A Joyous Occasion
All hands turned out for the dedication of the Pawaian New Testament. The year was 2000, and Larry M. Brown, currently CEO of Ethnos360, was in the organization’s leadership in Papua New Guinea. He was prepared for the celebration. He wasn’t prepared for the handshakes.
A Four-Fingered Grip
At any event in Papua New Guinea, everyone shakes hands with everyone else. When Larry shook hands with one older Pawaian, he noted that the man had four fingers. So did the next older man, and the next, and on and on it went. Yet the younger Pawaians had all their fingers. What was going on?
Jack Douglas, who with his wife, Isa, translated the New Testament, told Larry that the people had feared the spirits so much that they cut off each baby’s little finger to appease them.
Faith Has Five Fingers
But no more. Now the Pawaia people have heard God’s Truth and have the New Testament in their own language. They know they serve God, and God loves them and is more powerful than all the spirits.
Today, neighboring people groups are asking the Pawaians to share God’s Truth with them. “It is a new life they are noticing,” Jack Douglas wrote.
Heart language ministries — translating the Bible, teaching in their language, teaching them to read and write — have lasting results.