By BosNewsLife Asia Service
PORT MORESBY, PAPUA NEW GUINEA (BosNewsLife)– Amid death threats, over a dozen members of the Mengen tribe in the jungles of Papua New Guinea were baptized after “testifying their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ,” missionaries told BosNewsLife Monday, August 30.
“Last week 16 courageous Mengen believers in Papua New Guinea were baptized” including “six married couples,” said missionary Rebecca Preheim of mission group New Tribes Mission (NTM). They, “demonstrated their faith in Christ by stepping into the jungle pool
the missionaries were using to baptize the group” on this Pacific island nation, she added.
Missionaries said that at least some of the believers received “death threats” from unbelievers, especially from the Shaman tribe in a neighboring village.
“Yet the believers chose to publicly declare their faith,” explained Preheim. “What joy it has been to see both husbands and wives
take this step of faith together.”
Large crowds of friends and family members, who NTM described as still “unsaved”, gathered at the small pond in the jungle
to watch the service, witnesses said. The first believer to step into the water was reportedly a young man named Edward who
said he had previously been a “troublemaker”, creating difficulties for missionaries.
“In the past, I was not a good person. Everyone in the village knew that I was a person who stole and drank and fought,”
Edward was quoted as saying in a statement distributed by NTM. “But when I placed my trust in Christ’s death [and resurrection],
He completely changed me and for that reason. I want to follow Jesus’…and become baptized.”
After baptizing several believers, missionaries Lourens Laureti, Dave Wright and Simon Flanagan turned over the task to
four Mengen men. “It was amazing to see these guys baptizing their wives and brothers and in-laws and friends,” wrote Becky.
“I want to become baptized to show people that I have placed my trust in Jesus…” said Bruce, a man who reportedly had
been transformed from a thief and troublemaker into what Christians called “a dedicated man of God.”
He said, “My sins are all gone because of Jesus’ death alone. When I die, I will go to be with Him.” All tribes members were identified by one name, a common practise in the region.
Joe, an older man in the village reportedly told the crowd: “All of us here are gathered today for one reason and that is Jesus’ death alone. And we are gathered together with joy that comes from Jesus.” (BosNewsLife’s MISSION WATCH is a regular look at key mission developments in often hard-to-reach places because of reported persecution and/or other difficulties).