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Tribal Stories: Elimbari Tribe

Music to His Ears or
Songs From the Sweet Potato Patch

"What is that? Do you hear it? It sounds like singing, but it's too far away to hear the words," some may say in the Elimbari tribe of Papua New Guinea. Named after the beautiful Mount Elimbari the people are hearty and rough like the limestone crags.
306bIn years gone by, other sounds could be heard there. Sounds such as wailing after a relative died, echoing the hopelessness and fears of the hereafter within them. Sounds such as shouting during tribal warfare which destroyed gardens, and left villages burned and many people dead and wounded. The status of women was only a little above that of their pigs, which were highly prized as symbols of wealth. Sometimes the women would suckle piglets to keep them from dying. But God has started a work in the Elimbari tribe that will keep growing until many have heard the gospel of Christ.

The church there has been reaching out to different communities within a two-mile radius, and through the faithful teaching of God's Word; more have come to Christ. Where will it end? We pray that the message will keep spreading until it reaches the far borders of the tribe and then goes across the borders to the neighboring tribes.

A couple of the women whose husbands have been teaching the Word are gathering other women together two evenings a week to review the Bible lessons their husbands have taught. This gives the women time to discuss the lessons without interrupting anyone in the meetings. These gatherings have been a tool that has helped the women to understand the Word and to be drawn together as a caring group.

They have also decided to help work in each other's gardens at different times. They get together for work (bending over working in a garden all day and carrying home big bags of produce really is work). But not only do they work, they also fellowship together and often break out in songs of praise to their Savior. Praise God for these women! Praise God for the work He has done in the Elimbari tribe! Praise Him that He has given these women songs of praise and joy in the place of hopelessness and fear! Praise God that He will continue to work through His church there! It makes me just want to praise Him for His great power.

Thank you for your interest in the Tanner's ministry. They appreciate your prayers and support. Their field address is P.O. Box 1079, Goroka, EHP, Papua New Guinea. You can contact them by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Financial gifts should be sent to New Tribes Mission, 1000 E First St, Sanford, FL 32771-1487. Checks should be made out to New Tribes Mission with a notation saying "for Jim & Kathy Tanner."

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