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missionary with national friends

Kletus was about 16 years old when the unthinkable happened.

After missionaries moved into the neighbouring Waxe village, the village rejected them. They rejected them and sent them away.  Kletus felt utter disappointment when the missionaries left. But they promised to give us God’s Word! he thought to himself. How will we find out what God’s Word says now?

A Second Chance

He was just a teenager at the time. He could have been considered “insignificant.” He definitely held no leadership position in the tribe. He had no authority. But he was persistent.

He reminded the leadership of New Tribes Mission more than once that they had promised to give his people God’s Word—and they had not yet done that. It was a promise he held them to.

Though having faced rejection once, missionaries Peter and Freda Green agreed to move into a smaller Waxe village. Greg and Laura Melendes joined them about a year later in 1982.

While Greg concentrated on translating God’s Word into the Waxe language, Peter taught chronologically through the Bible, climaxing with Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. Kletus was right there in the meetings. He listened, understood and believed.

Used by God

“Kletus was my main translation helper,” said Greg Melendes. “He became an excellent evangelist and teacher, even helping to evangelize the bigger village. He was also an encourager. When I would become discouraged in the work, Kletus would encourage me.

“And it wasn’t just me he encouraged. In the early days of the Bagwido work, one of the missionaries was at the end of his rope. He was discouraged. Kletus showed up, sat him down, and put things back into perspective. He told him that God had brought him there and he needed to keep working at it. He couldn’t quit. Kletus continues to be a blessing in the Waxe church.”

A Promise Kept

Kletus could have considered himself an “insignificant” teenager and kept quiet. But he didn’t. And because of his persistence, the promise of God’s Word in the Waxe language is about to become a reality. The Waxe New Testament is in the final proofing stages before going to print in October of this year. Kletus had the privilege of playing a grand role in this incredible process.

Pray with us for those working on the final proofing of the Waxe New Testament. Pray for a smooth process as it goes to print, and ultimately gets shipped to Papua New Guinea.

Posted in Asia-Pacific, Bagwido People, Bible translation, News, Papua New Guinea, Waxe People