It begins as just a small trickle at the top of a valley surrounded by the cold, wet, ten thousand foot jungle mountains of the highlands. The Dago starts out as just the smallest of streams, fed by one side stream after another as it works its way down through the valley. Many of the small streams and creeks that feed into the Dago are so far up in the unpopulated mountains that they remain unnamed to this day. But then eventually as the stream gains velocity, it is joined by bigger streams such as the Matauwoo, and then the Epeadee and the Degeuwo, and finally the muddy Taane from the west.
One by one various streams and small rivers both named and unnamed join the Dago until it is so violent it is virtually unstoppable. It becomes a raging class-four stretch of rapids devouring and pulling under anything in its path. It races, churns and angrily crashes through the mountains until it eventually finds its way down into the blistering hot lowlands. It winds and snakes its way through mile after mile of muddy jungle towards the northern coast until it eventually begins to slow, only to finally be devoured itself by the great salty Asia Pacific Ocean.
In Matthew 13:31-32 Jesus said “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.” Of all the thousands upon thousands of varieties of plants growing in the remote jungles of the Dao tribe of Indonesia, one of the few plants they had never seen nor heard of until recently was the plant that comes from the “mustard seed”. As we reflected together with these remote people on this passage however one of their own similar illustrations that has come up over and over again of the way that God is powerfully moving through the various villages of the Dao tribe is the illustration of the way the powerful Dago river runs through through their mountains.
We have heard it explained from the tribal teachers we have trained, “God’s church is like the mighty Dao river! It starts out as a small stream at the top of our valley but who could ever stop it as it rumbles and crashes through the valley just a couple days hike downstream? In the same way, though there was only a few of us who first believed, as we carry the talk of the Creator’s Leaf Book to new villages and clans, our numbers grow and grow and the church gets bigger and bigger! Who could ever stop the work of the Creator as He builds His church!” Jesus Himself put it this way in Matthew 16:18; “I will build my church; and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.”
Just this past week we received word from a couple of the Bible teachers we have trained and sent out to new clans on the language borders to the north. Edeipiyaa and Omaayedi are the two teachers names. They are young men with wives and families of their own and are leaders in the Dao church. One of the coolest things about these two teachers is that they are not our own spiritual children but our spiritual grandchildren! In other words, they became believers through the first Dao teachers & missionaries that we sent out to do the first outreaches nearly eight years ago now! Now, these two men have been trained and discipled as leaders and pastors in the church and are leading new outreaches of their own. What an awesome thing it is to see the kingdom of God grow! What a wonderful privilege to have some small part in seeing God work! We are convinced that nothing can stop it! Jesus will have His completed church. There is not a thing in this universe that will keep Him from His bride!