Tribe accepts Christ, turn from false God

By August 31, 2007

Papua New Guinea (MNN) — After years of resistance, a people group in Papua New Guinea has found a new way of life.

Missionaries from New Tribes Mission began working with the Bisorio people in 1977 and shared the Gospel with them for the first time in 1982. Until then, the group had lived in fear of evil spirits, and most of them had killed at least one other person. 

The new believers became very motivated to help others. "They were concerned about their relatives that lived out in the hills and began praying for their enemies that God would send someone that could come and share the good news with them as well," said Bob Kennell of NTM who was there when they first worked with the Bisorios.

One group of Bisorio people in an area called Wilipa, however, was less reachable. Those people came to the missionaries and told them about a visit from their own god before the missionaries could get to their village. "He told them how to live, he gave them a new language, and he said ‘Do not listen to the message of the white man.' So, in this little area, they've been Dinaiya worshippers for years and years now and totally resistant to the Gospel," Kennell said.

But Christians in other Bisorio tribes were determined to share the Gospel with these people. Over the past few years, they have prayed for their hearts to open up. 

Finally, one local missionary decided it was time. Although the Wilipa people told him they didn't want him to come, he walked into their village anyway. "He said listen, ‘I am sorry. I am here. I'm going to teach you. I'm going to build my house right here, and the teaching will start tomorrow.'"

This March, Bob Kennell joined the missionary on the three-day, painful hike to the Wilipa village. "They taught them and presented the Gospel. And it's not a super large group–25 people, but out of that group 19 of them made a very solid profession of faith in Jesus Christ," said Kennel. 

Plans for discipleship were already set. The missionary stayed for a month, and other missionaries are lined up for back-to-back short-term stays. They also began carrying Christian literature and other resources to the Wilipa village. Literacy was on the top of the priority list so the tribe would be able to utilize the materials.

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