Yembiyembi believers in Papua New Guinea are defending the Gospel that changed their lives after opposition reached a violent stage in the past several days.
A group of men who have opposed evangelistic Bible teaching and made threats during a recent baptism of the believers took their action a step further. Their plan to provoke the believers into an all-out fight erupted into violence.
The violence, and the report that the missionaries were also targets, prompted an evacuation of the Buser family.
"In the end the police did a good job," wrote missionary Brooks Buser, "and the men who put the plan into action were charged, forced to pay a massive fine and threatened within an inch of their lives. Keep in mind that the bulk of the village is standing with us and many would do anything to keep us from leaving.
"The most encouraging part of this whole incident was how the believers stood up and defended the Gospel, the teaching and the baptisms, and reminded the unbelievers in the tribe that with or without us there they would never leave what they have come to believe in.
"Pita, Lawrence and Michael in particular stood up and together gave the Gospel to the village and reminded them of how they used to live and how they could not imagine living in the dark again, not knowing what this life, and the life beyond was about."
When some of the opposition demanded that the teaching and baptisms stop, one Inanbimali man, Lucas, said, "How can we stop any of those? Those are the posts (the main points) of Jesus’ Talk. Those are the posts that He taught. If we take those posts out of the house, the house will fall. No, we will not. We have to listen to God, not to men, just like the first followers Peter and John did."
When Michael was questioned by police about his joining the believers, he said, "The eyes of my thinking were opened. Just like the fish scales dropped from [the Apostle] Paul’s eyes, the fish scales dropped off the eyes of my mind. I saw my massive book (sin debt) and realized that I could not remove it. Only one man could. Only Jesus. How could I give my back to that? It is the true talk of God. It is the only way to go to His side. So I give my backside to any other talk. It is only lies. I will only stand on God’s Talk, I will not go back to lies. My eyes are open now."
After the police left the village, another Yembiyembi believer, Zaccheus, reminded Brooks that their strongest weapon is "talking to our Papa."
"So please don’t let up in your prayers," wrote Brooks. "These trials and challenges are the fuel that is producing incredible men and women of God."