By Mark Ellis —
In many areas of the world he might be referred to as a witch doctor, but in Papua New Guinea he was known as a poison man. He worshipped ancestors, the created world, and “the killing spirit” until he found God’s grace.
“I put all my belief in the spirit world, plants, ancestors, in the killing spirit, and the things of this ground,” Kiung told Ethnos360. “I had never heard or thought about God or anything like that.”
In his tribe he was sought out for his masterful use of incantations, potions, and casting spells that might bring help, harm, or even kill other people.
Then missionaries visited who brought a form of the Christian religion that emphasized earning God’s favor through good works.
“Religion takes different forms and beliefs all over the world. In many places here, religion is a list of laws and regulation to adhere to, prayers and songs to sing, and works to do in order to appease God and gain his blessings or maybe even go to heaven,” according to Aaron Luse, an Ethnos360 missionary with his life Lori to the Patpatar people group in Papua New Guinea.
“Kiung became religions and began to rise on the ladder within that religious system and made some radical changes in lifestyle. After being immersed in that for several years and not finding the basic answers and security he longed for, he was given the chance to hear God’s Word taught clearly in a way he had never known,” Luse noted.
A system of works-based righteousness was ultimately exasperating and unfulfilling for Kiung. “All I heard was talk about work, you must do this, you must do that. If you do bad things you go to the place of pain and fire. If you do good works then you get eternal life,” he told Ethnos360.
“I went to the church and tried to do all of the good things. I did everything the church told me. I followed all the laws of the church. I tried and tried because if I did enough of these things I would get eternal life because that’s what the church said.”
Then a liberating message of grace came to Kiung. “I began to realize that all my prior ways and beliefs about the spirit world and all the rules and traditions of the other church, they were not in line with God’s talk.”
“Now I know it’s only by the work of Jesus. He died, and He rose again. I believe in Him. There’s nothing I can do to go find God. The only way is Jesus and believing in his work on the cross. I know the only road to God is though the work of his Son.”
“Now I have received the mercy of God, he continued. “He gave it freely. There is nothing I have to do or give besides put my belief in the work of Jesus.”
Now Kiung is a pastor in the Patpatar church and teaches and shepherds those seeking answers, security, and fulfillment.
To know more about a personal relationship with God, go here
To learn more about the Luse’s work in Papua New Guinea go here