As the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ nears people of every tribe and tongue are coming to the Lord and surrendering themselves completely over to Him.
The notorious Yali Tribe in Papa New Guinea, which is famous for killing missionaries, witchcraft and cannibalism, has started following God and have accepted 2,500 Bibles sent to them.
1400 of the Bibles were children’s Bibles, and the rest were regular Bibles which came from Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF), a Christian organization that flies Bibles to areas that cannot receive them in other ways.
A Yali Tribe church ordered the Bibles, since there wasn’t enough for the entire Yali Tribe’s village, MAF reports. The Yali tribe were waiting for the plane to land and the women and children were celebrating by chanting in their local tongue and dancing.
Dave Ringenberg, one of the plane’s pilots, who is also an Instructor Pilot and the Director of Papua Operations, said that “It was a holy moment – one to be remembered.” This flight took place 55 years after the tribe was first discovered by Mission Aviation Fellowship in a flight survey in 1965.
The Bibles handed out to the tribe were translated into southern Yali. After 32 years, the translation was completed in 2000. World Team missionary, Stan Dale, and a Yali man named Luliap Pahabol worked together to complete the Gospel of Mark, the first book to be completely translated. Dale was working on the book of Acts when he and colleague Phil Masters were tragically killed in 1968.
Martyred for Christ
They were ambushed by two of the tribe’s warriors as they were scouting out a place for a new airstrip in order to shared the Gospel with a “particularly hostile Yali tribe,” MAF reports. The warriors attacked the missionaries because they were spreading a message that went against the tribe’s witchcraft and beliefs. The two missionaries took more than 200 arrows before they died.
Then, a second Mission Aviation Fellowship plane crashed and the pilot, Paul, stumbled out and was found by one of the Yali tribe members who was against murdering missionaries. The tribe member kept Paul safe until a search party arrived. The tribe considered this second visit a sign and listened to what the search party and Paul had to say, and slowly more and more members of the Yali tribe came to Christ. There are now more than 100 churches among the Yali people.