Church Planted

A baby church has just been born in Mibu. Though we’re not up nights, we feel the excitement and concerns of a new parent. Though we have been praying for this, anticipating this, hardly daring to hope for such a thorough reception of the Gospel, it is really happening.

At our very first meeting with the new believers in Mibu, we taught on several basic things – including the ability we have to talk to God. (aka prayer 🙂 The main hurdle that the culture here must overcome is the thought that prayer is manipulation. They have been trying to manipulate any spirit they have ever heard of (or dreamed up) for centuries!

A few days after the lesson, I was walking along a trail with Tima. I suggested that we talk to God together, and he was glad to – but thought we’d need to stop hiking and find a good spot and sit with our eyes closed. (Town and churchy influence travels even this far into the back of the bush!) I about knocked him off his feet when I told him that we could go ahead and talk to God as we walked along! What a freeing concept this is…. no formula to follow, it can’t be done incorrectly, no punishment for leaving something out. What a tool it has been for “on the job” teaching about God’s great love and desire to have a real and personal relationship with His children.

Now, just as so many of you have been praying for the salvation of the people in these two villages, Mibu and Beng, we are asking these new believers to pray in earnest for the Bible teaching in the first outreach village – the Mibu speaking village of Tariknan. After offering teacher’s training to the interested believers here, we plan to go together with them in June to Tariknan to teach there. This time, instead of just the missionaries teaching, it will be us together with Mibu men, team teaching and praying together for a harvest!

Please continue your prayers, the Mibu people are still very new believers. Incorrect teaching spreads as fast as gossip, and though everyone is still excited about their newly found salvation, life’s pitfalls and discouragements weigh on them and distract them from their love and gratitude to God – just as they can to any of us. Pray for us, for love and patience, for clarity in teaching, and that we remain focused on God ourselves.

Thank you!!
Write anytime!

For His Glory,
Joey and Brooke Tartaglia
Mibu, Madang, PNG

God answers prayers, Sivi and Posilongge are saved!!

Several weeks ago we sent out a prayer request for 2 individuals who were rejecting the message of the Bible.  This was especially alarming considering the prominence and influence these 2 men have in Mibu.

Well, it’s as if God was saying “All you had to do was ask”, because shortly after we sent out that prayer request, both Sivi and Posilongge each completely changed their minds in regards to the truthfulness of God’s word.  Here’s how it happened:

Around the time we sent out the prayer request, we taught a lesson on the temptation of Jesus by Satan.  It was a relatively short lesson, and we did 2 simple skits.  The first skit was at the beginning, where we showed Satan distorting the message of the Bible, trying to use that to tempt Jesus.  Of course, Jesus correctly used the Word of God to refute Satan.

Then, at the end of the lesson, we did what we normally do, that is, ask if anyone has any questions.  I simply asked the question, and the person who played Satan in the first skit got up and said, “Yes, I’ve got a question”.  At this point, he was still in his Satan “costume”.  He started asking the Mibu people, “Do you really think that this guy, Jesus can really save you?  He’s not even from Papua New Guinea?  He’s fine for the Israelites, but how can he save you?”

As Satan finished his spiel, one of the Mibu guys that often helps out in skits stood up and said, “I believe what you are saying.”  Immediately, Satan rushed over to this guy and pulled him out from the rest of the group; then Satan came back and addressed the Mibu people again.

This time he ever so skillfully implored the Mibu people not to take our warnings about hell as literal.  “Its just a figure of speech” he said.  Again, another one of the Mibu actors “believed” Satan’s words, and Satan pulled that person away from the group.

Finally, Satan returned a 3rd time and said, “All this talk about ‘salvation’.  You know what they mean when they say ‘salvation’, don’t you?  They mean that if you believe God’s word, he is going to save you from the hard life you face.  All the material benefits you could ever want.”  Once again another Mibu man was led away by Satan.

Then, Satan went and addressed privately the 3 people he had taken. The 3 of them, along with Satan, came back to the group and started preaching their lies, trying to pull more people away.  Yes, it was a set up… and that’s how the skit ended.

In the following days, both Sivi and Posilongge sought us out to talk on separate occasions.  Geoff and I sat down at length with Posilongge and listened to him talk about how he had been deceived, and how he had changed his mind, and is now believing God’s word, and that he too trusts in Christ’s death.  Even yesterday it was so sweet to see him bring 2 little boys by so that they could share their testimony with us.  While it was obvious that the two boys still haven’t put the pieces together, it was very special to see Posilongge trying to help them see it.

Later on Brooke and I sat down with Sivi and his wife, Wun.  Sivi talked first at length of his deception.  He said, “All those questions I asked you were because I just didn’t understand.  I asked a lot of questions that were off point, because I was deceived.”  Then Sivi and Wun each shared their new found faith with Brooke and I.  Neither of them have stopped talking about it since!!  🙂

God is calling many people to Himself.  Please continue praying, now for the wisdom and patience and diligence to disciple these new believers and teach them to turn to God and His Word for their needs.

For His Eternal Glory,
Joey and Brooke Tartaglia
Mibu, Madang, PNG

 

Entire Mibu families trusting in God!!!

Acts 16:34 “…he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God – he and his whole family”.

I (Joey) watched in complete amazement yesterday as Mootriye and his entire family each testified to their firm belief that Jesus’ death on the cross satisfied God’s wrath.  With smiles on their faces, one by one they expressed their new found faith with all the joy of one having just learned that they will be spending eternity in heaven with God.

Mootriye’s family is not the first Mibu family to have done this.  On Friday, after the teaching, I sat in a hut and talked with one new believer after another.  When it was all done, and everyone that I had talked to was gathered in a hut, it hit me, virtually the entire Sandip clan has come to believe in God!!!

Thank you so much for your prayers over the last few years.  Many of you have prayed with diligence for individuals, families, and the entire tribe.  God is doing an incredible work here, and it has been such a joy to sit down with dozens upon dozens of newly born Christians in the past couple weeks.  The looks of joy on their faces, and relief, and gratitude!!  What a privilege it is to be here as an eye witness to this extraordinary climax in the history of the Mibu people.

We are thanking God for the spiritual rebirth of the following people:

Women and Girls:  Biop, Nema, Parenuwe, Dage, Mewoone, Ipi, Ngave, Jin, Sotine, Nosoo, Awiyoo, Jawiyee, Manggoowut, Sira, Barayoope, Denggena, Kalen, Wenoo, Uyu, Boni, Gipail, Depe, Mange, Opain, Pangga, Poi, Omartin, Ooneyoo, Papniwap, Sipitnung, Nata, Tema, Koowapiye, Gidion, Toipe, Yaviring, Kumup, Eootene, Ana, Jeritine, Manggwu, Mookansio, Yoote, Kwauk, Wun, Nensi, Damebiung, Luwarane, Ti, Damenggere, Ketoora, Maraoo, and Jepit

Men and Boys:  Bapeke, Samson, Trip, Tomas, Unongjim, Wuri, Sonde, Stiven, Daniel, Orine, Manave, Apioot, Weng, Sooke, Ware, Jemsi, Porenoo, Moses, Stiven, Joey, Pliel, Bam, Josep, Imanyooel, Manggepe, and Mootriye.

For His Glory,
Joey and Brooke Tartaglia
Mibu, Madang, PNG

And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:47

“Joey, You guys are speaking God’s Word and I believe that it is true.  Here’s what I think.  All the work that Jesus did unto completion, he did it for me.  He died, and took my sins, and the sins of everyone, and went to hell.  After doing that, He rose again and went to heaven.  In my thinking, this talk is true and I believe it.  It is very true and that’s all.”

This is the letter that one of the men here, Make, wrote.  He passed the note to me one morning before teaching in Beng began.  Afterwards, I tracked him down to talk.  He simply radiated joy with his every word.

We are so thankful for the prayers of so many, and so thankful to God for this beginning of a harvest.  May this harvest season be long and abundant!  His Word is true and able to change hearts and lives!  We are thankful for the testimonies of salvation from the following people here in the last few days:

Men:  Lookas, Phineas, Barnabas, Mark, Emos, Gorepe, Ronooka, Kitanoo, Jems, Make, Petrik, Song, Gooni, Ekim, Raokwepe, Bomi, Ato

Women:  Ngave, Boomat, Moosa, Manasari, Kik, Jookoope, Kong

To God be the glory, great things He is doing!!
For Him,
Joey and Brooke Tartaglia
Mibu, Madang, PNG