Submission

Today’s lesson was incredible! Seeing people beginning to place their faith in what God says in His Word just thrills our hearts unto praise for Him!

We are up to Genesis chapter 4 so far – the story of Cain and Abel. We could hardly have guessed before coming to Mibu how just the first four chapters of Genesis could turn their world upside down. Who and even WHAT God is by what He said and did… that He created all of us, that sin has consequences, that we have an enemy who hates us and wants us to be separated from God forever, that we are all descendants of the two first people, these truths and so many more are at the same time amazing and confronting the Mibu people.

When we taught on Cain and Abel, we held up the tree branch that we had broken off weeks ago was sitting visibly in the teaching area. It was now dead and the leaves were dried up and shriveled. We said, “Just as if you break a branch off a tree, it’s source of life is gone, and so everything from the point where it was broken on outwards dies. The branch is separated from it’s source of life – the roots – God. The broken off branch is like Adam – and the smaller branches and leaves are like all of his descendents. Since Adam was separated from God for his disobedience, all of his children and children’s children down to US are separated from God. What a visual picture of our need for God!

Many people are asking us if they should sacrifice sheep like Abel did. They are ready to do it! We have told them to wait and keep listening to the lessons- that in the upcoming weeks we will learn more about the promised deliverer that Abel was waiting for. Later they will hear that the Jesus’ sacrifice was enough to cover them once and for all!

Right now they only know this promised deliverer as “Muguratdu Upeukngun”. This means “The offspring or our progenitor” (Genesis 3:15). Who is this person? Some have guessed that perhaps it is the angel who guarded the way back to the tree of life. We can only keep telling them to keep coming and hear the story line upon line. Someday soon they will know!!!

May God bless unto salvation those are believing to be true! I wish you all could have seen the look on Nimoke’s face during the teaching – she was just soaking in the truth! Later that afternoon, she walked up to our houses to talk further with us, and stated that she believes what she is hearing to be true, and therefore feels that she should abandon her former ways. Oh, may God bless this woman’s seed of faith! May she one day see Him face to face as Savior and as Lord!

And then there’s Bapake. This man walks hours and hours from his home village at the beginning of each week to hear the teaching! He said today that He believes God’s word to be true and is looking forward to the one that God will send to take their sins away. May this initial act of faith carry through to the day He hears of Jesus Christ.

Because of Him,
Joey and Brooke Tartaglia
Shiloh, Marietta, and Solomon

Tension

Here is the tension expressed by the Mibu people as they begin to see their position before God:

“My sins are many, how can I go to heaven?”
“Should we sacrifice animals to God so that He will forgive us?”
“How will the Deliverer that God promised make a way for me to go to heaven?”
“All of our ancestors that died before hearing God’s word, what happened to them?”
“If I die before hearing the end of the story, what will happen to me?”

For the past month we have taught through the first 3 chapters of Genesis, Monday thru Friday.  We have many more foundational teachings to cover in the Old Testament before presenting Jesus Christ, the promised Deliverer.

Please pray fervently for the Mibu people to look to the Lord and Him alone.

On Fire

A young couple stopped by our house late this afternoon.  They were full of questions and wanted to talk.  We have taught just 11 Bible lessons so far, and are up to Adam’s sin – and it is really getting the wheels turning!
They had questions regarding Adam and Eve, and questions just about life.  (ie Does my father who just died miss us, too?)  Sivi (the husband) said that he has an awful pain in his spirit that just won’t go away because he doesn’t think that he is right with God.  He is desperate to know how to get right – what to do, what to say.
His wife, Wun, remarked, “Our insides are on fire hearing that God made everything.  Our insides burn hearing that God made US!  Some of us are torn between our old ancestor beliefs and the new talk that we are hearing.”

Thank you for your prayers!  Please keep them up!  They are beginning to understand how BIG the implications are to what they are hearing, but there is still a lot of teaching to go, and there is still a choice to be made as to believe it completely or not.   The same desire they feel to appease God they also feel to appease their dead ancestors.  Pray that we can communicate that to choose God is to choose God ALONE.

For Him,
Joey and Brooke Tartaglia
Shiloh, Marietta, and Solomon

Prayer Request

Hi,

This is just a quick update asking for prayer.

Starting on Tuesday of this week, we will be teaching about the fall of man.  This is going to be an especially difficult point for some of the Mibu people.  Some of them make a living off of performing ceremonies to find out who worked sorcery on a person to cause their death.  Hearing that Adam’s sinfulness is the reason for death, and not sorcery, will challenge their beliefs to the core.

Please pray especially for them to be open to the truth as to why God says that people die.  Please also pray for our Mibu friend Lucas, who is seriously ill right now.  He is one of the guys in our literacy class who is training to become a literacy teacher.  He and his wife have two little boys.  A group of people worked the ceremony today to find out who worked the sorcery that caused him to get sick.  Not only does this throw this week’s teaching into sharp contrast with their beliefs, but it shows us the severity of his illness.  Thank you for your prayers for Lucas and for the Mibu people as a whole.

Love in Christ,
Joey and Brooke Tartaglia

PS Thank you to many of you who prayed for our son Solomon this past week.  Our lives were instantly turned upside down when we flew him out of the tribe to have him checked to see if he had appendicitis.  Thankfully the pains were something else, and though we don’t know what caused them, they went away and he is just fine.  🙂  Russ and Robyn Bishop took care of us for the week, and we are now all back in Mibu and ready to start again tomorrow into this week of teaching.