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Two Realities: Opposition and the Power of God’s Word

"It's hard to be a Christian in Masa. We live among people who are not interested in Jesus, who make fun of us, slander us and harm us." What a harsh reality for the Iski people of Masa!

The Iski live in the swampy lowlands of Papua New Guinea, where no roads or airstrips exist. The only way in and out is the helicopter. So with the help of Ethnos360 Aviation, a church planting team brought the gospel to the Iski of Oguru in 2017.

In 2019, the Oguru believers reached out to the Masa area of their own people group, and many believed. But for the last year, no missionary has been able to visit Masa to follow up on them.

Did that stop God’s Word? “The Lord is building his church with or without missionaries!” wrote French missionary Aurélie Tousch. Her husband visited Masa this March, “And what André saw during his visit simply amazed him.”

“These young Christians live in the midst of the world and live the reality of these words of Jesus: ‘Do not be surprised if the world hates you,’” she wrote. “What is the reaction of [the Masa] Christians to this opposition? ‘We are trying to show the love of Jesus, to do good to those who hate us.’”

As a result, more than 60 people recently asked the church in Masa to teach them through the story of Jesus, and some of the trained believers have started the teaching.
“Literacy also continued in Masa in our absence,” wrote Aurélie. “What an encouragement,” said André, “to see new faces reading the scriptures in their language, fluently, with joy! It was not the missionaries who shared the gospel with them and taught them to read in their language. It was the Iski believers!”

While in Masa, André was able to help the believers organize themselves and give advice for evangelistic meetings. “So far only three Masa brothers had received training in order to be Bible teachers, a fourth began to help them in our absence, and 13 others were waiting for me to come to formally express their wish to engage in the work of evangelization,” wrote André. “We were able to sit and chat with everyone, hear them share their testimonies and what the Lord has done for them. It is very encouraging to see these men who are on fire for the Lord in spite of the difficult circumstances.”

The return trip from Masa to Oguru involves several hours of walking and canoeing. As André traveled, he started feeling sick, became unable to walk and had trouble breathing. With help from his Iski friends, he arrived back in Oguru. After a few days without significant improvement, he and his family were helicoptered out. With treatment, he is healing, though still weak.

Once again without missionaries among the Iski, God will show the power of His Word to continue working among the Masa and Oguru believers. Pray they stand strong.

We all need encouragement! Thank you helping make it possible for church planters to strengthen and encourage groups of believers in areas such as the  of Oguru and Masa. Though opposition may continue, God’s Word is at work among them.

Tags: Helicopter, Iski People
POSTED ON May 11, 2021 by Wonita Werley