The team had a chapel service today with other Indigenous students and ministered by Peter Johnson at Nungalinya College in Darwin. We learnt about Samson in the Old Testament and Maratja Dhamarandji led us in singing an original hymn with Indigenous verses written at the college.
After the service, Rachael Borneman, a missionary with Wycliffe Bible Translators and Scripture Union NT taught us a course on Indigenous cultural awareness, covering: worldview differences, kinship system, respect, and verbal and non-verbal conmunication with Indigenous people.
The team learnt that the way we minister to, and relate with, Indigenous people will be greatly enhanced by how much we acknowledge and accept the differences between the cultures, and that we must be willing to adapt and change ourselves first. This attitude can break many barriers so that we can work together as one people created in the image of God.
The complex Indigenous kinship system provides a skin name for each individual to connect and relate with others in the community. It also maintains a sense of order, marriage and parent relationship structure. People are responsible for relationships, animals and knowledge of their Law within the skin name, and this relationship is the key to the entire way of working in partnership with Indigenous people. If an outsider has received a skin name from an Indigenous person, it indicates that the outsider has been accepted into the community with a proper relationship with the people.
We also learnt about the ministry of Bible translations in the Territory. Rachel even taught us to sing a memory verse, John 3:16, in Kriol.
God bin laigim ebribodi detmatj,
en imbin jandim im ronwan san
blanga dai blanga olabat, wulijim ebribodi hu bilib langa im
garra abum det olagijawan laif en nomo dai.
En mi na det san blanga im.
Please pray for Nungalinya College as they look for new teachers to teach the Indigenous people, that they would find someone suitable to fill these roles.
Please also pray that the college will receive adequate funding in the next few years, so that they can provide consistent, high quality education over the long term and accommodation for the Indigenous students in a safe environment.
Please pray for the wisdom and energy of Nungalinya College students, so that they will be equipped for future Indigenous ministries, bringing the gospel to their kinsmen and language groups who don’t yet know Jesus.