Missionaries with the people of Papua New Guinea

Tomorrow they begin at the beginning.

by Jackie Fallis

The missionary team Elias and José Struik, Lisa Kappeler and Matt and Rachel Clayton present Genesis 1:1 to the Uriay people of Papua New Guinea tomorrow.

On Sunday the team started with why they’re teaching this way as well as the big picture of things — where the Uriay are in relation to the rest of the world.

Monday was spent explaining how time is linear with beginning and end, and how people have held to ancestral beliefs all around the world, but that the One who made everything communicates truth via His Word.

The team delved into how they know this is the truth and God’s authority on Tuesday and Wednesday, going further to talk about the many languages His Word is in.

Thursday is when they launch into God’s story.

From house building in 2004 to beginning to learn the culture and language, from teaching literacy to writing the Bible lessons, all of the work culminates in this.

It’s not without challenges. An Uriay woman recently committed suicide a couple of weeks ago, something virtually unheard of in their culture. They don’t believe suicide is actually possible. It’s blamed on sorcery. Due to fear of sorcery the people were actually thinking of leaving the village and falling back to one more hidden in the jungle.

“We shared our thoughts with them and tried to encourage them that they’re just about to hear the Truth and it will give life and peace,” wrote Lisa Kappeler. “Their whole mindset seemed to change and they went from ‘we’re absolutely moving’ to ‘perhaps we should stay here to hear this talk.'”

Then the village emptied out, and the missionaries were left wondering who would be there for the teaching.

Lisa wrote, “But all of us felt that we needed to rest in the Lord and wait on His timing. So we waited, and as the next two weeks went on, three couples came back, and visits with folks that came back for the day gave us indications that most of the folks would be back.”

“We’re actually expecting most of the village and some from our other two villages to arrive later this afternoon. There were a couple people that I told someone that it would take a miracle for them to be here — and from what I’ve heard recently, they’ll be here!”

Please pray that the lessons will be well-attended and that it will be clear to all who hear it. Pray further that the missionaries will be able to expand on the concepts in the lessons in one-on-one conversations.

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