You won’t believe the news we just received!
Have you ever prayed for someone for several years, almost giving up hope they would ever come to Christ?
In 1993 two American men named Aaron and Joel hiked across Papua New Guinea and when they entered the Hewa territory of the Central Range they nearly got speared to death (read about it in an adventure called Beyond Fear by Joel Kramer). A tribal man named Watofo tried to kill them because when he saw their pale skin he feared they were actually evil spirits come to cause harm. After a few very tense moments a young Hewa man named Oliteh (his name was changed to Fato in more recent years, pictured left, in 1993) agreed to safely guide the men through the Hewa mountains. Later, after returning to the States the two men began praying that somehow Oliteh and the Hewa would hear the message of the Bible in their language and would become believers in Jesus.
They have been praying all these years, until this July Aaron discovered Fato on the internet! At the NTM.ORG web site he watched a short video called Fato’s Story. He immediately contacted us and wrote, “[I] wept with joy as I saw the years of prayers ANSWERED!”
The story of how Fato came to Christ didn’t start when we entered the Hewa mountains in 2000. We were simply an answer to years of faithful prayers of a believer who had the dream of a group of tribal people finding freedom from their fear of spirits through a relationship with their Creator.
Have you ever felt like giving up when you prayed someone would come to the Lord? Never, never give up. When Fato trusted the Lord for salvation in 2008 he told me, “Now that I have trusted in Jesus to pay my sin debt I am walking on the Jesus trail and I am going to work very hard for my entire village to walk on the Jesus trail.” He began teaching nightly Bible studies in his hut and has continued to the present. When new Hewa families started moving into Fato’s village, he led daily teaching sessions to present the story of the Bible starting with Genesis and working through to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. He continues to be a faithful witness for the Lord and has become a courageous leader for righteousness in a very dark Hewa culture.
Thank you for joining the Hewa story by praying for them. Keep praying many more people will join Fato in trusting in Christ and boldly proclaiming His name. Pray true faith in Jesus will spread all over the Hewa mountains and beyond.
Please also remember to pray for our daughter Mikayla while she is in her fourth year at BIOLA University in California. She is suffering terrible pain in her neck and back so has started a series of medical tests to determine the problem.
Thank you for your love and prayers! We deeply appreciate your part in reaching out to the Hewa tribal people with the Love of Jesus.
Jonathan, Susan & Mikenna