Danilu was the first Manubu’ Bible teacher. Over 20 years ago he said to Gene, I’d like to teach God’s word to my people. Shortly after he started teaching his father-in-law said to him, “If you continue to teach what the Americans taught you I’ll kill you,”
When Danilu continued to teach God’s word his father-in-law called in two other important witch doctors, and the three of them confronted Danilu and the other believers. “We want you to return to the old ways,” they said to Danilu. “But, we’re going to do a test with these two eggs. This egg will represent you and what you teach. This other egg will represent us and the old ways.” Danilu said, “I no longer have any part in the old ways, but do what you want,” and he prayed silently to the Lord to undertake for him.
The witch doctors proceeded to call all of the spirits they believe in. “You who live in the spirit tree, come here. You who live in the mountains and you who live in the rocks and you who live in the cliffs and you who live in the river, come here.” Then they took the egg that represented Danilu and his teaching, broke it open, and slid it back and forth between two plates. “If after seven times the yoke is still whole we’ll listen to your teaching,” they said. Danilu watched the yoke as they slid it back and forth.
Seven times and the yoke was still firm and round. His father-in-law’s face turned red, and Danilu thought, “They’ll kill me for sure.” Then they took the egg that represented the old ways. “If this remains whole you have to return to the old ways,” they said. They slid it from one plate to the other. Once, twice, and the yoke broke.
Danilu’s father-in-law and mother-in-law did listen to him teach the evangelistic phase of the teaching and even beyond that a ways, but didn’t believe it and continued with the spirits. They were living with Danilu and his wife, Umpu’ at the time. Danilu and Umpu’ were learning to discipline their children and were doing a good job of it. However, in the old Manubu’ culture it is considered very dangerous to discipline children. It is said that if children are disciplined the spirits will come and take their souls.
Danilu’s father-in-law was so upset that Danilu and Umpu’ were disciplining their children that he told them, “We feel so sorry for your children because of your disciplining them that if you don’t stop we’ll kill them! Danilu and Umpu’ stopped disciplining their children, and at his in-law’s insistence he and Umpu’ moved up into the mountains with them and Danilu stopped teaching God’s Word. (In Manubu’ traditional culture a married couple live with her parents and the man is essentially a slave to his in-laws).
That was about 16 years ago. By the way, Danilu and Umpu’ now have 11 living children ranging in age from a new-born to 22. Danilu is a hard worker and provides well for his family growing rice, sweet potato and corn.
About three years ago Danilu and Umpu’ were able to get free from living with her parents, and they moved back to the village where we live. This past year Danilu starting teaching God’s Word again. There is a new group of believers now because of his teaching. Another teacher has taken over teaching them and Danilu has started teaching a new group of people the evangelistic phase of the teaching.
It is so exciting to see Danilu excited again about teaching God’s Word. Please thank God for Danilu and PRAY for perseverance for him as he continues to teach. And that this new group listening will understand, believe, and go on for the Lord.
Danilu asks you to PRAY that his father-in-law and brother-in-law won’t try to force him to stop teaching. Umpu’ is delighted that Danilu is teaching again and asks you to PRAY that he will be able to continue to teach, and that God will continue to give him more people to teach.
Because the Manubu’ churches are spread over such a wide area we aren’t able to keep up to date about teaching going on in most of the villages where they live. But, here in the village where we live there is Danilu teaching the evangelistic phase to a new group, Piduy is teaching it to a group of children, Anu is teaching the second phase of the teaching program to the group Danilu taught the evangelistic phase to, Pulding is teaching the young people in the church, and Mahan is teaching the believers on Sundays.
All of you who have partnered with us through prayer and through giving have a vital part in what God has done and is doing here among the Manubu’ people. Thank you!