Papuan Tribe Once Hostile to Missionaries Receives Bibles

10/31/2020 Indonesia (International Christian Concern) – When the plane loaded with more than 2,000 Bibles recently landed in Indonesia’s Papua, the women of Yali tribe rejoiced as they received more copies of Bibles in their native language.

However, the story was very different five decades ago. According to Mission Network News, two missionaries – Stan Dale and Phil Masters – went to the same island to scout an airstrip that would allow easier access to reach the Yali people with the Gospel in 1968. The Yali attacked the two men and shot them with over 200 arrows until their bodies gave in.

The story did not end there. Just three months later, a plane sent by Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) tragically crashed nearby. Everyone on the plane perished except for 10-year-old Paul Newman. He escaped the wreckage and a Yali man who had opposed killing the two missionaries, rescued the boy until he could hand him over to search team.

The Yali people took this second encounter with the outside world as a sign and asked for a missionary to come live with them.

Linda Ringenberg from MAF in Papua shares the excitement of these tribal Christians. “They were so thrilled to be getting these Bibles…. They had run out of Bibles for the community, so their church organization — known as GIDI here in Indonesia — had arranged to purchase more Bibles and to ship them here to Papua and to distribute them through MAF.”

GIDI (Gereja Injili di Indonesia) Church continues to grow among the Yali people and they have 5,000 more Bibles they hope to ship in. Yet, MAF is asking for prayers for those Yali people who have yet to know the Lord.

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