'Across the knees of Jesus'

POSTED ON 2008-12-10
  by David Bell

Lives are being changed among the Bagwido people of Papua New Guinea as they allow God's Holy Spirit to work in them.

Recently, Yagu's 4-year-old grandson, Nikodemus, was severely ill with malaria. The boy's mother, Elis, was tired and weary of spirit from several long nights of caring for the boy.

Grandma Yagu came one afternoon and told Elis that she would take the boy to her house and care for him so the mother could get some sleep. Nikodemus was burning with fever when Yagu took him.

"He was half-sleeping and I laid him near me as I put my sago on the fire before we slept," Yagu later told missionaries Mark and Holly Woodard. "I lay down to sleep, but no, Niko just turned and turned. His fever got hotter again and his eyes began to roll back and around like he was fainting. He was slipping in and out, in and out of consciousness. I took him and laid him across my knees.

"I began to talk to our Great Creator out loud. … 'O Great Creator Being, our Great Creator Being, please, in the name of our Redeemer Jesus, please God, I put this little boy at your feet. I lay this little boy across the knees of Jesus, and please God, only You can heal him. You are the true medicine. You and You only can make him well and strong again.'"

Yagu prayed over and over through the night.

"Finally, at the time of the second chicken [in the early morning] Niko woke up," Yagu continued. "He opened his eyes and cried out, 'Jesus!' Then he rolled over and slept some more across my knees. A little while later his fever went and he broke into a cold sweat. He rolled over and then he just sat right up and said, 'Grandma, okay, I am hungry now. Please get me a sago patty.'

"I told him, 'You wait, Niko, you rest first and lay here until you get your good strength back. You have been very sick.' He said, 'No, grandma, don't you see? I am all well again now. The Redeemer Jesus took away my sick and now I am well. Please make me that sago patty right now!'"

Yagu's faith has made a huge change in her life. Formally, she was a very strong, brazen woman, known for her loud mouth and the way she would stand on the river shore and yell in anger at anyone that had done her wrong.

She came to understand and believe the Gospel in April and is now known for the gentle way she comes alongside of people and starts a conversation. Her gift is discipleship and she is often seen sitting beside a younger woman, listening to her story, and then telling her the stories of the Redeemer.

"It is so neat to watch our fellow believers here hanging on God for their strength," the Woodards wrote.

Please pray that Yagu's faith and her gift for discipleship will touch the lives of many and bring more Bagwidos to place their faith in Christ.

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