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Tribal Stories: Tokano Tribe

Super Power or
Whites vs. Witches

With wide eyes and rising emotion he kept repeating, "I'm telling you nothing is working! We can't stop the evil powers! That's why we've got to have a missionary come to our community."
Amos-house
The man was from the Tokano tribe near the town of Goroka in Papua New Guinea. The year? 2002. The scenario he was laying out to me certainly had its roots in the ancient battle between the forces of good and evil, between God and the Devil. It's one of those lies wrapped in the skin of human reasoning and deduction that makes them more easily accepted by those in this pre-scientific culture. The accepted theory is that witches in the community cause any major illnesses or premature deaths. Not such a far-fetched idea for people who don't know about germs and microscopes. It wasn't so many years ago that our own ancestors were having trials and executions of those believed to be witches. Those who sat in judgement were men who were graduates from schools of higher learning, but they had no explanation for why a man would grab his chest and fall over dead, except that a witch must have cast an evil spell over him and his household.

One time I was trying to explain to some village people about germs and sickness. I was going on and on trying to explain that these 'bad sickness seeds' which can't even be seen by the naked eye get into our bloodstreams and cause us to get sick. I could tell from their faces that they were thinking these little carriers of illness were supernatural. I couldn't blame them. Their logic was saying, "How could something unseen be anything but supernatural?"

Now, my earnest visitor was telling me that they had tried everything but just couldn't stop the witches from their evil designs. So he wanted a white missionary to come because he was sure a missionary would have the power to subdue the witches either by casting the demons out of them or teaching them to give up their destructive practices.

Pray that the people of Tokano will some day come to know God and His power to free them from their fear of witches.

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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