Royfo was among the first here in Mibu to trust in Christ, and was also a graduate of the first literacy class. Royfo was married just last year to a young girl from Mibu named Oolaipe. (pronounced oo-lie-pay). We recently heard that they are expecting their first baby soon! Since Mibu people believe that pregnancy starts when the mother first feels the baby kick, it’s harder to guess at a due date!
Royfo was one of 8 or so men who volunteered to bring the gospel on to the next village. We had an awesome time this last week together in Tariknan teaching up through the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. Royfo could not contain his excitement when, at the very end of the Sodom/Gomorrah lesson, one man stood up and said, “We are like the people of Sodom, and like the angels that warned Lot of the coming judgment, you guys have come here to warn us of God’s wrath against our sins.”
During the evenings at Tariknan, we often just sit around and talk with the guys. Royfo is very curious about the end times and the judgments to come. You should have seen his and Gero’s responses as they were reminded that prior to the judgment, God in his gracious love for us believers will take us up into heaven just as he did with Enoch. Gero passionately exclaimed, “Oh, the mercy of God, Oh, the mercy of God for us who believe in Him!”
In one of our evening chats, Royfo questioned me as to how many believers there are worldwide. He was interested in much work is left to be done before some from every language group have heard the gospel. I told him about the different language groups in the world that have no representatives in heaven, and also of the 100+ unreached people groups in the Finisterre Mountains (the haystack of a mountain range of which Mibu is a but a tiny needle). What undeniable evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work in Royfo’s heart! Upon hearing of the Gospel destitute tribes remaining still in Papua New Guinea, Royfo said, “When you missionaries are done with your work in Mibu, maybe you guys should go on to another country, where us New Guineans cannot go. Let us New Guineans finish the work in New Guinea!”
Royfo’s heart and enthusiasm for the task at hand is an absolute joy. Though I would never dampen his zeal, I believe reality is that it will take many, many more missionaries of any and all nationalities to completely reach the rest of Papua New Guinea. Pray with us for more laborers for the harvest! People like Royfo who have just met their Lord and Savior and cannot wait to share Him, as well as people who have known God for many years.
For His Glory,
Joey and Brooke Tartaglia
Mibu, Madang, PNG