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Joanne Shetler spent years in the Philippines with the Balangao people, translating the Bible into their language and trying to tell them the good news of the Savior. But it was slow going. One day Ama, a man who had “adopted” her as his Balangao daughter, picked up an English New Testament from her desk, opened it to this genealogy on page one of Matthew, and stared at it. He could read enough English to realize what he was seeing. Amazed, he asked her, “You mean this has a genealogy in it?”


She said, “Yeah, but just skip over that so you can get to the good part.”


But his eyes were still riveted to the page. “You mean this is true?” he asked, as he struggled through the list of names. Shetler got some shelf paper and wrote the genealogy from Adam to Jesus, from the ceiling down to the floor. Ama took it all over the village, explaining, “We always thought it was the rock and the banana plant that gave birth to people. But we don’t have their names written down. Look, here are all the names—written down!”


The Balangaos loved Matthew’s written genealogy. It proved the Bible was true. Ama came to believe in Christ as his Savior. He became an enthusiastic evangelist, church leader, and Bible translator. When the Balangao New Testament was finally dedicated, he got the very first copy(from And the Word Came with Power, JoanneShetler with Patricia Purvis [Multnomah Press], pp. 81-82).

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