Tribe in PNG celebrates New Testament translation anniversary.

By September 28, 2006

Papua New Guinea (MNN)–It’s almost the one year anniversary of the enthusiastic dedication of the Aziana New Testament in Papua New Guinea.

The dedication of the NT translation was November 8, 2005, and more than 300 Aziana believers gathered for that celebration.

Part of the ceremony was a “talk picture” by the Aziana people, which illustrated their gratefulness for God’s Word. Aziana New Testaments were placed in a circle and roped off with thorny vines and plants. This showed that the people were cut off from God with no way to get to Him.

The missionaries who began ministry among the tribe were asked to cut the vines. The New Testaments were then transferred to another spot representing the Azianas.

The message came clear in their ownership. New Tribes Missionary Mike Henderson says they took their new tool to the general marketplace, where the community gathered.

Their goal: to spread God’s Word to the rest of their tribe of 1,000 people. “They prayed, first of all, and just asked if they could start reading out of the Scriptures each Friday. The people said, ‘Yes, go ahead and start reading to us and we’ll see what it says.’ Then the people got bolder and said, ‘Can we do it every Friday?’ and they said, ‘Yes. We want to hear about it every Friday.'”

The Christians then began their preparations for the start of a new ministry. Henderson says, “They started praying about it, getting their lessons ready and giving the delivery each Friday.”

The result? Pure evangelism and passion. “As a result of that, about 60 have come to the Lord since that time. That’s really been neat to us, to see that. Even some of the children of the opposition have become believers, some of their grown children. It’s really been neat to see how God has used His Scripture there after we’re gone.”

Literacy classes have also formed to further the evangelistic process. There is some opposition presented in the form of dialect resistance. Some community members feel that there is no need for the Bible to be translated into the Aziana heart language.

Continue to pray for the Aziana believers as they not only disciple the new Christians, but also reach out to the community.

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