Isolated deep in the jungles of Papau New Guinea, near the Sepik river, live the tribal people group, the Uriay. Years ago, they were given an exciting taste of God’s love, but never learned the full story. They wait for missionaries to return again and share the rest of God’s redemptive plan.

 

As good Christian teenagers, Jason and Laken developed a severe case of Save the World-itis. A condition marked by an outbreak of compassion, it kindled a strong desire in them to leave the U.S. as missionaries to a strange new land. (Side effects often include collecting TOMS shoes, and mistaking a lack of real world wisdom as extreme faith.)

Forged in the fires of an undergrad education and hammered into a vision by the might of theology, their zealous passion transformed into a real strategy: to plant a new community of believers among an unreached people group and grow them into a mature church able to reproduce on its own.

The wisest way to implement their strategy would be to complete their undergrad degrees and engage in a rigorous four year program of language and culture immersion in preparation for church planting in the field. Instead, Jason proposed they quit school and fly to the nearest jungle armed only with a djembe and a tattered NIV Teen Study Bible.

Luckily, his plan was foiled by a handsome head pastor and a few delicate pokes from the Holy Ghost…

Joining their hearts and imaginations in the covenant of marriage, Jason and Laken took the wisest path and back-flipped into the deep end of missionary preparation with the wonderful folks of New Tribes Mission. It took them four years of intense training to be ready for placement in the field, with majors in Sink Laundry, Strategic Board Game Mastery, and Dreadlock Cultivation. They also picked up a minor in Obedience to Commands in Genesis when they spawned two small children.

During this journey, their hearts were drawn to the Wabuku region of Papua New Guinea…Stories circulated between the families of New Tribes about a failed church work among the tribe that lived there. The Uriay people had heard the good news and received it in part, but before the deep roots of the Kingdom could produce a mature church, the work among them faltered…

Shattering their original expectations, Jason and Laken embraced the irony and the power of resurrecting a tribal church by bringing the story of the Resurrection back in its fullness. Joined with a team of like-minded missionaries, they begin fulfilling their vision of church planting in February 2017.