Delivery of God’s Word Stirs Up Memories for the Ketengban People
“We never want to forget what it was like before we had the Word.”
Earlier this year, 32,000 pounds of Ketengban Scriptures were delivered to the people via the Pilatus PC-6 aircraft funded by Wycliffe Associates volunteers. And New Testaments were delivered to their neighbors in Lik villages—the first Scriptures ever in their heart language.
Part of a team to translation of the Ketengban scriptures, Andrew and Anne Sims were caught off guard as they entered the Ketengban village in Indonesia. They had come to check on the progress of the Old Testament translation, yet hundreds of people greeted them as a celebration broke out. Off to the side, eight boys covered in white mud from head to toe stood expressionless and silent, never moving.
The Ketengban elders informed the Sims’s that the village was celebrating their return as thanks for bringing the Ketengban New Testament to them. “You brought God’s words to us in our own language,” one of the elders said. “But we don’t want to forget what life was like before we had the Word, so we asked these boys to cover themselves with mud and to stand apart, silent and somber. They represent the lives of all of us before we understood God’s Word.”
“We were like dead men walking,” the elder continued. “We didn’t know God or His Son. We lived in guilt and fear and constant warfare. Now we are alive in Christ and free from our dark past. We are insiders, part of God’s family. And we don’t want to forget how much God has changed us.”
Not only did the Ketengban people not forget, but they were reaching out to neighboring villages, bringing people to Christ, and planting churches. And they also began the translation of the Old Testament.