God Grant Us Wisdom…

Written by: The Bridge on Wednesday, May 31st, 2006

Hi, we’ve been here in Palmgrove for 2 months now and we must say it has not been a holiday. The challenges are sometimes overwhelming. Sometimes we wish we would be back home, enjoying the already established, comfortable lifestyle. But then reality takes hold again and we realize we need to do our best here, to help build God’s Kingdom in this continent also.

Looking back, from the time that we came up till now, we can see many small improvements. Due to the fact that showers, toilets, sinks and lights in all the houses now work and other repairs that have been done, people are happier and more joyful. Even the school children are getting more attention, the sisters are busy sewing and patching their school uniforms, etc. The older people work very hard on the farm, planting African foods. The younger people are in school, and therefore only work with us a couple hours a day. We are trying to involve them, in working with us and teaching them all that we can. They need a lot of coaching. One feels sorry for them, because of their lack of practical education and proper guidance. They seem to be at a loss so often, not knowing what to do, and because of that, they shy away and avoid challenges. Hopefully we can establish some self-confidence in them with time. Our missionaries need to always keep that in mind. Around here, one always needs to be a teacher, no matter where one works or what one does. We need to train somebody as carpenter, electrician, poultry manager, palm tree climbers, etc. People that have been trained before have now left, leaving a gap so that one often needs to hire outsiders to repair or build. If there are no Naira to hire somebody, nothing is done and that causes dilapidation.
Lance will be working on repairs, such as roofs or rotten and broken down building sections. His first project is to put a roof on three containers that are standing next to each other, on which the tops have rusted and are leaking. We will then be able to use them as a storage place. It would be nice if he would have help. Maybe some young guy could be found and sent over here to Palmgrove. It’s important to set an example and people can see that slow and steady wins the race.
There are still a few challenges, like the income problems we have. The road grader is in good shape now and we’re trying to find work for it. The pay loader is still giving us hydraulic problems. We’re simply doing our best to bring things into order. It will take awhile.
On Sunday, we had a long meeting with all Palmgrove members and young people. There were some lengthy discussions on various issues where we feel changes need to be made. Some of the issues are, people or children staying in Palmgrove unauthorized, education, practical work, young people’s attitudes, commitment to community, TVs and Rock music. All visitors and children staying here for weeks and even months, and not having gone through management or brotherhood must leave. At this point, we cannot afford to play refuge camp.
We need to find a way to get more practical education versus the college drive that seems to tempt our young people. Free food and education, no need to work. Quite convenient for young people, who dream alot of getting out of hard sweating work in a hot climate. After college they have a long titled certificate of some sort, like technical engineer. Who would then still want to come back to this humble, two meal a day Palmgrove? That sounds like work again! If the convictions of true community is missing, then what’s to keep us together and why should one want to live that way?
We also need to find a way to get more young people involved in the church choir, we’re down to half a dozen. Most everybody else seems to show more interest in the Christian Rock band that was established in the last couple of years! If anybody wants to have his or her eardrums or nerves tested, that’s the place to come to. Disks a clanging and drums a drumming, electric guitars a strumming and keyboard a humming, the voice box full force, head held high with dark glasses, the microphone speakers are a crackling. The louder the storm, the wilder the dancing, there’s no more African culture in this situation. We decided to shut down the rock band and keep the keyboard only. It seems to be awful hard for the young people to accept. They have a big question mark??? The last missionaries instigated it, even paid for it, and now these new ministers have a different message. We keep saying that God is being chased out of church or even Palmgrove with such evil, fleshly, western world music and influence. The same with the TVs, wherever one goes when hydro is on, young people quarters or family dwellings, the TVs and VCRs are on. Worldly influences have crept in, which one can easily see in the way some of our people carry themselves and act. Homework? No time for that, again here we have the same problems. The last couple of years the TVs were brought in as baby sitters. Why is this influence suddenly so bad? Why such a different message now? When one listens to the reasons for keeping the TVs it’s almost a sin to have them taken out, even some parents are reluctant to have them removed. We’ve had some lengthy discussions on these issues and so the battle goes on.
We now need help from some of you young people, or whoever shows interest. Maybe you could write something pointing to the bad influence being brought in through such media. Maybe young people will listen more to other young people, instead of to us two supposedly old fashioned ministers. We could print it out and read it to them in church. We still believe in the good old time religion and that clashes with modern worship services. Otherwise, we seem to be making some progress slowly but surely, only God knows what lies ahead. Keep on praying for us that God may grant us wisdom to carry on.

Edward Kleinsasser

Showing 8 comments

(no name) said:
On: 31st May, 2006 at 22:10

if this will help any, please share my story. i am like a lot of hutterite youths, i searched for a better life. had it not have been for the tv, radio, and other worldly things i had, i would not have been lusted to leave the colony and go out into the world in search for a better life.
tvs and vcrs are not the answer to babysitting. they dont teach anything! the best way to babysit is sit down and spend time with children. you only ruin yourself if you stick to those worldly things. it means so much more to a child if you spend time with them then when you sit them down infront of those things and dont think much more off it.
another thing is, if you spend a lot of time having to do with worldly items, children spend more and more whiling away with it, and forsake other more important things. thinking about it, where does a person learn more? when watching tv, or when being outside doing little things, or watching others work. a person can learn soo much just by watching.
christian music and rock dont even belong in the same sentence! christian music is supposed to nice and conserved, not something to dance to. a person should listen to the words, not the music, which is what most youths do–listen only to the christian rock simply because it is appealing to the ears, and somewhat forgetting the message. songs should be heard and should be spreading the gosple in a heartfelt way–not in a form where its so annoying and loud that all you heard is music and hammering. the Lord doesnt want to hear the music–he wants to be praised. make music with voices in the choir-not as music, and the Lord will appreciate it more.
God bless you all, and please don’t fall into worldly temptations. you are the one thats going to fall the hardest, and hurt the most! help raise communities, and serve the Lord the way He wants to be praised.

–a 17 year old hutterite youth–

V said:
On: 1st Jun, 2006 at 08:54

It seems as if most Hutterite young people do fall into bad music, starting from when they’re 13 up to 25 years of age. In the back of one’s mind is the thought that, “once I’m older and better I will stop listening to it,” so it seems no big deal. As such a young person myself, I can say it is a very big deal, because all those dirty lyrics that were pounded into your head for all those years are stuck! At the start, when one is in the early teens, listening to such music is influenced by peer pressure and is the cool thing to do! Heaven forbid being the last one to know the lyrics of the lastest song! What at first is pop music turns into rap and metal, etc…gets worse all the time…

But it is alot harder to change when one is older than when one is young, and still immpressionable. Form good habits, examine your priorities: what is important in your life, what means most to you? Here’s a good way to get your life on the right track, ask yourself “where will I be in 20,30,40 years from now….HOW will I be?” Act accordingly.

Rock musice has no place in a Christian community. The same goes for TV, get rid of it and you’ll find you won’t even miss it.

-24 year old hutterite youth-

J said:
On: 1st Jun, 2006 at 12:11

Hi everybody,I hope this helps.I pray that all of you are doing good.How hard it must be to live in such conditions when you are so used to having it much better.Hello all you young people,I hope what I will say to you helps abit.I to loved the party scene,dancing ,drinking,playing loud music,whaetever suited my mood at that time,whatever made me feel good.That was the main thing feeling good.You think I’m gonna grow up some day,I’m gonna be a great person,I’m gonna love God with all my heart,I won’t listen to that kind of music anymore,I won’t be in the party scene anymore.I’ll quit drinking to make myself feel better..Someday,Oh what if someday never comes,and your bad habits are so ingrained into your personality,always remember,thoughts turn into actions,actions turn into habits and habits become your lifestyle.Maybe you will turn into a better person,,but those old habits%2 tle temptations, that you thought made you feel good,come knocking at you when you least expect it.Although you have changed your lifestyle,its always there the little temptations that you introduced yourself to at a young age.I still fight with it.Wouldn’t it be so much easier if we just didn’t listen to all that weird music,or watch tv,because it totally doesn’t benefit our well being or where we all wanna go someday,to heaven of course,and that is our goal in life to meet God someday that he will welcome us with open arms not turn us away…And doing that stuff does not pave our way ,,It just makes it harder to get there.Let us not forget,you reap what you sow.I have been there,I still struggle,always will I’m sure,but if I hadn’t put that junk into my head,I wouldn’t have to spend so much time trying to get it out.Put good stuff into your head and you’ll get good results….
From a 28 year old who does understand….

Been There said:
On: 1st Jun, 2006 at 15:03

I want to respond to your request for advise to the Palmgrove young people
When i decided to quit listening to rock music i found i could not forget the lyrics. Even after several years the words of those songs remain in my mind. Only God knows how i wish i had listened to spiritual songs instead!In Luke 6 45 we read
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
I had filled my heart and mind with evil treasures and now i was reaping what i had sown. The same was true of the movies i watched. Palmgrove young people you dont realize how destructive those modern movies are. If you think about it meny of them are filled with violence, immorality and worldliness. Yet you spend hours absorbing all this and do not realize that you are filling your heart and mind with evil treasures. My advise to you is to give it up, it will not benefit you in any way. All it will do is lead you farther away from God and deeper into sin. I know this for i have been there.
Spend your time instead gathering good treasures, join the choir, listen to spiritual songs and memorize Gods word.
As for using TVs to babysit children, a child should not be left in front of a TV for hours. Children flourish like flowers when they are given attention. When they are spoken to, held and played with.
I hope that God in his mercy will give you the wisdom to seek Him in your youth and reap the blessings for it.

an Encouragement said:
On: 2nd Jun, 2006 at 15:15

To the Palm Grove youth:
Evidently, there is a diabolic battle between two contrasting realities: light and darkness, good and bad, Satan and Christ. There is a collision of two different wisdoms: the wisdom from below that is earthly, beastly, devilish; and the wisdom from above, that is firstly truly pure, then peaceable, forbearing, yielding, full of mercy and of good fruits, not partial and not pretended. (James 3:15-17) The one side brings life, joy, peace both in this life and eternally, the other brings death, misery, slavery. Left to oneself, every single human being is destined to succumb to that which is from below, just like our first parents (Adam and Eve) succumbed to it.

So the battle for you, and for all of us, boils down to this one issue: conversion. Something needs to happen so we are not standing in this battle by ourselves. Have you appropriated the power of that one great act when the two opposing forces of the cosmos collided in that one moment of history – the crucifixion of Jesus, which resulted in the defeat of the satanic forces (Col 2:5)? Has the life of Christ been born in you through conversion? If it has, then “everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith.” (1 John 5:4) That new life, the overcoming life, is born in you, as John says it: “But to all who did receive Him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born… of God” (John 1:12,13).The world looses its grip… your desires change… slowly… gradually, you find your delight in the Lord and in fellowship with one another, rather than in the world. This new life in you is the treasure the last comment spoke about.

The war continues, but you are on different grounds! The world may be enticing, but there is a life birthed in you that opposes it, overcomes it. That life is strengthened by fellowship, by communion with the Lord. You are now on the pathway to life, leading to more life, and eventually… life eternally. Compare this with being on the path of death, leading to more death eternally, which, as Solomon already discovered millennia ago, “Vanities of vanities. All is vanity.” (Ecc 1:2) Try the world, you will come to the same conclusion Solomon reached: “Is there a thing of which it is said, ‘See, this is new’? It has been already in the ages before us.” (Ecc 1:10) Trust me, that’s the conclusion you will reach. In spirit and in essence, there is nothing new. It may take a different form (TV, rock music, style) but the essence never changes.

– since this blog seems to be anonymous, I choose to remain so

Karen said:
On: 2nd Jun, 2006 at 22:09

It’s quite disheartening to hear about all the negative effects that the “worldly” music has done, and is still doing, to so many of our young people. Yet, it’s also encouraging that a number of us have chosen to take a different route.
But, as has been previously mentioned, the bad music we listened to, just keeps coming back to haunt us again and again. I have continually been a victim to that and have regretted it a great deal. There are times when your heart overflows with joy where you should be praising the Lord and instead, a “Putzenlied” escapes your lip.
The bad music is one of Satan’s instruments that he uses to distract Christians from doing what we should be doing..giving praise where praise is due. Had we made better choices in our younger years, we would not be suffering from his evil temptations now.
The same goes with television and the Internet for that matter. At a church sermon in Silverwinds, Paul Vetter made it quite clear when he said that time spent watching TV or browsing on the Internet is most of the time idly wasted when it could be spent building up ourselves spiritually. Es fleischliga nemp ueberhont! The ministers keep warning us young people urgently to guard our minds and hearts and trust me – heeding their call will be much more rewarding than following our old habits.
Singing to me is sacred and all singing should be done to the glory of God. What’s the point in trying to please man? Build up treasures in HEAVEN. It’s the only goal worth striving for.

JW said:
On: 6th Jun, 2006 at 21:13

Why would a Christian young person at all be interested in watching the (perfectly modeled) lives portrayed on TV and in videos?? We all know most everything is staged, and our own lives can nor should in no way be led as theirs, for there is in real life nowhere near the drama and excitement shown. Think! Can you not see what you are doing by watching these movies and shows? Cheapening your own life experiences? Cheating our God by spending time pursuing such unworthy causes? And I’m not talking about any kind of filth, or obscenities; even ‘clean’ shows have their effect on a persons mind, burning the graphic content into the mind’s memory forever .You may not recall what you have watched the last week, but believe me, at times when you’ll least expect it the pictures and scenes will resurface, and further drive your thoughts from what good might have come in its stead. As it says in Phillipians 4,8 :Whatsoever things are honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report; if there be any virtue, any praise, think on these things. Can you honestly say watching videos or TV improves your thought life?
Listening to anything other than Godly hymns or simple songs of praise? Think, young mind!! What lures the ear to ‘Christian rock’? Can you honestly say it is the words that are sung? (Which, I may add, are not very discernible, to the ear (if at all) amidst all the other noise) I believe it is not! Even listening to the tune, or beat of some of this ‘music’ can and does alter ones’ mood. Ask any music professional and they’ll tell you the same thing. I believe they call it ‘tone painting’. Can you not see how Satan is luring you into yet another of his traps? Such an easy way for him to draw young people into something which he can at a later time use to persecute You. ‘It keeps me from being depressed’ you might say, it makes me feel good; and everybody else is doing it, I’ll not fit in if I don’t!
I personally find singing in our choir a very fulfilling experience, and love hearing others sing as well. The words and melody can make the heart soar to the heavens! What other means have we to praise our God in such a beautiful way?
Let us be aware of what we fill our time with, for in the end it is not only God but also ourselves who will have been cheated.

sunnydaze said:
On: 25th Jun, 2006 at 12:24

Keep up the courage & Faith all of our missionaries in Nigeria. May God grant you the wisdom so that you can make your desitions wisely.