Umba stands and Jesus wins

POSTED ON 2010-06-11
  by David Bell

Umba was not going to stand idle as threats were made against him and his family. The Kuman man in Papua New Guinea was going to challenge his accusers.

"We are trusting in God’s Word and they are trusting in Satan’s power," Umba told missionary Will Tallman over the phone. "If we stand on God’s Word we have nothing to fear and people will see what is really the truth."

Umba and his wife, Wari, were accused of using sorcery to cause the death of a young child. The family had consulted a witchdoctor who put the blame on the couple.

Last week, Umba called on his relatives to bring forth the witchdoctor they had hired so he could prove his power. The relatives said they couldn’t find him.

On Saturday the village gathered to hear the two sides.

As the village met, Umba again challenged his accusers to provide the witchdoctor and present evidence that he was guilty. Umba’s request was not the normal way to respond to such accusations. It is customary in Kuman culture to not say anything, but to sit in silence fearing for one’s life.

Umba’s relatives quickly began backing down, saying they didn’t know who had hired the witchdoctor and didn’t know who had made the accusations. Knowing about Umba’s faith and good works in the village, and the wisdom he shows as a village magistrate, the people clearly saw through the lies of his accusers.

Village leaders denounced the accusers and demanded that compensation be paid to Umba.

The accusers quickly produced the money, but Umba refused it.

"I have not come here to defend myself or claim compensation," he said. "I have come here to tell you that your actions are against God’s Word and are not according to the truth in it. I do not want this money. I want you all to know of the salvation that comes only by faith in Jesus!"

The village leaders still demanded that the money be taken, so Umba allowed the village leaders to split it among themselves.

The village leaders then did something historic. A court document was written declaring that no one is allowed to use a witch again and that all accusations of sorcery killings would be met with a stiff fine.

Umba’s stand for the truth was a complete victory for Christ.

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