The Faith of a Child

posted by Greg Pruett on April 27, 2015

Pioneer Bible Translators has received word that one of our missionary families to West Africa, Yancy and Sherry Fariss, lost their village home to a fire earlier this week.

Everyone made it out of the house safely with only minor injuries to Yancy, the father, and Debra, the 7-month-old baby.

Yancy reported that the fire burned pretty much everything in the house. He thanks the Lord that their car, computer and language data were spared, along with some odds and ends that were close to the door.

The Fariss family reported that their African neighbors in the village where they work were a great blessing to them. Many cried for them and some even wailed and threw dirt in the air to show their pain.

Sherry said that the three older Fariss children cried, prayed and even praised God for His protection as the house burned. William, age 7, wrote a psalm while he watched the house burn about how God is with us even in devastation. (See the bottom of this blog to read the actual psalm.) The children are mourning, but they are also rejoicing that everyone is okay.

Sherry writes, “Yancy and I are thankful for the things we were able to save and regretful about our losses. But we pray that God somehow uses this loss for the growth of His Kingdom among the people of West Africa.”

In response to this devastating news, we are launching a campaign of kindness to rally around these wonderful servants of God. They need a village home and a place to work. Our prayer is that Christ’s church will rally around the Fariss family so they may continue in their work of helping the Bibleless peoples of West Africa come to know Jesus Christ!

If you are able to contribute to this campaign please click on the link below and designate your gift to the Fariss Ministry Relief Fund or write a check to Pioneer Bible Translators and send it to the Fariss’ forwarding agent:

Pioneer Bible Translators
c/o Francille Vesel
910 Harrison Street
Abilene, TX 79601

Since the house and items destroyed were ministry property, all contributions are tax deductible.

For Additional Information, contact Pioneer Bible Translator’s Emergency Response Coordinator, Gary Billingsley at:
(972) 708-7460

If you would like to help financially in this project, tax deductible donations can be made electronically by clicking the icon on our home page and following the online instructions.
*Be sure to make notation that your gift is for the Fariss Ministry Relief Fund.

The following psalm was written by William Fariss, age 7, while he watched his house burn …

Through wind and rain Through fire and lava
The Lord will never leave you.
Through earthquakes and floods
Through changing sea levels and burning ash
The Lord will never leave you.
If you love Him, He will bless you and He will give you many things.
Who can change the Lord’s words?
Who can stop the Leviathan?
The Lord, of course.
Who made everything?
Who made the animals?
Who made the dinosaurs?
The Lord, our God.
Who can stop the Lord?
Who can chase a cheetah across the plains of Africa?
The Lord, He can.
Who can stand on Mount Everest?
Who can face a rhinoceros?
The Lord.
The Lord can give you sheep and goats and cows and ducks and chickens and dogs and cats.
The Lord can give you anything He wants to.
Just like David fought Goliath or Daniel lived throughout the lions’ den.
Just like Moses on the mountain,
just like the Israelites fought the Jebusites.
The Lord will never stop His power.
Who can face a tyranosaurus rex?
Who knows what kind of animals lived thousands of years ago?
The Lord! He knows.
Stop all the evil, and be kind to one another.
Who can stop the Lord?
Who can face an elephant?
Who is brave enough to face a lion?
The Lord.
Who’s as fast as a horse?
Who can catch a blue whale?
Who is brave enough to face a giant squid?
The Lord.
Just as Jesus died on the cross, so the Lord had done so.
The Lord will never leave His people.
The Bible is His word.
The Lord is a good leader.
Just as Moses and Aaron led the Israelites into the desert, so the Lord had done so.
Who can see the dinosaurs?
Who can face the behemoth?
The Lord who loves you.
And He will not forsake His people. The end.

Greg Pruett

Greg has served as President of Pioneer Bible Translators since 2007. He, his wife Rebecca, and their three children served in West Africa for more than twelve years, completing the Bible in the Yalunka language. He has a degree in civil engineering from Texas A&M, and a Masters and a Ph.D. in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary. He also has linguistic training from the University of North Dakota and the Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics.

twitter: @GregJPruett

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