A few words from Suduwame

Suduwama-preaching-on-outreachDon’t turn back form the work which you are learning about and being strengthened in. Do not turn back from that work which God has given you to do. Be strong. If you give up and turn back and do not go to tell those who have never heard, then who will go and tell them? Those people will continue living with their total sin debt. But so that they can be forgiven and free from their sin debt, they must be told God’s Word. Be strong in continuing to do the work of God.”

 This message had traveled half-way around the world to reach us.  It was from a man named Suduwame, a member of the Bisorio people group in Papua New Guinea.  As he grew to adulthood in his remote jungle village, he didn’t learn about the God who had paid his sin debt.  He learned instead about spirits, and magic, and curses.  He learned about pain, and suffering, and death.  In the early 1970’s two missionary families moved into his village.  They lived among his people, they learned his people’s language and ways.  The missionaries continually reminded them that they had come to tell them a vitally important message.

This message had traveled half-way around the world to reach us.  It was from a man named Suduwame, a member of the Bisorio people group in Papua New Guinea.  As he grew to adulthood in his remote jungle village, he didn’t learn about the God who had paid his sin debt.  He learned instead about spirits, and magic, and curses.  He learned about pain, and suffering, and death.  In the early 1970’s two missionary families moved into his village.  They lived among his people, they learned his people’s language and ways.  The missionaries continually reminded them that they had come to tell them a vitally important message.

 However, as a young man, Suduwame felt that he had more important things to do than listen to these strange people and their bizarre message.  The missionaries began telling stories about the Creator God, but Suduwame didn’t come to listen, he stayed away, hunting, and tending his garden.  The Missionaries began with the first stories about the Creator, and everyday they would tell the next story in order.  He knew that his friends and family kept returning everyday to hear the missionaries talk.  None of this brought him to listen, he continued to stay far away.  siar-595x3001

At last, Suduwame heard that the missionaries were going to tell the last story and his curiosity finally got the best of him.  Decades later, he has this to say about that day.

 “Let me tell you something, I wasn’t there for the first six months of teaching, they taught, and I missed it. I showed up on the last day, when they were speaking about the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. All the others were there, the teachers were acting out the story. I watched the whole thing, I saw everything, and all my Bisorio friends saw the same thing. And at the end, everyone stood up, rejoicing and excited. But I didn’t understand.  It didn’t make any sense to me. I thought to myself, ‘I speak the same language as my brothers and sisters, why doesn’t this make sense??’ Everyone else was happy but I still didn’t understand.”

All around him, his friends and family were jumping up with excitement and celebrating what God had done on their behalf! However, as he said, none of it made sense to him because he had not listened to any of the stories that led up to this moment.  But from that day on, he saw a difference in his friends, he saw a change in them.  He wanted to know what they knew, he wanted to know why they had shouted with joy on that day!  Suduwame found out.  He started coming to hear the missionaries talk.  Although this time around, it wasn’t just the missionaries speaking, some of his Bisorio brothers were up with the missionaries, teaching the stories as well!  

rugged-crossSuduwame learned about the Creator God.  He learned about how his ancestors, Adam and Eve, had rebelled with Satan against God.  He learned how God communicated with man, and promised a rescuer.  He learned of mankind’s long history of failure to keep God’s standard.  He learned about the Rescuer who did arrive, he learned that this Rescuer was God Himself!  He learned that the payment for mankind’s sin debt was death.  He learned that Jesus Christ, God’s Son, paid this debt once and for all on the cross!

He finally knew why the others were changed!  And he had this to say, “I believed when they said, ‘Jesus died on the cross for you’.  The Spirit of God came to live within me!” 

 Suduwame is now one of the leaders of the growing Bisorio church.  He not only studies and teaches God’s word to his own people, but he also travels to surrounding people groups, sharing God’s talk with them as well.  God has changed him to such a degree that he is willing to undergo great personal sacrifice in order to further God’s message.  

 Recently, several of our classmates traveled to visit Suduwame and the other Bisorio people in his isolated village.  They returned with hours of recordings, straight from the mouths of these vibrate believers.  Among the recordings was the message Suduwame sent to be read to us, the students attending NTM’s Missionary Training Center.  We were all deeply challenged and encouraged by his words.  

 We look forward to the day that we can work alongside men and women like Suduwame who have been rescued and changed by God is such an incredible way!   

teaching

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