Vanuatu couple

Bragging On God

“Sing to the LORD, bless His name; proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day. Tell of His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all the peoples…”
–Psalm 96:2-3

Here at Friends In Action, Intl. (FIA), we have the distinct privilege of hearing and seeing God’s hand at work in the world. We love to “brag on God,” passing along to you the stories of “His wonderful deeds among all the peoples”!  Over the years, the Lord has shown Himself mighty and faithful in many situations. We will just highlight two of His more-recent exploits to encourage your heart this month but check back on our blog for more installments in the future!  “Great is our Lord and very glorious and there is no end to his greatness!” –Psalm 145:3.

Stabbed Man Saved, Body and Soul

Wounded Weewak man receiving medical care

The first story of His glory is out of Papua New Guinea. A handful of Christian Weewak men load up their unbelieving friend in a boat to try to get him to a clinic. This man had gotten into a fight using a bush knife (long machete) with another man from a neighboring tribe. He was stabbed through the side, barely missing his lung.

This guy was friends with the Christian villagers but did not believe in God himself. As he begins to pass in and out of consciousness, they are nowhere near medical help yet. The Christian friends tell the injured man that he should ask Jesus to help him, but he says he doesn’t believe. They answer that they will believe for him and begin to pray for a miracle that God would spare his life.

As they are praying, our FIA team leaders Mike and Jen land in a float plane right on the water near their boat!  They were on the plane being transported to another remote village for outreach, and “just happened” to set down there. On top of that, the plane “just happened” to be used for medical supply transports as well, and was loaded with first aid kits! Mike jumps out, rigs up an IV and gets the bleeding controlled. They life flight the wounded man to a clinic.

A week later, the injured man is up and walking around. He believes that only God could have saved him and becomes a Christ follower! Now that is our God who makes a way when there is no way!

Witch Doctors: No Match for the Gospel

Church is held beneath this tree in Vanuatu

The second story is out of Vanuatu. The NiVan people there live under the stronghold of the witch doctors’ superstitions. The witch doctors keep the people in terrible bondage. They make many things taboo which cause the people to be sick. They say don’t eat meat because this causes ringworm, so the people are anemic. They told a woman who had a miscarriage not to drink water for 4 days! They perform “leaf healings” and put crushed leaves in peoples’ hair and ears to fix their ailments. They offer marijuana and kava medicinally leading to addictions in the villages. They forbid people from going to church or to the clinic and tell them they will be cursed or die if they do.

A woman named Vemanu (pictured in header above) had been very sick for a long time. The witch doctor planted a tree in her honor and said that as the tree grew, she would grow healthy as well. But the more time passed, the weaker she became. When her son wanted to transport her to the medical clinic, the witch doctor said that if she left the tree, she would die. Vemanu (a Christ-follower) left anyway and received a blood transfusion at the clinic.

Gospel shared at Vemanu’s Funeral

Although this made her stronger for a few weeks, the doctors there couldn’t diagnose what was wrong with her, and she died a month later. While we might wonder why God didn’t heal her as a sign to the witch doctor, Vemanu was a matriarch in her village community. Many, many villagers came to her funeral to pay her tribute. As the Gospel was shared, the people responded in droves! Her life and her death brought eternal life to many in her village that day!  “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” –Isaiah 55:9.

Thank you for praying and giving so generously!  Hebrews 12:2 calls Jesus “the Author and perfecter of our faith.” God is continually writing the story of His great love through the lives of His people. Because of your support, Friends in Action has the opportunity to be part of so many life-changing stories in some of the most remote parts of the globe!

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