I can See!

On Sunday, thousands witnessed the baptisms and heard testimonies. John also assisted with a baptism in the village of Bogotnuk about an hour's walk from Kanggime. A man who was fairly old by Dani standards and who had been blind for many years was led into the pool while about three thousand people watched.

"Nigitpaga, in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, I baptize you:" John lowered him into the water, then helped him back to his friends, who took him to shore. As John continued with the service, he was aware of some commotion on the bank. Afterward he asked the Dani pastor what had happened.

"Tolibaga, God has done a wonderful thing-Nigitpaga can see! It happened as he came out of the water."

John went over to the old man, who by now was the center of great rejoicing. "I have heard of `white men,"' the man said, "but now I see you. Praise God!"

Persons with severe illnesses that usually resulted in death were prayed for and were restored to health. The Dani Christians accepted the truth of kiwone with total childlike trust in their newfound Father.

They came to God with their requests, expecting Him to answer. And He did. One night a boy wakened John crying, "My brother has gone crazy! He is stumbling around saying crazy things, and he's very hot."

John hurried toward the man's hut, praying for help in diagnosis as he went. High fever, delirium-cerebraL rnalaria! The man could be dead in six hours! John backtracked to his house for antimalarial pills. He crushed the pills, and while others held the frenzied man, John forced him to swallow the medicine. As they continued to hold him, they prayed, committing him to the Lord. More than medicine is needed for this one. By morning the man was still weak, but the fever was gone and he was lucid. He recovered completely.

Another living testimony of God's healing in the early days of the Kanggime church was Kuwa, a Dani woman. Though there had been no major intertribal lighting since 1960, occasional minor skirmishes broke out. Kuwa was working in her garden near Paba, where there had been fighting between two groups. "Let's get them in their gardens," one group said, and Kuwa was shot full of arrows. She appeared to be dead when, later in the day, she was carried into the village. For weeks, she remained barely alive, unconscious most of the time. In her conscious moments she was told of God's love and the way of salvation, and she believed. Though she was very sick, she wanted to be baptized. After her baptism the many arrowheads that had broken off and were embedded in her body, causing infection, dissolved-something the Danis had never seen before.

Dekker, John (with Lois Neely). Torches of Joy. Seattle: YWAM Publishing, 1985, 1999 p. 115-116.

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