They Couldn’t Be Poisoned
By Andrew McChesney
Eighteen-year-old Desi Natalia Ango was thrilled when she and a fellow female student were assigned to spend a year as missionaries in Limbong in the south of the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.
It was a long trip by car and motorcycle, plus eight hours walking to get to the mountain village, and when the young missionaries finally arrived, the villagers welcomed them with a traditional ceremony. “We didn’t speak their dialect and didn’t know what they were saying,” Ango said. “We didn’t know what to do.” More important, she had no idea how to share her love for Jesus. She and her friend fasted and prayed for two days.
On the second day, a village woman asked for help. She led the two missionaries to her mother, Indo Reko, who was ill in bed. The elderly woman was suffering from a flow of blood, much like the woman whom Jesus healed in Mark 5:25-34. The missionaries didn’t have any medical experience and didn’t know what to do. But they did have some charcoal, and they mixed two spoonfuls with water and asked for permission to pray.
“We prayed, ‘Lord, we believe that you can heal this woman with this charcoal,’” Ango recalled. “But we were thinking, ‘What else can we do?’”
They decided to call the campus of 1000 Missionary Movement, the organization that had dispatched them to the village. To get cell phone reception, they had to climb another hour up the mountain. The phone call went through, and a campus nurse advised the young women to mash a small papaya — seeds and all — with a regular-sized banana and feed it to Reko.
Back at Reko’s house, Ango told the woman, “We are Christians, and we believe that Jesus will help you. If you eat this, you will get better.”
The missionaries fed the papaya-banana mixture to Reko every day for the next 30 days. They also taught her not to eat pork and other unclean meat. When the month ended, the blood flow had stopped and Reko was back to her normal self.
The other villagers were amazed and began asking the missionaries to care for their ill children and other ill relatives. The missionaries relied on charcoal and prayer.
Then the missionaries decided to start going house to house. The villagers appreciated the assistance, but told the missionaries to stay away from a certain house in the village. “Don’t go there because you will be poisoned,” they warned. The missionaries ignored the advice because they believed that the Lord had sent them to the village and they had to visit every house.
When they knocked on the door, a woman in her early 30s greeted them with great joy and immediately offered them food and drink. Ango looked at the cassava and purple corn and turned to her fellow missionary. “You first,” she said. Her friend nudged her and said, “No, you first.” Ango asked the woman, known as Mama Wandi, if they could pray together before eating. “Why do you want to pray?” Wandi asked. “We are Christians,” Ango said. “We believe in praying for everything that we do.”
After praying, the young women ate the food. Nothing happened to them.
Wandi invited the missionaries back the next day and fed them again. They prayed for the food and nothing bad happened. This happened every day for two weeks. Finally, Wandi told the other villagers, “These missionaries are not ordinary people. I have been poisoning their food for two weeks, and they never get sick!”
The story spread that throughout the village that the missionaries were immune to poison, and many people came to them to hear about their God.
"God used Mama Wandi to spread a positive report for our work,” Ango said.
Ango is now 21 and an education and English major at Universitas Klabat, an Adventist school on the northern tip of Sulawesi island. She has visited the village several times since her yearlong stay, and she is thrilled that Wandi is now studying the Bible with the district pastor.
Andrew McChesney is editor of Adventist Mission. This story is reprinted with permission. To read more from Adventist Mission, click here.
World Church Prayer Requests for
March 4-11, 2018
• PRAYER REQUEST: Please pray that people will be impressed to support the Adventist World Radio Annual offering collected in churches around the world on Sabbath, March 10, 2018. The focus for this year’s annual offering is reaching those in North Korea. (To hear a beautiful testimony and to learn more visit: http://awr.org/offering)
• PRAYER REQUEST: Please continue praying for Japan, especially for the Japan Union Conference, that God would open many hearts to receive the gospel, and that the Youth Rush program currently in progress would be instrumental in bringing many people to the upcoming meetings in May.
• PRAYER REQUEST: Please pray that the Literature Evangelism program in Japan not be seen as only for the young people, but ultimately that there will be Total Member Literature Involvement (TMLI). Please pray with us that church members of all ages will desire to be involved with some form of literature distribution (tracts, books, booklets, etc.)
• PRAYER REQUEST: Please pray for the leaders of the Northern Asia-Pacific Division (NSD). Pray especially for the new Division President, Si Young Kim—that God will give him wisdom to lead the Division effectively. Please remember Ministerial Director Ron Clouzet and his wife, Lisa, in your prayers as they work with pastors and layman in the NSD Division. Pray that there will be a revival among all the countries where they are training and teaching people to give Bible studies.