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