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A Long Wait

Amdu. Pei. Wantakia. These three tribes in Papua New Guinea have just heard the gospel within the last couple of months. They waited long.

The Wantakia, for instance, had missionaries living with them in the 60s, but the language was too hard. Then again in the 90s, a team moved in among them. But the language was complex and the location was isolated (two to three day’s hard hiking; or the helicopter), and problems piled up. The team left before learning the language well enough to teach. It seemed so wrong. Would the Wantakians ever hear the gospel? Was the task so hard that no one would be able to tackle it?

The mission leaders in Papua New Guinea were hesitant to send new missionaries to Wantakia because of the language complexity. At the same time, some Wantakians had migrated out of the tribe and were actually living in “civilization.” An Ethnos360 missionary lady taught one of the Wantakian ladies, and she became a believer. She wanted the rest of her people to hear this story too. Persistently, she challenged new missionaries to consider going to her people. When they brought up the difficulty of the language, she had an answer for them: “Since God is the One Who made the languages so confusing, He can also straighten them out.” Her prompting reached the ears of the mission leaders.

How hard is the language? Take a look at the screenshot above. It’s part of Genesis chapter seven!

About six years ago, a team of freshly trained missionaries from Arkansas responded to the opportunity laid out before them. They banded together, undergirded by an abundance of prayer and support, and decided to try to face the difficulties of the Wantakia outreach.

To tackle such a formidable task, the team needed aviation service. From start to finish, they would rely on the Ethnos360 Aviation helicopter for transportation and supplies. First, though, they did a grueling hike to decide which village to settle in. It took twenty-one helicopter loads over the course of three days to get their house-building supplies into the village. Then, in early 2015, the three families began the process of moving in.

Now, after five years of unrelenting persistence in language, literacy, translation and teaching, the team taught the last foundational Bible lesson on August 14, 2020. One man immediately stood up to testify, voicing the understanding of many: “We used to do all kinds of religious work to make God happy with us. Now we’ve heard that our work is just to believe. That is the only work: to believe Jesus is my Savior. There is no other work.”

Wantakians have believed! The prayers of God's people have “paid off”! Many have supported Ethnos360 Aviation these last six years (and more) to keep pilots, mechanics, and aviation support workers, funds and equipment flowing to sustain the Wantakia team. Now, we can all rejoice with the Wantakia in their salvation.

You can help bring the gospel to other people waiting to hear the good news! Make flights affordable to church planting teams who depend on it by supporting Missionary Flight Sponsorship.

Tags: Aviation, Helicopter, Wantakia People,
POSTED ON Oct 14, 2020 by Wonita Werley