We just received the update below about the evangelistic teaching currently going out to the Tangguat people. We were so touched by this story. Please take a few minutes to let God bless your heart with what HE is doing here. This village is in the midst of evangelistic teaching that is primarily being done by Inapang (a neighboring people) Bible teachers, with expat missionaries just partnering as facilitators.
One of the things that has been a recurring theme these past weeks that we have been here is how much opportunity there is to minister and how few are the laborers! We need more people to help finish the task! Would you please ask the Lord to send more laborers into this harvest field?
Read a little below about what God is doing here and be blessed!
Neil and Becky
Death once again visited the Tangguat people this past week. A woman we will call Joyce. She had been sick for a long time, plagued by severe swelling in her abdomen that affected her breathing and brought great discomfort. Joyce began attending the Bible teaching from the very beginning, but her illness soon made it impossible for her to continue attending. But the Bible teachers quickly remedied this problem by insuring that she was able to listen to the recordings of each lesson. In the afternoons, each hamlet gathers to listen to a recording that was made previously of Tim reading each of the Bible lessons as a review of the lesson they hear in the morning. Joyce was provided with one of the recorders and she faithfully listened to each lesson. The Inapang ladies that have been traveling to Tangguat each week have been visiting her as well to answer her questions and talk with her. While we all hoped she would last to the end of the teaching, it seems that the Lord had other plans. Joyce passed away the end of last week and a few of the Inapang believers traveled back down to be with the family and attend the burial. This is what they shared with me this morning….
“Only God knows Joyce’s thoughts and what she is believing, but as she listened to the Old Testament stories, she ‘called true’ (believed) to them and recognized that she was a sinner as she was a descendent of Adam. She was waiting for God’s to send the Deliverer. Then she heard the story of Jesus. She said that God had come down and taken the body of a man and walked on this earth. She believed that he was the “Imbungguma Kani” (the Deliverer).”
It is true that only God knows what Joyce was trusting in at the end and we rest that in God’s good and gracious hands. We did want to share with you a few stories of her last moments that are truly sweet and amazing…
As Joyce’s illness continued to worsen and the pain was growing worse, Joyce spoke aloud to God saying, “God you made me and you have marked my time to die. You alone can remedy my sin. I am so tired of this pain and this sickness. Please, take my spirit and bring me to heaven.” And shortly after, He did. She died peacefully and as she died she told her daughters. “God is coming to get me!”
Traditionally, when a person dies and is buried, they are buried along with their nicest clothes, mosquito net, etc. so they will have those things with them in the afterlife. Amazingly, this is what Joyce told her family as her time was growing near…. “Do not gather my clothes and put them with me when I die. Take them, give them out and wear them. When I die and go to heaven, God will give me a new body. I do not need these clothes. Bury me with my skin only.” And so… they did! Joyce was buried with only a thin blanket to cover her.
The believers were giving thanks to God this morning, that once again when presented with death – there was not the normal chaos of suspicion and talk of sorcery being responsible for Joyce’s death. They said people were sitting calmly and talking of how they know that death has come because of sin and God has marked a time for each of us. It is in his hands and each of them will also die one day. Truly only something the power of God can do in their hearts and minds! Please pray for the people as they continue to ponder these truths and there are certainly some whose minds are still bound by lies and fear.
Thank you for praying for the Tangguat people as they continue to hear God’s great message of Redemption. This past week was a big week for them as they heard of the virgin birth. They contrasted what they were hearing in God’s word with the Cult teachings they have heard in the past which included only parts of these stories and even those were twisted with other meanings. Praise God that many are seeing these contrasts for themselves and declaring the truth of God’s Word. Please continue to pray as this next week highlights Jesus’ great power as God and continues to show that there is a choice that must be made… will you believe??