Friday, May 23, 2008

Too Much Stuff

I just finished reading a book called "Mission Possible." Jon bought this book from a former missionary lady named Marilyn Laszlo after hearing her speak at Winterfest. It is the story of how God guided her to preliterate Hauna village in Papua New Guinea to bring them the Word. This village had their primitive spoken language, but no written language of any sort. She arrived not knowing one word, and spent over 20 years learning their words, developing an alphabet, writing primers, teaching villagers to read and write and eventually formed a team to translate the New Testament. It is a short (about 180 pages) book, but made me tear up or cry almost every time I sat down to get a few paragraphs in. The joy and excitement the village felt when they finished their complete rough draft took over 7300 days of work. It is really an amazing story--I recommend it for a quick, uplifting read.

Anyways, as I was finishing it up Thursday afternoon, I read something that really made me think. After finishing their New Testament translation, Marilyn and 6 Hauna men came on a one-year tour of the States. The held over 200 speaking engagements. They experienced quite a bit of culture shock-When Marilyn had first come to Hauna village in 1969 (I think) the people had never seen white people, modern medicine, radios, or many of the other things she brought. After spending nearly a year in the States, one young Hauna man told Marilyn,

Your country is great but it moves too fast and has too much stuff. And lots of the stuff doesn't even have any function. Knowing Jesus is not about having stuff. There are three things that seem to control most Americans' lives--their watch, stoplights and money. We don't need any of those things to live in the jungle.


Brooke said...

Too much stuff is exactly right. I struggle with "stuff" all the time and it's easy to forget that NONE of it matters. Thanks Stacy, interesting post.

Jamey said...

So true. Let's all move to the jungle.

Bethany said...

I'm with Jamey! :) Much simpler way of life over in the jungle! (THen I could quit worrying about my house! :)) THanks, Stacy for the ...yet another....reminder of how we complicate our lives when all we really need is God. And he is right there all the time!