The War on Sorcery

Story by Rachel Greco

Sorcery chokes numerous parts of Papua New Guinea, negatively effecting many people. The Kamano-Kafe Bible translation team has recently written and filmed a sorcery movie with the encouragement of a local member of parliament to help fight this evil.

Kossack, a member of the Kamano-Kafe team, wrote the sorcery movie script based on the death of his mother-in-law’s, Afuri’s, husband in a surprise village attack over sorcery accusations. When he was running away from his attackers, he was shot in the back with an arrow. He fell over a ditch, protecting his young son under his dying body.

In the aftermath of the raid, when Afuri returned to her village looking for her family, she found her son alive, hiding in the ditch under her husband’s body. The movie shows their suffering through flash-back scenes told by her grown son. He tells the story, including the sorcerer’s trickery, to his sons, challenging them to stop the group of young men who are stirring up another village fight over new sorcery accusations following another villager’s death.

“We are in a war to save lives,” Rich Mattocks, the Kamano team’s language advisor, said. “As we made multiple trips to filming locations, we drove past a newly burned-down house where the occupant had been accused of doing sorcery. He was murdered less than two weeks before we started filming in May.”

After the Kamano team watched both the Kamano-Kafe and the Tok Pisin draft version of the movie, they asked older villagers to see the film. One of the older men could not stop talking about how good it was and that it was going to, “pull the pants down on the men doing this sorcery practice.” The cultural translation of this word picture is that the video is going to expose and shame these men, thus stopping them from what they are doing.

The team also showed the draft version to fourteen people from six different languages around Papua New Guinea. Most of them were in tears and said their people will understand it. They wanted their own copies…to start showing it NOW!

As Rich said, “Sorcery is an epidemic. We have seen film have a large impact on education for the AIDS epidemic, and hope that God will bless this film to have a large impact on sorcery.”

 

UPDATE:

The film has been released in the Kamano-Kafe language and has already contributed to the saving of one life.  It is in the process of being translated into Tok Pisin to be released soon.  An English translation is being considered.

 

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Smiles and Scripture

By Rachel Greco

During the last week of August and beginning of September, Beth Fuller and some other language workers traveled to Wewak to promote Scripture. The Christian book store there let the women borrow its microphone, speakers, and mixer to blast out recordings to let people know about translated scriptures in their languages.

“We were absolutely amazed at how many different people we could help get copies of God’s Word in their language. We were all so tired were standing with balls of sweat rolling down our backs. But then we would get a smile from someone – priceless,” Beth Fuller said.

They saw it over and over—at first a person wore a straight face as they waited to hear a recording of the Scriptures in their language, then the smile started as the recording played. And finally the smile culminated in an explosion of joy.

Several people even asked Beth and the others to play the recording of their language on the loud speaker so everyone could hear.

It wasn’t all smiles and excitement, though; there were people to whom they had to say, “Sorry. Nothing has been translated in your language yet.” Some who heard this smiled politely and left. Others asked strongly, “When are you coming to our language?” The language workers could only ask them to pray that the Lord of the harvest would send someone to help them.

One man came to Beth and asked her to see if there was a translation in his language. They looked up his province, and she read the list of languages that had translated material, but his language wasn’t among them. He smiled, said thanks, and left. He came back to Beth in about half an hour.

He said, “I brought this old woman to come hear her language. You told me that Yil language was on your list, and I know she speaks Yil, so I brought her to you.”

Please join us in praying that all the people in Papua New Guinea will experience the joy and soul-shattering smile of hearing God’s Word in their language.

Karo’s Three Stories

By Stephanie Ernandes

“When I was young not everyone got to go to school.  Out of my family I was chosen to go.  My other sisters stayed home.  I completed school through grade five, so I learned how to read well,” shared Karo from the Gadsup people group in the Highland Region of Papua New Guinea.  Karo shared three stories as she sat talking around the fire one cold morning.  She had one main message she emphasized through all three.

“One of my sisters, she didn’t go to school, but she was very hungry for the Word of God.  She wanted to read the Bible like me.  The training center offered a class to teach her how to read.  Papa God helped her to learn.  If you and I are hungry to read the Word of God, He can help us.”

“Two other sisters* wanted to learn to read the Bible.  Remember, if you and I are hungry to read Papa God’s Word, He can help us.  When we would go to church I asked my sisters to sit down close to me.  When I opened my Bible, I opened their Bibles.  When the pastor told us what chapter to go to, I opened my Bible to it and I opened their Bibles to it also.  I showed them what verse the Pastor would read.  I told them when the Pastor reads they must look at their Bibles.  When the pastor began to read, I pointed to each word in my Bible, and I told them to point to each word as the pastor read them.   They did this over and over and now they can read.  Papa God helped them!”

“I have a cousin who came to Bible study and was very hungry to learn to read God’s word.  She didn’t get to go to school, so she couldn’t read.  She prayed and prayed, and Papa God helped her to read Tok Pisin**.  Now she can read the Bible in Tok Pisin.  She decided since God helped her to read Tok Pisin she would ask Him to help her to learn to read in English too.  She prayed and prayed and God helped her to learn to read the Bible in English too.  Remember, if you ask Papa God, He will help you.”

*In much of Papua New Guinean culture sister can refer to close friends and family such as cousins as well as true sisters.

**Tok Pisin is a commonly used trade language in Papua New Guinea, the Bible is available in this trade language.