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Norwalk couple seeks missionary work

Cary Ashby • Apr 4, 2018 at 9:00 PM

The Lambs are on a missionary career path.

David and Tiffany are attempting reach their ministry budget to be missionaries in Papau New Guinea. In January, the Norwalk couple will begin a four-year term through the Wycliffe Bible Translators. That time will be followed by a nine-month to one-year furlough followed by another four years.

“Our skill set fits with their greatest need. They suggested Papau New Guinea and we accepted,” said David, a 2002 Norwalk High School graduate. “It’s a long-term commitment.”

One of his roles in Papau New Guinea will be providing the audio-visual tools in the community’s home language. One project is known as “The Jesus Film,” in which the Gospel of Luke is dubbed over the movie.

“We often give it to the (local) pastor and they show it to the community,” said David, noting it might be the first film the people of Papau New Guinea might see. “It’s very moving for them.”

The other project is an audio Bible.

“These are oral cultures. Because they are an oral culture, books don’t have the same authority as speaking,” said David, who studied audio for film at Columbia College Chicago

Tiffany will teach elementary-age students at an international Christian school. The 2004 NHS graduate studied education with an art minor at Judson University, which is outside of Chicago.

On Sunday, First Baptist Church in downtown Norwalk will host a spaghetti banquet for missions. After the meal, which will be served at 5 p.m., the Lambs will share information about Papau New Guinea, their roles as missionaries and Bible translation.

Donations only are being accepted and gifts will go to the Lambs’ “launching expenses.” The church is located at 67 E. Main St. 

The Lambs were asked what their goals are as missionaries. Tiffany said the Wycliffe organization wants to provide Bibles in every language to people in their “heart language,” meaning the words that will resonate the most with them. 

“It’s about making sure they have access to God’s Word in the language they understand,” she added.

The couple used the anecdote of a missionary in Cameroon who had shared the Good Friday message in French for years, but when it was translated to the residents’ local language, the story truly clicked, as if they had never heard it beforehand.

To say Papau New Guinea has a significant amount of language diversity might be an understatement.

“it’s the most lingusitically diverse country in the world. It’s the country with the most languages in the world,” David said. 

The Lambs estimated there are 900 languages in the country about the size of California.

“There are about 240 that don’t have any Scripture at all,” Tiffany said.

The Lambs are members of First Baptist, where his father, Paul, retired as pastor after 32 years. The couple has four children, ranging in age from 18 months to 6 years old.

“After graduating from high school, I did not want to work in the church,” David said. “(My father) taught me everything about how important God is. He carved the path for me in church and my love for God.”

The Lambs lived in Indonesia for three years. That overseas experience, which including teaching at schools, has laid the foundation for their upcoming missionary work.

“(I) learned to love other cultures,” said David, noting that seeing more of God’s creation was humbling. “I enjoy learning how people live.”

The couple is taking an ongoing missionary’s philosophy with them into their new experience.

“Mission exists because worship doesn’t. Mission is not the end goal; worship is,” David said.

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