‘Yea and Amen!’ 2,500 Bibles Sent to Remote Tribe that Killed Missionaries 55 years Ago

(Christian Today) A remote Papua tribe has received 2,500 Bibles 55 years after two missionaries trying to reach them with the Gospel were slain. 

Some Yali tribespeople walked an entire day to reach the the Oakbisik airstrip in the mountains of Papua, Indonesia, to receive the shipment of Bibles in their own language from Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF).

It was in 1965 that MAF pilots first located the Yali people in the Seng Valley region of Papua after conducting survey flights in what was then Dutch New Guinea.

The Yali were at the time marked by violence, being masters in jungle warfare, and practised witchcraft as well as cannibalism. 

Three years after they were first found by the MAF pilots, World Team missionaries Phil Masters and Stan Dale made plans to start a church in the Seng Valley and share the Gospel with the tribe.

But when they arrived in the area to scout out a place for a new landing strip, rumours spread in the villages of two strange-looking white men bringing a new message.

Yali tribes dance around the MAF Kodiak plane PK-MED
It has been 20 years since the Yali people last received new copies of the Bible in their language(Photo: Mission Aviation Fellowship)

Yali warriors lay in wait for them near a jungle path and ambushed the two missionaries, raining down arrows on them. 

The two missionaries stood their ground, pulling the arrows from their bodies and breaking them in two in front of the warriors.  They are reported to have died after being shot by some 200 arrows. 

When the Newman missionary family went in search of them three months later, their plane tragically crashed in the Seng Valley killing everyone on board except their youngest son Paul Newman, who managed to escape the burning wreckage and find shelter in the hut of a Yali man who did not agree with the killing of missionaries. 

When the Yali found out Paul had survived, they took it as a sign and invited missionaries into their village at Holuwan. Five years later, 35 new Christians were baptized there and a church was…

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Editor’s note. This article was written by a Staff write at Christian Today. Title changed by Protestia.

3 thoughts on “‘Yea and Amen!’ 2,500 Bibles Sent to Remote Tribe that Killed Missionaries 55 years Ago

  1. I read about them while undergoing missionary training with New Tribes Mission thirty six years ago, July 1984.
    We looked at it as being the reason to understand a tribal culture before riding roughshod over it.
    Phil Masters was not the man responsible, it was Stan Dale who caused them both to die.
    Yet we know God is in complete control.

    Carl, just journeying through.

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