From fear to fellowship

POSTED ON 2009-04-28
  by David Bell

Most of the Kumans had never seen the other side of the mountain, but on Good Friday Kuman believers hiked over the highest mountain chain in Papua New Guinea to fellowship with a neighboring tribe.

After hiking 20 miles in seven hours, 19 Kuman men, women and young people, along with missionaries Will and Kelly Tallman and their three youngest children, arrived at their destination tired, footsore and hungry.

On the other side of the range, the people the Kumans had feared for generations because of their strong sorcery greeted them with a welcome song, calling them brothers and sisters.

As the weary travelers heard the welcome, tears of appreciation appeared in many eyes.

"When they sang that welcome song for us I cried because they welcomed us with their hearts and showed us real love," said Koninga, a middle-aged Kuman woman.

"We were so tired when we arrived but they took such good care for us, giving us lots of food and a nice place to sleep. They even spent days in the bush gathering komba for us," said Korai, another middle-aged woman.

The komba is a large fruit of the pandanas palm made up of thousands of seeds. It is boiled and then squeezed. The thick tomato "ketchup" looking result, which is high in fat content, was a welcome treat for the Kumans who live where it is not so bountiful.

The weekend was made up of visiting, attending meetings, and lots of singing, testimonies and dramas such as the "Poison Man" that the Kumans presented.

The "Poison Man" was a drama that warned Christians of the wrongness and the futility of seeking out witchdoctors when someone is ill.

"We spoke different languages, yet the truth we heard was the same truth, God's Truth," said Parak, a young, married man who was saved just over a month ago.

"We need to be praying more," said Bruno, a young man. "The [other tribe's] believers were praying all the time during the gathering. We need to follow their good example."

Please join them in praying for future times of fellowship and for two new outreaches taking place among the Kumans.

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