As we prepare to begin classes this Monday at the MTC (Missionary Training Center,) it’s good to be reminded of why we do what we do here! Please read the following account of the Tangguaat People’s response to the recent Bible teaching by the Inapang people who were taught by former MTC students Tim and Tiffany Lanier and Promise Vaughan:
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand,
and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”
For the past 4 months, the Inapang Bible teachers and many faithful women have been making the long hike to Tangguat each week to live out the Great Commission and preach the Gospel to those who have been bound by Satan’s lies for generations. This past week they heard the amazing story of God Himself giving his life as a sacrifice for the sins of man. It has been a joy and a privilege to partner with and labor alongside the Inapang church and to see God bring glory to His name in this corner of the jungle. As Tim sat with the Bible teachers late in the evening after the crucifixion lesson had been taught that morning, the Bible teachers were saying, “God has certainly prepared this place for Himself and His word! They are embracing it and believing it in such an amazing way. This is only God!”
To let you enjoy a taste of the great work God is doing among these people, we will let you listen in to their words in the testimonies they shared and pictures from the Bible teaching and drama that took place this morning….
After the Bible teaching, groups gathered to talk over what they had heard. In one group of ladies, they thought back to how early on in the teaching, after hearing of their separation from God because of sin, some had wondered if they could pay money or give a feast to God to repay their sin debt. In hearing this, one of the ladies, Tresia, sat up and with her face aglow with joy she said “There is nothing we can do to bring ourselves back to God. It is God alone!! Jesus came and died for our sins and it is only because of Him that we can come to God!”
“God sent his Son to this ground to be born from a woman and He followed God’s thinking all the way until he was grown, and it was all to pay for our sin. I believe what I have heard and I can’t do anything to save myself from my sin. I heard that the Imbungguma Kani (Deliverer) would come and I thought about him and I thought about him and wondered how he would save me. He came to become our “sin-person” and defeat Satan and get us back from him. I heard about him and I believed and trusted in him as I heard his story all the way until yesterday and today’s story (death, resurrection and ascension). I am giving God a big thank you that He sent His only Son to save us. I am getting a very big thank you and giving it to God because He was thinking of us and sent His Only Son whom He loved very much. All the sins that we were doing before and that we will do, we couldn’t save ourselves from those, but God sent His Son for us and for all the bad people. True, true, true, true… This is God’s story. Jesus is with us. He is the one door to God. His blood was shed for us and if we believe in Him, then by that road we will come to God. He has completely erased all our sin and because of that I am so happy. Thank you, Tim, so much for coming. We were nothing, we were just bush people who were going astray, but God by His strength sent you to Papua New Guinea to the bush people to preach His word. And Jesus is with us now. He died for us. I am completely believing in that. He is coming again and those that believe in Him, He will come back to get us. But those who do not believe in Him will go to the place of fire. I cannot save myself from this… only God.”
“We always thought that we could help ourselves and that we could stand on our good works and the law so that we would be good in God’s eyes. But now we’ve heard this story and these things we’ve heard, we did not know before! Some might not want to hear it or accept this story, but me, I am believing it. Before I thought that because I was one that was religious, that I was a good man. But now I have heard this story and I know that there is only one road and God knows all of our hidden thoughts. God knows us completely and we are all really messed up. Now God’s Son has shown us the road and we must believe in Him. There is no other road! He came down to this ground and His blood was shed for our sins and he made one way, one door, for us to go through and it is that we must trust in Him.”
In a culture that is built upon the systems of debts – both good and bad – the free gift of Christ is truly astounding. Thinking of this, one group was awe struck that Jesus had done nothing wrong and yet so many people had done awful things to him. “And still, he did this for us freely! He had no debt with us and yet He did this completely on His own for us! He should not have done it… we were sinners and did not deserve it and yet he did!!”
“When the Bible teaching was ready to come here, I was in the [Cult] and because of this I was staying far away. I was against this teaching coming. I did not know what to think about it and for two weeks the teaching went on. I thought about it and thought about it and then I decided I had to come and hear this message and so I came with my family and began to listen. Long ago in the [Cult] we had heard some Bible stories, but the things we were taught were not the meanings of the stories and we didn’t understand them. It didn’t penetrate our hearts so that we would believe in it and trust it. But then I came to this Bible teaching and now I am truly believe what I am hearing! I am very much, completely believing only in God. Now I have heard this whole story and I understand it and it is “shooting” into the core of my thoughts and my heart.”
– Michael, a former Cult leader!
(This past week, the Cult was having having a week long training session for their leaders and so they called to Michael to come join them, but Michael said, “No, I have left this [Cult] completely. I have heard this good story and it is so sweet to my thoughts. I have learned more from this teaching than I ever have in the [Cult].)
“We are so happy to hear this message! That the way for us to come to God is open and that now as we believe in Him we can talk to him and he hears us because our sins are paid for.”
Please continue to pray for the Inapang church and for the newborn Tangguat church!! As you parents know, while pregnancy and labor are difficult, after the baby is born is when the real work begins. Please pray for the Tangguat people as they continue to process all they have heard and grasp this amazing work that God has done for them through Christ. Also, please continue to pray for the Inapang church leaders and women as they spend the next few days going from family to family in Tangguat to listen to them share what they are thinking and to answer their questions. And most of all, Praise God for His amazing grace and for the work He is doing in the hearts and minds of the Tangguat people!
“O nations of the world, recognize the Lord;
recognize that the Lord is glorious and strong,
Give to the Lord the glory he deserves!”
By His Grace,
Tim and Tiffany Lanier
Noah, Micah and Anna