1 in diapers :)

Prayer Requests

Baby Jade expected this week. Pray for Jen for the delivery process. Pray also for us as parents to be sensitive to Jamen's needs during this transition time. Pray for us as we develop a partnership development plan, and also pray for people to get behind this ministry.
 

Praise God with us for our health, God's provision thus far, and for how well the pregnancy has gone!

Till All Are Reached

Jon and Jen Quast

Keeping up

Friday, December 4, 2009
 

The name says "Keep Up With the Quasts"...but I can barely keep up these days. Just wanted to update you guys who are actively "keeping up" with us where we are in the process and what we need prayer for.

I thought that you all would like to know that we had our New Tribes Mission interview on Wednesday (December 2) with representatives for our HQ. We have been welcomed into the mission and have been made members. Our New Tribes membership begins January 1st.

We are praising God and literally jumping up and down. I (Jon) have been actively trying to get into the mission for 6 years (with training and setbacks). For those of you who were my friends at the outset of this calling, no doubt you were wondering if I would ever get to this point. There were times I doubted myself. But God has been faithfully growing me and providing the way to get me to this point. And to that I say praise God.

Still 13 months remain until we hope to be in Paraguay. We have an enormous amount of work to do between now and then, but given God's track record in my life, I'd say He's worthy to keep putting my trust in Him. (tongue in cheek...of course He is!)

Till All Are Reached

Jon and Jen Quast

To read more about the Quast's adventures in following the Lord's leading in their lives and to see more pictures of their journey, go to Quast's Quest (http://jonandjenquast.blogspot.com/) This is a different blog than the one at the New Tribes website. To read Jon and Jen's blog on the New Tribes website, go to http://www.ntm.org/wp/jon_quast/ At the New Tribes website you can  access old news articles, search the blog for  something you read once but can't find now, see their most recent postings, and read New Tribes Mission news.  On their blog, to read about their Ministry, go to the "About" link near the top.  You can also give online through the "Give" button. And at the very top of the page you can be connected back to NTM.org.

Cross the T's and dot the lower-case J's ...

Friday, November 20, 2009
 

What came to your mind when you read the title to this new article? I hope the picture in my mind came across to yours: paperwork! Paperwork can be pretty tedious sometimes. Whenever I have to fill out paperwork I thank God that He didn’t call me to be a doctor, a lawyer, or a secretary, because I would have to fill out a ton of paperwork probably on a daily basis.

Well, you may wonder why I spent my first paragraph talking about paperwork. Mainly because it is on my mind…I just did some. But, for the first time in my life I was happy to fill out paperwork. This was a special stack of papers…our application papers to New Tribes Mission!

It may seem a little strange to some that we even have to “apply” to New Tribes Missions. It may be strange to others that we haven’t applied already, so let me explain the process. About 2 years ago we applied to the New Tribes Mission Missionary Training Center. Our goal was to one day be full-fledge members of the mission. As the process goes, you cannot join New Tribes Mission until you have completed the training. During the training process not only are you equipped to serve as a missionary with the organization, you are also evaluated to see if you and the mission are even a good fit. When the training is completed you apply to become members of the team.

We currently stand 4 weeks out from completing our church planting training, and our official interview is in two weeks. It’s not really a concern that we might not get in. Remember how I said that during the training we are evaluated? The Missionary Training Center won’t let someone complete the training only to say that they are not allowed to be members. That wouldn’t be fair to anybody. If there was an issue with the person or couple becoming members of the mission, they would have let them know long before so that the issues could be worked through.

All that to say is the paperwork is in! We have gotten far enough along in the process that now we can officially apply to the mission! Our interview is with a couple from the home office in two weeks. If all goes according to every indication we will accept membership January 1st. We are standing at the thresh-hold, one step away from walking through the door.

We covet your prayers these days. Praise God with us that He has gotten us to this point. It’s been a long time since that day in Argentina in 2003 when I decided I wanted to be a part of what New Tribes Mission was doing. But here we are today, and the time that has transpired was worth every second.

Till All Are Reached

Jon and Jen Quast

 

To read more about the Quast's adventures in following the Lord's leading in their lives and to see more pictures of their journey, go to Quast's Quest (http://jonandjenquast.blogspot.com/) This is a different blog than the one at the New Tribes website. To read Jon and Jen's blog on the New Tribes website, go to http://www.ntm.org/wp/jon_quast/ At the New Tribes website you can  access old news articles, search the blog for  something you read once but can't find now, see their most recent postings, and read New Tribes Mission news.  On their blog, to read about their Ministry, go to the "About" link near the top.  You can also give online through the "Give" button. And at the very top of the page you can be connected back to NTM.org.

Consider This

Saturday, November 7, 2009

One of the things that we like to do with this blog is highlight a current course that we are in, and tie that into what we are doing with becoming missionaries to plant a church among the unreached people groups of the world. We get a lot of questions from time to time on this topic of missions, but there is a topic that we don’t get questions on often. The topic is how do you teach a tribal culture from the Bible. The question here is not what do you teach, but how do you teach. Not a commonly asked question, but one worth considering.

Think about how we think of a teaching situation. What comes to mind? You probably first picture a room, with people sitting down at desks. Maybe tables, maybe chairs. Oh yeah, and the room is probably climate controlled in your imagination. Now I’m guessing that in your mind there is someone standing up front. Perhaps he is dressed formerly, and he is addressing the sitting down people. He probably has a projector and a screen displaying the points he is trying to make. (which by the way he probably has three points all starting with the letter j, and a conclusion to finish his speech) The sitting down people have books and pen and paper in front of them and they are writing furiously to keep up. Oh yeah, and one more thing…QUIET!

As we look to present ourselves as teachers in someone else’s universe we have to figure out how we are going to teach. More than likely (in fact most definitely) the scenario will not look like what we saw above. The way we pass on information in the west is completely foreign to the majority of the people of the world. To quote a friend of mine: ”3 points and a poem ain’t gonna cut the mustard…”

Why not? Let’s break it down. The place that we are going to meet to teach God’s word will more than likely not qualify for a room. Try 4 posts and a roof, and you might have a better idea of a typical jungle classroom. Because there are no walls, many unexpected company may decide to join the meeting as well. By unexpected company I mean dogs, chickens, goats….I have even heard of a cassowary deciding to join the church meeting and then running off with a model of the ark of the covenant that the missionary was teaching on. So distractions are in. Quiet is out.

What about standing in front of the class and lecturing? In many cultures it may be more appropriate to sit down and teach. Some may teach by stories. In whatever situation we find ourselves we will have to be a learner first, a teacher second. We must learn how they do it. Teach them they way they learn information already. Big challenge.

Some other things to consider is our sense of urgency; actually communicating to them through our words and actions that this message is important. Teaching in the heart language of the people is another huge thing to consider. If you’ve followed what we have said at all about tribal missions you will know that we will take 2-5 years learning the language of the people before we ever teach. Why? We want the language to penetrate all the way down to their hearts. Teaching in a language other than their heart language (the language they grew up speaking, not a language they have learned) could result in an incomplete knowledge, or simply a partial understanding of the message. We want the message to take root in their hearts.

So this is kind of a recap (maybe introduction is a better word) to our class we just had called teaching considerations (go figure). Stay tuned for more next week. Remember us as we pursue Paraguay.

Till All Are Reached

Jon and Jen Quast

Third Semester

Friday October 23, 2009
 

For those of you who are praying for us here in training at the Missionary Training Center, but haven't heard a lot from us lately...our apologies.  Our monthly email hasn't been going out monthly.  We keep having issues with keeping track of our mailing list.  We think we have finally reached a solution with a company called mailchimp...but without further ado, let's fill you in on our third semester

CLA Practicum

The main course this semester was our CLA practicum.  CLA is simply in-house talk for Culture and Language acquisition.  Or in even simpler terms, the process of acquire another culture and language.  By practicum what is meant is the class put us in a role-play situation where we actually had to try to learn another culture and language (small scale of course).  I did write a news article on it and you can read it by clicking here.

The course went great and we really feel more prepared for the task ahead because of having taken it.  Thanks for your prayers!

Practical Skills

The course we are currently taking is called Practical Skills.  In practical skills our learning objective is...practical skills.  What kind you ask?  Stuff you need to know how to do in the jungle like cook from scratch, limit water and electricity use, construct a tarp shelter, sharpen knives, butcher, tie knots, use a map and compass, repair things that break, etc.  Oh yeah, and did I mention no tv and microwaves? Sounds like fun eh?  Well it is fun.  Some of the things we already knew how to do, and that was encouraging.  Other things were a learning experience (like Jon's first ever made from scratch loaf of bread).

Prayer Requests

Please remember Jen in your prayers as she is really starting to feel the fatigue of being pregnant.   Only 8 weeks to go, and you moms know how those last 8 weeks feel!

Pray also for focus on studies as things midway through the semester seem to be hectic.

Till All Are Reached

Jon and Jen Quast

To read more about the Quast's adventures in following the Lord's leading in their lives and to see more pictures of their journey, go to Quast's Quest (http://jonandjenquast.blogspot.com/) This is a different blog than the one at the New Tribes website. To read Jon and Jen's blog on the New Tribes website, go to http://www.ntm.org/wp/jon_quast/ At the website you can  access old news articles, search the blog for  something you read once but can't find now, see their most recent postings, and read New Tribes Mission news.  On their blog, to read about their Ministry, go to the "About" link near the top.  You can also give online through the "Give" button. And at the very top of the page you can be connected back to NTM.org.

Don’t Blink

Friday, October 9th, 2009

Jonathon and Jamen at the Springield Zoo 2009Maybe you’ve noticed that is has been three weeks since our last weekly update. It’s been incredibly busy. But then again, maybe you didn’t notice because it seems like business is a subject to which we all can relate, because everyone’s busy. Sometimes we are busy with things that we have to do. Sometimes we are busy with things we want to do. But other times we are busy with things we get to do.

Our business can be attributed to the class that we are going through…Culture and Language Acquisition (or affectionately known as Dobu). Yes, we are still in this class. This class is one of the most pivotal in our missionary training here in Missouri, and accordingly it lasts about half of our semester.

While we are not experts at how to do this whole missionary job because we have gone through Dobu (the class ends Monday), we do feel better prepared for the task ahead. We got some practical and technical things out of this class.

The first technical thing I’d say we have acquired is process. On day one of arriving in a new place, you want to know all the ins and outs of your new surrounding. Since you’ve gone to teach them about Jesus, natural you want to know the spiritual beliefs right away. Unfortunately, on day one, you are not ready to process those kind of deep level understandings. Jumping in too deep, before learning how to swim, normally leads to “drowning” in the culture. We have practiced a process to take us from the beginning stages of culture learning to the deeper ones.

Another technical thing we learned during this class was how to use our computers in a way that is acutally a help to us for learning language and culture (can I get an amen?). New Tribes Mission has created software to help us file anything we encounter overseas in a way that we can retrieve information as we need it. Think of it as a digital file cabinet, only there is no paper and the drawers don’t get stuck when you’re trying to look for something. The program that was use in language and culture study is really unique, and computer unsavy people like me needed all the help we could get.

A practical thing that we learned is how we react under culture pressured situations. Now that our sessions with our culture and language helper are over, we are taking a big step back and looking at what we said and what we did while we were taking this class. This will be helpful to see what we are doing right, and be encouraged, and also what things we are doing wrong but may be blind to.

The information learned in this class was priceless. It was a lot of work, and coupled with our other responsibilities (church, campus work detail, outreach) made for a busy month, but well worth. Thank you for taking the time to read, and remember us in your prayers.

Till All Are Reached

Jon and Jen Quast

 

Note: To read Jon and Jen's blog on the New Tribes website, go to http://www.ntm.org/wp/jon_quast/ At the website you can  access old news articles, search the blog for  something you read once but can't find now, see their most recent postings, and read New Tribes Mission news.  On their blog, to read about their Ministry, go to the "About" link near the top.  You can also give online through the "Give" button. And at the very top of the page you can be connected back to NTM.org.

One Year

September 18, 2009
Dan and Peggy Crane who represented Paraguay this yearThis week the Missionary Training Center had its annual "field fair." Don't think state fair. There was no ferris wheel, nor was there cotton candy. Field Fair is when representatives from different countries New Tribes Mission works in come to the training center and share up-to-the-second reports on current needs and vision on where the field is going. It was this time last year that Jen and I were eagerly sitting in the auditorium with ball-point pen and legal pad in hand trying to see where God would have us serve. After hearing the needs and vision presented about Paraguay, and after some time in prayer, we ultimately followed God's leading to serve in Paraguay.
 

A lot has happened in a year's time. We have seen our cross-cultural communication skills increase as we were exposed to phonetics, phonemics, grammar and the like. We have seen our ability to be discerning in culture increase through courses such as Animism, Folk Theology, and Culture and Language Acquisition. We have also grown spiritually as we have been involved in our local church here in Missouri, through interaction with our trainers, and by just good old fashioned time with the Lord.

 
 
A year is important as we look back. But a year is also important as we look forward to what lie ahead. One year from now we will have completed our church planting training. A year from now we have welcomed our daughter into the world. A year from now we will have completed our specialized linguistic training. A year from now we will have spent time raising our funding for the mission field. A year from now we will be completing our Linguistic Practicum in Oklahoma. And a year from now the only thing left to do before going to Paraguay will be getting on the plane. Stateside preperation will be complete.
 
Please continue to pray with us as the day draws ever closer. Pray for the things we will be going through. Pray for our finances that they would be raised up to a level that we can function in ministry. And be praying now for the unreached people group that we will present the gospel to.
 

Till All Are Reached

Jon and Jen Quast

 

Note: To read Jon and Jen's blog on the New Tribes website, go to http://www.ntm.org/wp/jon_quast/ At the website you can  access old news articles, search the blog for  something you read once but can't find now, see their most recent postings, and read New Tribes Mission news.  On their blog, to read about their Ministry, go to the "About" link near the top.  You can also give online through the "Give" button. And at the very top of the page you can be connected back to NTM.org.

Extra! Extra!

September 11, 2009

 

Most of the time, before Friday night comes, I have a pretty good idea what I'm going to write about this week. This week I was continue to give news on our Culture and Language Acquisition Practicum, that continues to stretch us and prepare us for ministry. However, occassionaly a topic comes up rather unexpectedly that I can't wait to write about. This weeks topic is one such topic. It simply cannot be put off for another week.

Many of you have heard our future plans for ministry, and the timeline needed to accomplish this goal of a tribal church plant in Paraguay. This plan and timeline has included a year in Mexico (before Parguay) to do Language study at a school there. The reason for that was leadership in Paraguay was not set up for a Spanish language program, and the school in Mexico would be the avenue for that.

This week I receieved an email from the New Tribes Mission field chairman in Paraguay. His email, among other things, stated the following: "We want to let you know that we decided that the NTM Mexico e2 program will no longer be the first part of NTM Paraguay's e2 program. In other words, the norm will be that folks will come to Paraguay rather than going to Mexico when they finish their partnership development." (e2 is simply new tribes lingo for learning the national language and culture)(partnership development is also new tribes lingo for prayer and financial partners to be able to do overseas ministry) The part I want you to catch is that Mexico is no longer a stop on the Quast train!!

So what does that mean for us? Basically it rewrites our timeline for ministry. We will finish our Church Planting training around Christmas time this year, and become members of the mission in January. I (Jon) will then take the Linguistic training course also offered here at the Missionary Training Center until May. We will have the summer off for partnership development, before returning in September to complete the final 6 weeks of linguistic training in Oklahoma (the Cherokee nation linguistic practicum) that will bring us up to October 2010. Lord-willing we will be able to finish partnership development time fairly quickly, as we will then endevour to be in Paraguay January 2011. For those who are trying to do the math in their heads, let me help … we hope to be in Paraguay in 16 months.

16 months. That will put Jamen at 2 1/2 year old, and baby Jade (who is less than 4 months away) will be 1 year old. We cannot tell you the excitement we feel to be a step closer to the country in which we will spend a large portion of our lives.

I will put a plug in here regarding our needs. The field of Paraguay has given us a monthly amount that they recommend we have committed before coming to the field. Currently we are receiving 8% of what they recommend. Some have committed to give but haven't started yet, and if you add those committments we are at about 25% of what our monthly ministry needs will be. As you can see we have a little ways to go, but we are trusting God will give us what we need to be most effective in ministry. We are excited to see what the Lord has already provided us to make us most effective in training.

We are thrilled to share this news with you. We weren't ever dreading going to Mexico for a year, but logistically it does make things a lot easier for us, as we will make one less move. Please join us as we thank our heavenly Daddy for the way He works.

 

 

Till All Are Reached

Jon and Jen Quast

 

Note: To read Jon and Jen's blog on the New Tribes website, go to http://www.ntm.org/wp/jon_quast/ At the website you can  access old news articles, search the blog for  something you read once but can't find now, see their most recent postings, and read New Tribes Mission news.  On their blog, to read about their Ministry, go to the "About" link near the top.  You can also give online through the "Give" button. And at the very top of the page you can be connected back to NTM.org. 

Adventures in Dobu-land

September 4, 2009

 

Right now at the Missionary Training Center, the third semester class of which we are a part are engrossed 100% in our course called the Culture and Language Acquisition Practicum. We however effectionately call this class "Dobu" for reasons that I will explain as we get going in this post.

One thing that a tribal missionary must do before he can ever hope to teach is to learn. He must learn the culture and the language of the people he has been sent to live among. (For us this will be a tribal group in Paraguay)

Our missionary "toolboxes" have been filled with many helpful tools to do this. For learning language we have taken courses such as Phonetics and Grammar so we can learn how to make different sounds that we are unfamiliar with, and also arrange words in grammatical ways we may not be used to. For culture we have practiced techniques and also researched kinds of cultures so we can think outside of our American culture and hopefully correctly assess the tribal culture. We have already taken these course, but one more course remains in our Culture and Language themed courses…the practicum.

 

This is the class where we try to pull everything together that we have learned at the training center thusfar. How we are doing it is one of the highlights of New Tribes Mission training. Our professors, about 10 in all, have been dressing in complete tribal "disguises" and acting out the Dobo tribal culture to us. They speak some English which, in this drama, is the trade language, but they mostly speak their tribal language. We right now are engaged in sessions where we are trying to learn their language and culture using the tools we have. Jen and I are in a small group of 6 people who meet regularly with a man named Kinosi. Kinonsi is our language helper we have hired. On top of these individual sessions we get to watch all the professors act out a Dobu tribal scene, so we can gain insight into the culture.

It is so encouraging to be using what we have learned. And alot of fun too! We have learned alot of language, and the culture still holds alot of mystery to us. I can't say we haven't made any mistakes, because we have. In our first session with Kinosi, I introduced myself and my wife Jen. We proceeded to ask Kinosi about himself and he told us what family he was from. Apparently for the Dobu, it is a point of pride to which family you belong to. When asked what family I belong to I said "Quast". He then asked Jen what family she was from. He became quite uncomfortable when she replied "Quast" as well because to him he thought we were from the same family before getting married! Woops! Oh well, you live and learn.

While you will always make mistakes when learning language and culture, our ability to function in a tribal location has been greatly enhanced because of the training we are taking a part of. We have a workable plan starting from day one in the tribal village, and going all the way to the day we leave. We know what to do, and how to do it. Now we need pray to the Lord for the strength to do it, and to the Holy Spirit to make what we do count by Him working.

Remember us as we will continue to take this practicum for roughly the next month.

 

Till All Are Reached

Jon and Jen Quast

 Till All Are Reached

Jon and Jen Quast

 

Note: To read Jon and Jen's blog on the New Tribes website, go to http://www.ntm.org/wp/jon_quast/ At the website you can  access old news articles, search the blog for  something you read once but can't find now, see their most recent postings, and read New Tribes Mission news.  On their blog, to read about their Ministry, go to the "About" link near the top.  You can also give online through the "Give" button. And at the very top of the page you can be connected back to NTM.org.

Developing Literacy

August 28, 2009

Dream with me for a moment. As you know, my wife and I are currently in our final year of church planting training with New Tribes Mission. But dream with me 15 years from now. We will have left our official training long behind. We will have studied Spanish, moved to Paraguay, and into a tribal location. After several years of studying the tribal language and culture we will have taught this unreached people group starting in Genesis and teaching clear through to our Savior Jesus Christ. Lord-willing we will have believers in this good news which will constitute the fledgling church. While we are discipling these believers and training leadership we will concurrently be translating God’s Word into their language. After all this hard hard work, (which will probably be more like 25 years) with great smiles and indescribabale emotion we will present them with their very own copy of the Bible, for the first time in the history of the world, in their language.

 

But what if they can’t read or write? This is consistently is the case of people groups that we work with as New Tribes Mission. It is rare that we work among literate people. In fact, it is more common for us to work among people that have never held a piece of paper or pencil in their hands! While our unapologetic goal is always to see a mature church planted among the unreached people groups of the world, we cannot deny the need to occassionally do things that on the surface don’t seem super spiritual. Literacy is one of those things.

I have become convinced of the need for people to become literate. Having access to the scriptures is of the utmost importance if the child of God is to grow in Him. There are many examples in church history of the general populace being in spiritual darkness because they did not have access to the Word of God. They were dependant on church leaders to tell them what was true and what was false, rather than read what God said for themselves. Unfortunately these church leaders weren’t always accurate in what they shared from God’s word. Simply put: people need personal access to communication with God, and God communicates greatly through His Word.

It’s one thing to be convinced of the need for people to be literate to have access to Bible, but its another thing to actually see them become literate. Picture yourself standing in front of a group of about 30 people, in the rainforest somewhere, with bugs biting, trying to decide what to write on the blackboard. These people have never heard of reading and writing. What are you going to teach lesson one? You look back at the crowd of people staring at you. A dog chases a cat through the middle of the classroom. This is not going well…

I wouldn’t have had a clue where to begin unless I had experienced the week that I just experienced here at the Missionary Training Center. Our class for literacy has been showing us where to start with teaching, how to develop literacy materials, and all the other things that go along with that. I have to admit its been quite a challanging class for me, but fortunately thats why God gives us a helpmeet, for Jen excels exceptionally well at this subject.

Praise God for the education system that we have in our country where a large number of our people are literate. And praise God for a faithful translation of the Bible in english. We are so blessed with access to these precious scriptures. Let’s turn a dream of an unreached people group reading God’s Word into reality as we expand the reach of the gospel (and literacy!).

Till All Are Reached

Jon and Jen Quast

A Masterful Makeover

August 21, 2009

 

Ok, it is time for me to resume our weekly ministry news update.

The summer came to a screaching halt about a week ago. Not a screaching halt as though we had an unexpected stop…but the summer went at a breakneck spead all the way till the end. We got back to Missouri last week, where we took a couple of days to re-adjust ourselves and Jamen to our apartment, and got ready for classes to begin. Classes for our third semester of Church Planting Training at the Missionary Training Center started Monday morning at 8:00 am.

So we hit the ground running so to speak. Our first two classes are Phonemics (boy, that sounds fun huh?) and our CLA Practicum (affectionately called “Dobu”, but more on that later) Jamen is no longer in the nursery here at school. He has graduated and moved up with the “big kids” in the minis class. He loves being able to walk around the bigger room with bigger toys like slides and swings. Woohoo!

Phonemics actually is fun, if you are wired like I am (Jon). Phonemics very basically explained is the process of getting the words that you say on to a piece of paper. Sound easy? Well, we will be doing this some day soon with a group of tribal people who don’t know how to read and write. They don’t know how to read and write, because reading and writing don’t exist for them…there’s no books, no paper, not even an alphabet developed in the places we as New Tribes Missionarys go! We have the priviledge of learning another people’s language, listen to what they are saying and how they are saying it, developing an alphabet, and teaching them to write and read it. (I assure you, although I have explained it very succintly in 3 sentences the job, it will take years, prayers, and buckets of sweat to have a chance of this happening) We could not be more excited to be a part of this!

Our CLA practicum, or Dobu class, deserves its own new article. And so it shall get one. But just in overview the class is designed to let us “role play” a tribal situation in which we apply all the tools from our training thus far, and use them to learn the tribal language and culture. This class brings the whole training together.

Thanks for reading, praying, giving, encouraging.

We will keep studying, praying, preparing, and going!

Till All Are Reached

Jon and Jen Quast

 

Note: To read Jon and Jen's blog on the New Tribes website, go to http://www.ntm.org/wp/jon_quast/ At the website you can  access old news articles, search the blog for the one thing you read about but can’t find now, read New Tribes Mission news, and see their most recent postings.  To read about their Ministry, go to the “About” link near the top.  You can also give online through the "Give" button. And at the very top of the page you can be connected back to NTM.org.

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July 29, 2009
 

We concluded our two months in Georgia with a goodbye service in our sending church.  We had a great time this summer.  So many people put us up in their homes, fed us, asked about Paraguay, and committed towards partnership now and in the future.  We gained surprisingly many new friends as well as strengthened ties with old.

From there we drove to my parents house in Virginia to drop Jen and Jamen off there.  I then drove back to Rocky Mount NC.  My parents are excited about the extra time they get with Jamen.  Many in Jen's family came down to see her and the baby as well, so there is a good family get together happening there.

Today is my last day in Rocky Mount.   I have been here trying to develop a team of a few select individuals who can serve as contact people to try to gain partner individuals and churches in this area.  ( I have also been able to see old high school friends, but that is an added bonus).  I have been able to meet with many people, and it seems that God will raise up a team in this area to help us in this capacity.

Needless to say, Jen and I are getting a little bit weary of being on the road.   While we are thankful to the Lord in what He has allowed us to accomplish, and we would not trade this time for anything, we have reached about the end of our energy.  Being on the road and living out of a suitcase, as you can well imagine, is pretty draining after 10 weeks.

Thanks to all who have made this summer possible.  We are now heading into the final leg of the trip...10 days at my parents just spending time with family.  Jamen meets his great-grandparents for the first time, and we are very excited about that.  See you soon.

Till All Are Reached

Jon and Jen Quast

 

June, 2009
 
We are in our second semester of training at the Missionary Training Center with New Tribes Mission in Roach, Missouri. We are equipping ourselves for the ministry that we will be a part of in the very near future. We are studying things such as Phonetics, Linguistics, Animism, and Church Planting principles. The training process is an essential aspect of tribal ministry.

The plan is to be members of New Tribes Mission when training is completed at the end of December. We are then going to take a linguistic program since we are going to be involved in orthography and translation work in our future tribal ministry. Upon the completion of our linguistic training we are spending a year in Mexico to become fluent in Spanish. We will then go to Paraguay and begin identifying the tribal location that we will move into and begin ministry. Target date to move to Paraguay is January 2012. But we are ALREADY in the process to reach them.
 

Till All Are Reached

Jon and Jen Quast