Transcription

[music plays]

Announcer:  Rebekah reports of the grace and power of Christ as she ministered to the people of Papua New Guinea for a year, alone.

Rebekah:   . . . and the culture is so immense we couldn’t even begin to understand it then, but I knew that this is where God would have me return. A year later, when all the ends were tied and there was nothing left for me to do, I was just waiting on God. He said, “It’s time.” I never really believed that I’d end up going alone. I never really believed that.

I always thought that at the last second God would provide somebody to go with me, and I went forward with that belief. But I’ll tell you what, folks, I was there by myself a year and God was sufficient. Surprise, surprise! God was sufficient.

[applause]

Rebekah:  There in the village this past year, I spent the first eight months learning Kumboi, only to discover that there were less than 200 speakers of that dialect. According to Wycliffe, there had been 14,000, but they had surveyed a dialect, a mother language; within that mother language there were 12 dialects that differed as much as Dutch and German. Though the people who grew up there could understand each other pretty much, there was no way, had I written that dialect, everybody would be able to read it. Just no way.

I began to reconsider. Is it worth 15, 20 years of my life to study and produce a Bible that 200 people speak this language, 80 of them can read or are young enough that they’ll be able to read, learn how to read, and only 30 of those are Christians? All of them read Pidgin, and prefer it. There’s so much out there to do. Is it a worthy cause?

At that time, God began to open my eyes to the enormous needs in the Pidgin language, the fact that there’s no literature out there for fundamental missionaries. There’s a lot of Catholic literature, which Christians are turning to in desperation. There’s just nothing being done. Every newspaper over there is read by 12 different readers. They’re just hungry for any literature in the Pidgin language. There’s nothing for literacy. There’s no Bible stories books, no hymn books. Nothing, no tracts in the Pidgin language. There’s a few, but the missionaries are continually looking for more.

There’s one literacy course that we can use. I began to consider that. At the same time I thought, well, I don’t know what God’s will is yet, but I’m going to start studying Pidgin, too. Within two months, I was able to start teach Bible . . . Sunday school to the women and children. That was so much fun. To be able to tell stories to people who never heard them before. To tell the children about Jonah and the whale. I still remember I used a lot of drama, because I didn’t know their language real well. I remember when I threw up Jonah in their midst, they all scattered on the floor.

[laughter]

Rebekah:  They didn’t know what was coming out of my throat. We had so much fun. The women, I used a lot of object lessons with them. When I taught James, about the man that is a hearer of the word, not a doer, looking in a mirror, beholding himself, and he goes his way, forgetting what he saw, I came to church with my face smeared black with charcoal, like the guy in the New Tribes video. They thought it was so funny, that the white lady came with a dirty face. Then I showed them how, when they read the Word of God and they see that they still have this bondage to sorcery, these things that they do to appease the demons, and this sin in their life, they see it and they know they need to change it, and they agree with it, and then they go their way and they forget that their face is dirty, that their life is unchanged.

That simple story broke through so much . . . cultural wrongness, is what it was, fear of sorcery, and stuff that they just hadn’t been able to let go of. The funny thing is though, I can’t teach the men. When I taught the kids, we would draw pictures, like of Noah and the ark. I would write the verse in Pidgin, and they’d take it home and tell the whole family. They didn’t have pictures of anything. So the kids would excitedly retell the story and point to the picture, and the next week, the preachers would preach what I taught in Sunday school the week before!

[laughter]

Rebekah:  It made me really careful to say the right thing. [laughter]

Rebekah:  In December, there was a big revival in Yuwomp. It was a village about six or eight hours’ hike through leech-infested swamp, straight up and down, and the leeches were poisonous. That was a nightmare, but we finally made it there, and all the Christians that had been saved in the last nine years gathered, all that could come. There were several hundred there. There were at least 200 preacher boys between the ages of 13 and 30, and all of them had a Bible under their arm and most of them couldn’t read it. They were on fire, they “amen’d” all the way through the sermons, and they were excited. So many of them came up to me and said, “Please, write home and tell those American churches that we need a man out here to teach us what the Bible says.”

It was just like God said, “This is what I sent you here for.

[cries]

“If you hadn’t come, then people in America wouldn’t have known about this need. And if for no other reason, I sent you here just to see this need, just to write home about it, and to pray that I would send a laborer.”

I did. I wrote home, and I prayed. Did I ever pray. I told the people I was praying and it was like an unbearable burden almost, and it was on my mind all the time. I couldn’t hardly eat. In February, the first week of February, I hadn’t heard anything from home. I was praying and just the burden fell off. And I sensed that God had answered. I didn’t know who or when but I knew that the prayers had gone through and God had answered. I ran out and I told the people, “There’s somebody coming. Our prayers have been answered.”

For another month or two, we didn’t hear anything. I don’t know when it was. Y’all radioed me a couple months later. Mom and Dad radioed me, six weeks later maybe. And they said, “We’ve got news for you. God called a family by the name of Dewayne and Deanna Noel.” Our radio talk was cut off from a bad connection but I was still so excited I ran outside. I called all the people and I said, “Guess what? There’s somebody coming.” And they just looked at me and they said, “You told us that six weeks ago. Did you forget?”

Participant:  That was funny.

Rebekah:  We rejoiced again and we all began praying by name for Dewayne and Deanna Noel and their three children.

And there’s been some hard times and there’s been some rejection and misunderstanding that could have been dealt through immediately by prayer. I discovered more than anything this year the difference between just praying and praying against Satan. So many times I’ve prayed for more love, for more understanding with the people, for patience, when I could have said, “Satan I rebuke you,” done some prayer walking around the village, and cast out the opposition. I still need patience. When my eyes were finally opened to the Satanic opposition there, it was a matter of weeks that the battle was over. I went through so much that I didn’t have to.

There’s still problems. You can keep praying. There’s still some opposition. The villages, the Christians are in division over the idea of having a white bearer. They’ve been badly burned in the past by other white missionaries that criticized and condemned and discouraged them and the way they’re doing things.

They all got together and had a meeting before I ever came and decided to never, ever disclose anything about their culture or their language to a white person, but to keep it a secret for the rest of their lives. It’s just a miracle that they’ve opened up to me. They figured I was just one woman; what harm could it be? There’s a lot of hurt there and resentment that has to be broken down. Allan’s the key to that people, the culture of those people, being so aggressive, and to all of them becoming preachers.

I see incredible potential to reach the mountain peoples. Not just the Kumboi, but mountain peoples everywhere as these men are trained in the Word of God and they’re already on fire, but can you imagine when they know what they’re preaching, what’s going to happen? I’m looking forward to having Dewayne and Deanna there.

So that’s my story. Any questions?

Announcer:  As always, we hope you were blessed by what you’ve heard today. And again, remember to check out our great weekly online specials.

 

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