2013 winter flightwatch

Page 4

The Right Word for Every Generation Ending the cycle of fear and violence in Indonesia


t was 1978 when a handful of pastors in the village of Kiwi in Papua, Indonesia, decided something needed to be done. The Gospel message had come to the Ngalum people more than 15 years earlier, yet the Ngalum still lived in fear. They clung to the old ways: initiation rites, fetishes, and secret words to engage the spirit world—words that could not be shared between clans, or among women or children. These words held them captive and prevented them from embracing the Gospel. A few years earlier, Jack and Corky Hook with Unevangelized Fields Mission (UFM, now CrossWorld) had arrived to carry on the work begun by earlier western missionaries. They soon found themselves to be the sole “parents” left to nurture the young Ngalum church—a church that had reached an impasse. Jack was teaching in the local Bible school when the Ngalum pastors decided to do something drastic. In the middle of a church service, with hundreds of women and children and dozens of clans present, they revealed all of the secret initiation words. The tribe



lived in fear for about a month, believing their gardens would fail or an epidemic would kill them. They thought the spirits would retaliate. “But when nothing happened,” said Jack, “transformation swept through the whole tribe. The fear they lived under was lifted.” Today, some 16,000 of the 25,000 Ngalum people are believers. There are 36 churches, a self-supporting Bible institute, and the Ngalum are finishing a translation of the Old Testament into their native language. They are also reaching out to six other tribes and sharing the Gospel with them. Like faithful parents, Jack and Corky remained in Kiwi to disciple and support the growth that was occurring. “For the first 25 years of our ministry, we wouldn’t have survived without MAF,” said Jack. “There were no roads or anything. We were totally cut off. Everything … all of our building supplies, medical supplies, food, outreach ministries … was probably 95 percent dependent upon MAF.”

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