God's Word and death threats

As Scripture invades lives and cultures, Dao clans are radically changed.

A 10-year-old boy had been terribly wounded by arrow stabs to his chest.

The tribal leaders who described the injuries to missionary Scott Phillips insisted it was an obvious death threat.

Little Mokota lives in a remote village in the mountains—a village that has not yet heard Bible teaching about their Creator. Surrounding tribes have also not yet been reached with the Gospel.

“One of the arrow tips was purposely driven in right at his heart,” the tribal men told Scott.

As they talked on, Scott learned the rest of the story.

Little Mokota was out hunting birds with his older brother, when suddenly they were surprised and chased by three men from another clan. His older sibling was able to outrun the men, but Mokota’s little legs would not carry him fast enough to escape.

"The [men] ran him down,” Scott writes. And the men actually held him to the ground and stabbed him with arrows and then left him for dead.

“Mokota’s clan had given up hope,” Scott continues. “He was too far back in the jungles for them to carry him all the way to the village where we live to be flown out to the hospital by helicopter.”

To make matters worse, the men had snapped the tips off their arrows in Mokota’s back and chest with the intention that he would die. Mokota’s father and several other men were able to dig two of the arrow tips out of his limp body.

But Scott says the third arrow was too deep for them to remove. The doctors that Scott called told him what medicines to send to the village to prevent gangrene setting in from the unremoved arrow. They also gave him the sad news that Mokota would almost certainly be dead in two to three weeks.

“We began praying,” Scott shares, “and encouraged the Dao believers to pray for his healing as well.”

Ten months passed.

And then last week, Scott says, Mokota stood before him. Some believers from a village close to his home had brought him to be part of the Bible teaching.

The scars on his chest and back confirmed the horror of the vicious attack he had survived.

Mokota, Scott explains, had come because “he heard that we are teaching from the Creator’s Book and he wanted to hear what his Creator has to say.”

And, joyfully, Mokota wasn’t the only one who came from his clan. “A number of people from that same area have come down to join the classes. Even the chief of that area … came down to visit with us.”

The chief, it turned out, came especially to request that someone would come to his village and teach so that his clan would be able to hear the words of their Creator.

God is at work among the Dao people. Even in the vengeful evil suffered by a little child, God’s redeeming grace is at work, bringing light and truth from His Word and transforming lives and cultures.