Scott and Jennie Phillips of Papua New Guinea
“A ship on the ocean could sink in the deep.
A ship in the shallows could crack on the reef.
Only on shore is it safe where it was built.
But only on shore is it useless.”
“My Most Prized Possession”
“He’s gone crazy. This is unheard of! Surely he is just playing with us isn’t he?” Kwemuku leaned over and asked the others as he listened to Daapoi saying over and over again that he would not take any money for the portions that he had dealt out. “I don’t understand Daapoi. Why would you do this? This piece of pig meat alone must be worth at least a juta ($100)! And that piece next to it there has got to be worth another half a juta. There is no way we can take this for free. It’s nearly taboo for us to take something like this without paying!”
“Let me explain to you why I am doing this, then maybe you will all understand” Daapoi said as he reached in his string bag and pulled out his copy of the Dao scriptures. “Maybe if you hear the story from the Creator’s leaf book that has inspired me you will finally see why I am refusing to take your money” he said as he flipped through the pages of his tattered copy of the book of Mark in the Dao language. He stopped at chapter fourteen and began to read, “One evening as Jesus was eating supper, a woman came in with a very beautiful container of expensive perfume. She broke open the container and poured the perfume over his head. When those eating with Jesus saw what she had done, some of them were indignant and said ‘Why was this expensive perfume wasted? She could have sold this perfume for a lot of money…..’ But Jesus said ‘Leave her alone. Why are you putting her down for doing such a good thing? She has done all that she could; she has anointed my body for burial’.” Daapoi then quietly closed the book and looked up at the crowd gathered around for the dividing of the feast meat. “You see, this pig meat is my most prized possession. It is the most expensive thing that I own. And today is the biggest and most important celebration of the year to me – the celebration feast for the day that Jesus’ cord was cut. We have killed this pig in honor of Jesus’ big day and I want to give this to Jesus to show Him my appreciation for what He did on the cross on my behalf. And so I don’t want your money. I will not take it. If anything, I just want you all to think about Jesus and realize the worth of what he has done for us.”
Never before had the Dao people seen anything like it. People had gathered from both reached and unreached villages up to three days hike away for this feast and never before had they seen someone refuse that huge of an amount of money in their tribe. They will probably be talking about it for months as they travel back to their own areas and villages and they will carry this story with them! The feast, the believers all night singing and praising of Jesus from sundown on Christmas Eve to sunrise the following morning, the multiple messages and time of spontaneous testimony about the difference that Jesus has made in the believers lives, it was all a time of incredible testimony to those visiting from unreached villages and also to those that are already believers as well. A testimony that our greatest possession is not anything that this world has to offer. Our greatest joy is not in wealth or feasting or health or family. Our greatest possession and our greatest joy is Jesus.
To top it all off, this last Sunday eight more new believers were baptized after the Sunday service in the river down below our village. Most of the new believers are from an area called Kupe Kuyee which is where a new outreach is beginning this month. Some of you may remember a prayer update we wrote towards the beginning of 2011 about a man named Yunus. He had told us how he and his village had been waiting for the message of Jesus for years and how they had seen the difference made in our village after the Creator’s leaf book had been taught. One of his friends named Ekapitaa had recently died without the gospel and he was afraid the same thing would happen to him. He chose a few young men from his village – some of them his own sons, And then sent them to live in our village and learn about the Creator and His Son Jesus. This was all in hopes that someday they would be able to come back to his village and teach his clan. Well, that time has come. Some of the key believers are going to team up with Yunus’ sons and begin teaching in his village in the next couple weeks. For the first time ever, the story of the Creator will be taught in Yunus’ village in this new area called Kupekuye.
Please pray for the teachers that are sent out to this new village and are beginning to teach in this new area. Pray that they will teach clearly and effectively and that God will open up the minds and hearts of the listeners and give them understanding. Also, pray for the family of the little girl named Uupiyaauwoo that we mentioned in the last update. She passed away shortly after we sent out that last update. Within a day or so of her death, there was also a whooping cough epidemic/pertussis epidemic that began to sweep through the Dao tribe. We have been treating 18 different people so far for the disease, mostly young children and mostly visitors from other villages, many of which were carried to us from unreached areas and seemed to be on death’s doorstep. No one yet has died from the sickness, which is nearly a miracle in itself and many of the Dao people are glorifying God for that, but there are many still sick in our’s and other villages. Please pray for their recovery. Enemy war parties and their tracks have also been spotted once again this last week but the believers are still standing strong and holding on to Romans 12, purposing not to “return evil for evil” and to not war with these enemies that are seeking to kill them. Please pray also for that situation as well. Thanks so much for your prayers! We hope that all of you had a blessed Christmas celebration and Happy New Year!!!
Also, we are going out to the city for about ten days starting the end of this week for the printing of new school books and scripture portions and also to attend a local mission’s conference. We have written a new “Project of the month” pertaining to the printed material so we will paste it at the bottom of this email in case you would want to check it out and pray about getting involved with that project. Our website sjphillips.org has been updated as well for the new year with new pictures and a new opening article too. Check it out if you get some time and want to know what our family personally is hoping and praying for in this new year 2012!!!
Because He said “GO!” – Scott & Jennie Phillips, DAO – Desiring Advancement Overseas in Indonesia – Luke 9:60/17:10
For more pictures and info on the ministry God has allowed us a part in here, check out sjphillips.org