The following testimony of “Grandma Tae” was written by our helicopter mechanic, Yuspiter. Yuspiter’s wife, is the daughter of one of our Wana tribal pastors. Her dad has been very instrumental in getting the gospel to many other areas in Wana. Grandma Tae is one of those who came to know the Lord through him. I thought you might enjoy reading her testimony. It truly is a blessing to be a part of the Lord’s work in Wana land, and we thank you for your part in bringing the gospel to grandma Tae.
Ed n Jeanne Casteel
Grandma Tae is approximately 65 years old and is part of the greater Wana tribal group. She lived over the mountains from where several of the Wana tribal groups had first heard the Gospel message 30 years ago on the Island of Sulawesi. Until just 5 years ago, the Gospel still had not made it to the area where Tae was practicing her witch-doctoring in the village of Tiko. Grandma Tae had studied for 5 years under a very powerful shamen named Kalomba. It was believed that Kalomba could transform himself into the likeness of a horse-like animal. Tae tells of traveling great distances in the Wana area on the back of this horse while flying over the jungle. She herself had become a very powerful shamen and was often called upon to interact with the Spirits and manipulate them in order to bring healing to the sick and provide better crops. While in a trance one day trying to heal a sick women, Tae had a vision of this women’s soul going into a fire. There was a person standing near the fire who told her she must not follow that women’s soul into this place of torment, that she must follow a different road. When she came out of the trance, the women had already passed away; but she would never forget that man’s words. She did not want to end up in the fire like that women.
Five days after moving to a new village, Rapangkalemo, a helicopter flew into the village and dropped off Wana tribal missionaries that said they had come to share a Good News message about a God who wanted to give them eternal life. A God that was more powerful than all of the spirits that they worshipped and feared. She continued to sit in on the teachings every night. The missionaries explained that they had a Book from this God that contained a story that would explain why there was sickness and death; where they had come from; where they would go after death; about the greatest Spirit of all, God; and how He offered all who would believe in Him eternal life. Tae was shocked by this. She had often communicated with the spirits, but could not answer questions about life and death and knew she did not know for sure where she would go after death and was still envisioning going into the fire. The missionaries taught everyone about who God was and creation. They taught about Adam and Eve and how sin entered the world and separated people from this God. They explained about how all people are sinners and are condemned to Hell (lake of fire) because of their sin against God. This she knew was true…but was there another way like the man had told her. The missionaries went on to explain about how God had provided a sacrifice just like in the story of Abraham and Isaac. Jesus was the sacrifice for all of our sins. He gave His life on the cross and shed his blood to pay for the sins of anyone who would believe in Him. He then conquered death and rose from the dead. It all made sense to Tae and she confessed all of her sins and put her faith in God. Today she is a great testimony for Jesus to others in the Wana area.
Carl F Henry once wrote, “The Gospel is only GOOD NEWS if it gets there in time.” Thanks to all of you for making it possible for us to be here taking part in this amazing ministry! The Good News was truly GOOD NEWS for Grandma Tae and others in the village of Rapangkalemo.