While I was in the Kuman village, I met a man named Umba who is a believer and training as a Bible teacher. Will told me this story about Umba from a little more than a year ago:

In the village a young boy drowned in a pit that had filled with rain water. Some of the people reasoned that since the boy had never drowned in a pit before, there must have been some sorcery involved to cause this tragedy. Shortly after this, Umba was accused of being responsible. The accuser got a shaman to corroborate his story and even hired a group of young men to torture and kill Umba. Typically an accusation of this kind is a death sentence and the accused will flee. As this was developing Will was genuinely thinking that Umba would be killed.

Umba then did something unprecedented. He came to the center of the village and called everyone out. He explained that he was not going to flee and he wanted to get things out in the open. Men of the village told the accuser to make his case and explain his position. The shaman who had agreed with the accuser had (coincidently) gotten sick and was nowhere to be found. Additionally, the accuser himself was backing off from his story and denied that it was he who had paid others to torture Umba. Both of these “coincidences” were answers to the prayers of Will and many others. However, that is not all that happened.

The villagers expressed support for Umba saying they had seen his life change for the better. Umba is the only man in the village who helps his wife garden and he will help cook when she is sick–both acts fly in the face of their traditional culture. Because of God’s work in Umba, his life has caused the villagers to begin questioning some of their traditions. As a result the men of the village declared that witch-hunts like this would be stopped until they could figure out what was going on.

Although there are many villagers still in darkness this is encouraging evidence that God is breaking Satan’s hold on these people. Will told me he never would have expected such a drastic step to be taken. Praise the Lord for the work he is accomplishing in this Kuman village!

  1. This is so powerful! Thinking of y’all and PNG as we worship and sang His Great Name in church today!

  2. Andrea

    Praise God! This is such an amazing story! It’s encouraging when God is so obvious about the work he is doing! We’re praying for you all!

    Is the Kuman village a potential place you will live? Or are your visits there to help you understand more about what you will be doing in another village?

    • Joseph

      Visits right now are just to see what is going on and what it is like, but the Kuman tribe does need more missionaries, so it is a possibility. It will be a few months before we really start deciding–once we have a more thorough understanding of everything that is going on.

  3. Ashley

    Amazing. Love being a part of witnessing God’s greatness in that village. Thank you for sharing his testimony. Joseph, how do you communicate when you are there? Or did Will do most of the communicating and translating? Just was wondering if the people knew why you were there as well?

    • Joseph

      I couldn’t speak with them very much. I used a few phrases I know in the trade language, but Will did most of the talking.

  4. That story is amazing and so is the facepaint you have on! Bailey, Emrick, Becker and I are praying for you guys……

  5. Joseph – what a great perspective into your world. I know there are thousands more stories out there like this one and many more to be told.

What do you think?