“Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces MANY seeds”
We sat in church in Mibu on Easter listening to the Mibu Bible teachers as they led the service. They took verses on the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, and related it not only to the Easter story, but also to our everyday Christian walk. They taught carefully verse by verse, bringing big smiles to our faces as they seamlessly switched between teachers, and involved other believers in reading the verses out loud. That they had carefully thought about and studied beforehand was obvious. We felt in some ways like proud parents as they dug deep into the verses and sought to use them to build up the church.
Benny, who is not a church leader but is a community leader, stood after the service and gave a wonderful illustration. He said, “It is just like a peanut. When we put a peanut in the ground, it does not produce just one, but many more peanuts. When Jesus died and was buried, did it stop everything? No! He rose again and now there are many, many children of God because of what He did. It is the same in our own lives. When we see ourselves as having died with Christ and dead to sin, God will work in our lives and use us to spread the gospel into the nearby areas, and further into the rest of the world.” We are very excited that one of the Mibu teachers’ goals is to keep training more guys to get involved and teach, so that they can teach others, and reach the next generation of the Mibu church, as well as the surrounding communities, and the world!
After 17 weeks of foundational teaching through the Bible in Yongem, the Mibu teachers have presented the gospel to the village! The response to God’s Word was phenomenal, and a new church has been born! The Mibu teachers have been listening to the testimonies of the new Yongem Christians, and bringing back wonderful reports. Their enthusiasm is so contagious! They reported to the Mibu church that just a few days after the gospel was taught, a man named Alfons died of sickness. The teachers shared with the baby church from John 14:1-7, and that Alpons is already now experiencing all that they have just been learning about heaven and being with God. Jemsnannya, one of the new believers, stood and said, “Before, when someone would die we were without hope and used to follow our ancestors customs, like spitting to the sun. But now is the beginning of the harvest of our people going to heaven.” Once again, God’s message of hope is changing lives.
The Mibu teachers plan to continue to meet with the Yongem church and teach a short review of the Old Testament, and then the book of Acts, and ultimately the whole New Testament. During that time they are making plans to take some of the Yongem men and begin to train them to be part of an outreach team to 2 other Mina speaking villages! Seeing the gospel go out and multiply like this just blows our minds… thank you so much to all of you who have been a part of this amazing journey with us.
New Yongem brothers and sisters in Christ (and some of the future missionaries to the rest of the Mina villages):
Porenoo, Tekoko, Wawo, Yanape, Pelpel, Joel, Sipitnang, Jon, Elisabet, Yongal, Monika, Sewasewa, Mateti, Maguret, Ana, Fransis, Loven, Jois, Loosiya, Soosen, Nasinom, Looneve, Klemens, Doroti, Maine, Manoo, Apeke, Foolibiyang, Javalin, Emos, Joolita, Maloo, Erin, Ookibiyang, Agutu, Enjela, Look, Mainoove, Ase, Anave, Looli, Mak, Matiyas, Enoong, Maiki, Jejin, Jungjung, Ekim, Levi, Ben, Molup, Kwasooke, Sivitung, Japba, Penoo, Pol, Munggali, Manyukupuyi, Mex, Maloom, Sipong, Litoos, Lomak, Kundem, Pol, Goojil, Deta, Irom, Mosang, Looloo, Krista, Kristina, Tape, Memeyoo, Kunooboo, Ninaik, Gelson, Alpons, Lawasi
For His Glory,
Joey and Brooke Tartaglia
Mibu, Papua New Guinea