They came off the plane in Honolulu as a gang of wide-eyed young folks, excited to to have a stopover in “paradise” and eager to get on with their summer missionary experience. We had worked hard at memorizing their names and were scrambling to try to match the flesh and blood faces with the pictures we had from their applications. I must confess that they came as “a team” and we hardly got a chance to know them individually thru the 4 days of orientation. Annette was just one of those cute little kids with still another year to finish in high school.
But the next time they got off the plane in that same airport, that team stood out. We sort of knew what to expect, having met many of these teams returning from a life-changing experience among pioneer missionaries in a remote jungle village. And we had barely escaped the bustle of the airport and loaded into the chartered buses before their stories began to bubble out. Except for the Bisorio team. Theirs was a solemn and somber seriousness. They seemed to be torn between the exciting prospects of 3 days of sightseeing and the haunting memories of 4 weeks in the real world. The world of tribal people who were dying in heathen darkness, who knew the desperation of living –and dying- with no answer to the grave.
When they told us their story, we tried to capture it with slides and testimonies from the young folks. And then they brought out the sticks…
“Each stick had a name” they told us. And in a desperate attempt to impress on these white skinned youths, Gilimase had pulled these sticks from his ‘belt’ and began to call the names of … “my people who will die and go to the place of fire unless someone comes to tell us God’s Talk”!
I don’t have time nor space to tell you the rest of the story. But Annette has written some of it from their remote grass-roofed hut, nestled in the jungles of northern Thailand. She and husband Scott have been living and learning and teaching the wonderful Words of Life there for many years.
Please get this book! Read Annett’s testimony of God’s power and grace from the mountains of Papua New Guinea to the mountains of Thailand.
(I got my copy from New Tribes Mission books.)