Nearly thirty years ago, a man from the Mamusi people group travelled with his wife, mother and sister to his wife’s home village within the Ata people group. As they were visiting, new Ata believers there invited them to stay and listen to the sweetest talk they would ever hear. There were a few believers there who spoke both Ata and Mamusi and could explain and clarify the evangelistic teaching for the four visitors. Over the course of months, all four became believers and requested that the Ata believers bring this Bible teaching to the Mamusi people.
The church planting team of Ata believers prayed and planned and prepared. The Mamusi people also prepared by building a teaching house and helping the Ata teachers build houses and gardens. They started a Phase 1 Bible teaching there in December 1994 with 100 people in attendance. The Mamusi man who had become a believer while visiting Ata was an interpreter for the teaching. About 100 people became believers after the Ata team taught through Phase 1.
Since then, the Mamusi Church has mushroomed, and today there are more than 1,000 professing believers and ten local churches among the Mamusi people. However, over fifteen years ago they started reaching out to New Tribes Mission for help. Missionaries from NTM had been allocated in another village a few days hike away but had to leave prematurely, which among other things meant that they were not able to translate the Bible into the Mamusi language or continue discipling the believers. The Mamusi people want God’s Word in their heart language. The leaders want to know how to lead the Church. They want to be able to study and apply the Bible and grow in their relationship with God.
Chris and Ingrid Hughes along with their two children have taken steps to partner with the Mamusi church for this growth. They are currently house building ready to move in and start culture and language learning while focusing on understanding where the church is at. Together, the Hughes and the Mamusi church will come up with a strategy for how the churches’ needs can be met. Chris says, “It is imperative that the vision and drive continue to come from the Mamusi church. Our job is just to serve and help them, so we want them to take ownership of forming any strategy to help the Church.”
Courtesy of NTM PNG Communications