The Book that Glowed in the Dark
By Andrew McChesney
Villagers sang and danced when the mission airplane arrived in the Indonesian province of Papua. The plane had brought in two new student missionaries.
The joyful celebration stretched on for more than an hour in Yabosorem, one of the remotest villages on the island, with no school, clinic, or anything else from the outside world. Perched on a mountainside, the village is only accessible by air.
Darron Boyd, another missionary who had helped arrange the placement of the student missionaries, watched with amazement and turned to the interpreter who had accompanied them all on the flight.
“What are they saying?” Darron asked. The interpreter, with tears rolling down his cheeks, replied, “They are saying, ‘We are so very happy because our children will be able to read to us the very words of God!’”
After the airplane left, the missionaries — a 19-year-old woman and a 21-year-old woman from another part of Indonesia — got to work, prayerfully opening a small school. Nobody knew how to read in the village of 200 people.
Many villagers were thrilled to have the missionaries, but some were deeply suspicious. Most suspicious of all was the elderly wife of the village chief. She couldn’t read the books that the two women had brought, and she told the other villagers to be very careful.
The two missionaries were kind to the wife of the village chief. Soon after they arrived, they gave her a book filled with Bible studies. The elderly woman was pleased with the gift, even though she couldn’t read, and she placed it beside her bed in her one-room hut. One night, she woke up in the pitch-black darkness and saw a light in the room. Turning over, she saw that the book was glowing in the darkness. The woman carefully picked up the book and examined it. Why was it glowing in the dark? She couldn’t understand what was happening.
As she studied the book, a brighter light suddenly entered the room. The woman looked up and saw a tall, shining white man standing in the hut. Before she could speak, the man said, “The book is telling you the story of Noah, who was helping prepare the world for destruction. He told the truth to the people, just like the girls are telling the truth to the people in this village. You can believe what they are teaching you.” Then the man vanished.
Early in the morning, the woman excitedly rushed out of her hut to tell the other villagers about what she had seen and heard. “An angel visited me last night!” she said.
The villagers had never seen an angel before, but they believed that angels were white and that they would be taught the truth by white people.
Soon the whole village heard the angel story, and everyone was eager to hear the two missionaries teach from the Bible. In eight months, 23 people were baptized.
The village chief, who didn’t see the angel, was so amazed by what his wife had seen that he tore down part of the hut to build a small Adventist church.
The girls finished their year of service in 2017 and returned to their homes, filled with a new vigor to share the gospel. Two new missionaries were sent to the village.
“Angels are still alive, still working. They are right by our side,” said Darron, 45, who has visited the village several times for Adventist Aviation International, which sends mission planes around the world. “God said in the last days He’s going to pour out His Spirit, and I think we are seeing that right now in places like Yabosorem,” he said.
Andrew McChesney is editor for Adventist Mission. This story is reprinted with permission.
World Church Prayer Requests for
Feb. 18-25, 2018
1. PRAYER REQUEST: Please pray for church members on the Pacific Islands of American Samoa, Samoa, and Tonga who were recently hit by Tropical Cyclone Gita. Pray for Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) workers as they rush to bring relief and assistance to those affected.
2. PRAYER REQUEST: Please pray for our church members still dealing with the aftermath of the hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico and the Caribbean islands last fall, as well as Texas and Florida. Remember those who are still recovering from the terrible earthquakes in Mexico City last year, and who were impacted by fires and mudslides in California and the Northwestern United States.
3. PRAYER REQUEST: Please pray for the Maranatha 2018 Evangelistic campaigns scheduled in Japan, May 4-20. With the aging population and membership, Japan is desperately in need of young people to grow the church. Pray that young people will join the church as a result of this Total Member Involvement (TMI) event and become workers for Christ. Currently, outside of the young people that go to the SDA boarding school institutions in Japan, there are very few SDA young people in Japan.
4. PRAYER REQUEST: The president of Eastern Japan Conference, Nozoma Obara, asks for your prayers, especially for God to work in the city of Akita (which has the highest rate of suicide). Let’s join our prayers with theirs as God can work miracles.
5. PRAYER REQUEST: There is a center of influence in the West-Central Africa Division that is attempting to reach higher levels of society with stop-smoking classes, plus other programs specifically for men, women, and children. Pray that God will bless the work of this center, and bring to it the people whose hearts He is preparing.