Yongem Update

The team of evangelists from the Miboo church continue to tell God’s story in Yongem. The Yongem people are learning about God’s mighty power as seen when He brought the people of Israel into Egypt and miraculously back out again. During another lesson, the teachers put on a skit depicting a court session. During the session, several people offered a version of what happened in a crime, but it was only the testimony of the eye witness which was valid. Afterwards, David stood up and explained that we all have our own thoughts and beliefs about God, creation, and history, but God’s testimony supersedes our thoughts because He was eye witness to these things. Dreams, things our ancestors taught us, and our own concepts of God are all surpassed by the testimony of God’s word.

God’s Spirit is at work convicting the people of Yongem of their sin and of the truth. Markoos, a man who had been resisting the teaching openly by distorting the truth, humbly proclaimed publicly, “I have no further objections. I will only ask questions when I’m confused, but no longer to oppose or distort.” The teachers selflessly spend hour after hour after the lessons are over, explaining and re-explaining the lessons to those who have questions. The three groups in various stages of accepting and denying the Bible truths have melded into a more unified, open and seeking group. Praise God!

Bapeke, a former idol worshiper, now teaching the Word of God to the people in Yongem, stated fearlessly, “Before I used to go into the clan house and participated in many different customs. I discarded it all, and now have joined myself to the word of God. This message is the only way, and you should believe it. Listen to the message and decide for yourselves.” The response from the Yongem people was total silence, which in this culture is indicative of heavy conviction.

The Bible teachers have seen the importance of being direct in their communication, and in wisely contextualizing the message to their hearers. When David taught a point on Jacob and Esau that he knew would easily misunderstood, he presented gently but plainly, “When the Bible says, ‘Jacob,’ its talking about a person. If it was talking about afterbirth, it would have said, ‘afterbirth.’” Making these clarifications are necessary for good communication, and so worth the time. The response from the people in Yongem after hearing about Jacob and Esau was one of conviction.

When story of Jacob and Esau was taught, they responded, “We are just like Esau, who didn’t care about God, but only about temporal things. We have spent our lives thinking it is about material gain, rather than God and His word. Sin has covered us completely. Do we have to make our own way of salvation, or will God help us?”

Celebrating the New Year and anticipating great things,

Joey and Brooke Tartaglia Mibu, Madang, Papua New Guinea