MTC Classroom: Animism

Welcome to the Missionary Training Center!  “MTC Classroom” posts are to share with you some of the important things we are learning to prepare for our future ministry overseas.

Imagine living in a world where your daily existence–life or death, health or sickness, fullness or starvation–all depended on the whims of fickle, capricious spirits.  What if you believed those spirits had power over things as simple as your next meal and as complex as relational attraction?  What if those spirits existed everywhere: in the sky, in the air you breathe, in trees and rivers, in the smoke of a fire, in animals, and even in other people?

What if even the false “god” you believed in was so high and far-removed that he couldn’t be bothered about the concerns of your life?

Whom could you trust?  Where could you flee without being hounded by an overwhelming sense of fear?

Welcome to the world of the animist.

One of our teachers in Bible school used to say that “animism is the default religion of fallen humanity.”  Cultures around the globe are bound up in these beliefs, and it is within animistic systems like this that New Tribes Mission operates.  As ambassadors of the Gospel, it is our goal to see Christ glorified in the lives of people as they turn from darkness into light.  From lies to truth.  From fear to confidence.  From despair to hope.  From manipulation of the spirit world to trust in God for every need.

Even though we’re headed into missionary aviation, we are so thankful to be armed with an understanding of concepts like animism.  Not only will this understanding enable us to minister more effectively to missionaries we serve in the villages, but we will also be prepared to speak truth into the lives of our national neighbors.


  1. Hope you are all doing well! (How is Ivan’s rash?) Good to see your smiling faces. Especially a clean shaven Jared! 🙂

    • Thanks, Steve! Ivan’s rash is doing much better, although we’re noticing that he seems to react to the new grass this spring. It’s just good to know more about what’s causing it. (Jared’s clean-shaven face was short-lived…he’s now fully bearded again!)

  2. It is so good to get this update and to see your faces in the classroom setting. You are very dear to us!

  3. Yes, the season has come and gone, and for some of us it was a good one! Admiration flows from this mama to see your tenacity to be moved by our Lord to far away places where the Gospel has not been abundantly presented; even to experience the pain of familiar “home callings” and set them aside for the greater cause. Prayers for you all as you continue to study and prepare for this calling. (But we are counting the days to be able to see you all again and squeeze those grandsons!! and you two of course!)

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