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Stories & Blog

Greedy for God's Word

INDONESIA — The tall Dani (DAH-nee) pastor walked into Crossworld worker Dave’s shop with a big smile on his face and an old hat on his head.

“How many cartons of Bibles will this purchase?” Mbogut Paga Enegen thrust a handful of red rupiah bills that he had pulled from his pocket into Dave’s hand.

“Seven cartons with 10 Bibles each,” Dave replied.

“Please set them aside and I’ll get my brothers to help me carry them,” Mbogut said as he turned back to the door.

This was Bible-selling day at Ilu, one of Crossworld’s airstrips in Papua, Indonesia. In 1961, the Dani people made one of the most significant people movements in history by coming to Christ as a whole tribe, burning their fetishes and trusting the one true God. Forty-eight years later, in 2009, the translation of the Dani Bible was completed. Then, on that day at Ilu, the Danis had the first opportunity to purchase their own copy of God’s Word.

Minutes later, Mbogut was back with his brothers … and another huge handful of rupiah bills.

“What are these for?” Dave asked.

“More Bibles,” Mbogut said. “I’m the leading pastor in an area a full day’s walk down the valley. There are five churches under my supervision and we need Bibles! How many more cartons will these purchase?”

Dave counted the bills again and told Mbogut they would purchase another nine cartons. With a taller-than-normal posture and a bigger-than-normal smile, Mbogut and his brothers shouldered 16 cartons of Dani Bibles and left for his village.

Two days later the entire order of 4,000 Dani Bibles had been sold. Those who didn’t arrive in time stood outside Dave’s shop, wiping tears from their eyes.

“Where is mine? I did not get a Bible.” So great was their desire to have the Word of God in their own language that Dave immediately ordered another 11,000 copies. Today about 30,000 Bibles are helping Dani believers grow in their faith and make disciples who make disciples.

Italicized name was changed to protect identity.

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