Adopt a Pal gains new meaning

One of the Pal men.  (Image courtesy Chris and Maggie Hostetter via NTM blog)

One of the Pal men.
(Image courtesy Chris and Maggie
Hostetter via NTM blog)

Papua New Guinea (MNN) — When you hear the phrase “Adopt a Pal,” what comes to mind? You may picture pet adoption, but Chris and Maggie Hostetter have something else in mind.

The Hostetter’s are serving God full-time in Papua New Guinea (PNG) with New Tribes Mission. Together with another missionary couple, Chris and Maggie are discipling indigenous believers using Scripture in the Pal language.

According to data gathered by The Joshua Project, the Pal people are a small community that live in a mountainous region of PNG. Less than 2,000 people speak the Pal language, but two-thirds of them claim to follow Christ.

However, The Joshua Project reports that many who call themselves believers would actually be considered “syncretistic,” because they combine elements of Christianity with traditional religious practices. This makes the Hostetter’s translation and discipleship efforts even more vital.

Chris, Maggie, and their four children moved to Pal in April 2012. They began a literacy program to teach the Pal people how to read and write, so they can eventually study the Word of God in their own language.

“Further down the road, we want to see them using Bible lessons and creating their own as the Pal Church grows, matures and expands,” wrote Chris in a November 2013 blog post.

“The literacy program is just the beginning, but it’s a vital step in the process.”

The Hostetter’s long-term goals are to see a fully-functioning Church in the Pal community, complete with a full Bible in the Pal language. They also want the church to able to send Pal missionaries to nearby villages and tribes.

In fall 2013, 14 students graduated from the first-ever Pal Literacy School. A few of them are leading the second literacy class, while Chris and Maggie provide assistance when needed.

Skeleton of the school building being built in the Pal community.  (Image courtesy Chris and Maggie Hostetter via NTM blog)

Skeleton of the school building being built in the Pal community.
(Image courtesy Chris and Maggie Hostetter via NTM blog)

The Hostetters and their partners will also be involved with discipleship and teaching God’s Word to the Pal people.  As Chris and Maggie gear up for the beginning of these Bible classes, they’re asking you to come alongside their efforts in prayer.  Can you “Adopt a Pal” family?

“Pray that God would prepare their hearts for His message to them, that they would faithfully attend the teaching,” ask Chris and Maggie, “that they would comprehend and understand God’s message, and that they would choose to put their faith in Jesus Christ.”

To adopt a Pal family, you can contact Chris by e-mail: chris_hostetter@ntm.org. The Hostetters will then send you a name, a short bio, and possibly a picture.

Pray that the Pal people will be receptive to the Gospel message. Pray that God will keep the literacy work moving swiftly forward.