In a book entitled "Jungle Harvest," written by a missionary named Ruby Scott, she describes some of her experiences in reaching a people group known as the Tila Indians who lived in a remote village in the jungles of south Mexico, just north of the Guatemalan border. As Ruby and her colleague learned the Tila language, they translated the message of the Bible in order to give the people the Scriptures in their own tongue; and they arranged to have the Gospel recorded and duplicated on records that could be played on little record players that worked by turning a crank. The Tilas were astonished at this.
One of the men who heard the message was a witch doctor named Domingo. He was in his mid-fifties and illiterate. When he learned about Christ, he turned from his old way of life and was wonderfully converted. He instantly became burdened for his old friends, the other witch doctors in his former village. One day he decided to take the message to them. He borrowed one of the portable record players and the records and off he went.
His former friends were happy to see him, and they talked, laughed, and reminisced about the good old days. When Domingo opened up the record player, they watched him with great curiosity and begin listening. After playing some of the Scriptures, Domingo told them that God had turned his heart around. He shared his own testimony with them and preached the Gospel to them as well as he could.
They were angry and skeptical, and they replied, "How can you, who have experienced the power and authority of a witch doctor, turn your back on the very gods who have chosen you?" They argued with him and threatened him. Domingo remained calm and kept preaching Jesus to them. Finally, his friends grabbed their machetes and ordered him to leave.
Domingo hastily closed the phonograph and slipped the records into his carrying bag. Swinging the machine onto his back, he turned sadly and started down the trail. But he was so burdened and so upset that he felt he had to make just one more try. Turning back, he began to say another word for Christ.
In great anger, one of the men raised machete and aimed it at Domingo’s phonograph. Instinctively, Domingo’s hand touched the machine to steady it, and the machete sliced off three fingers. Domingo hurried away, and when he was out of sight he stopped and tore a sleeve from his shirt to bandage his bleeding hand. Then he trudged wearily home.
Two days later, as Ruby Scott was dressing the stumps of his fingers, she coaxed him to tell her exactly what had happened. He told the story, then after a long pause, he looked at her and said these words: "Those poor men! God’s message just didn’t grab their hearts. I’ll go back and tell them again."
In her book, Ruby Scott wrote that she stayed awake a long time that night, staring into the dark and thinking of Domingo’s crippled hand and of his quiet words: "I’ll go back and tell them again." She thought of the times she had failed to witness to her friends, the times she had grown discouraged with her witnessing, and the times she had failed to go back and tell them again. Then she wrote, "I turned over, struggled to my knees in the cramped confines under my mosquito net, and rededicated my life to the Lord. I asked him to make me as faithful a missionary as this humble, illiterate former witch doctor."
(From a sermon by David Rumley, Authentic Life Part 6 - James 3:1-12 - Tattle Tale, 8/19/2010)
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