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The Tugutil

John Sharpe

The true story of God’s life-changing work among the Tugutil people of Indonesia


Product Description

On an island in Eastern Indonesia, lived a semi-nomadic group of hunters and gatherers with a fearsome reputation that made many unwilling to even step foot into their territory. In 1982, a small group of outsiders took that very step. In this gripping and honest account, John and Betty describe their experience as they along with their co-workers, moved into the jungles of Indonesia to live among the Tugutil people. Working tirelessly, amidst many challenges and impossible circumstances, John and Betty strove to learn the people’s language and culture, and understand their way of life, all for the sake of being able to communicate clearly the lifesaving message they had come to bring. The Tugutil provides a firsthand account of how God worked in the hearts of an entire people group, totally transforming them from the inside out.


“This book is an amazing testimony of both the power of the gospel and how God used John and Betty Sharpe for his glory among the Tugutil people. There is one extraordinary story after another that keeps you riveted to each page. You come away wishing you were there and inspired to share Christ. It’s packed with gospel wisdom on how to do cross-cultural ministry. I found myself falling in love with the Tugutil people whom I’m so looking forward to meeting in the age to come. This is a must read!” Ray Galea, Author and Lead Pastor at MBM Rooty Hill, Sydney

“You’ll be greatly blessed to read about God’s amazing grace to the Tugutil people in one of the world’s most remote corners. This story of our long-time friends, John and Betty, blended together with the story of the birth of the Tugutil church, is one that illustrates the incredible way that God uses his children to accomplish the difficult, the challenging…and even the impossible – if they will just simply trust him and follow him step by step into the unknown. By the end of the book you’ll be so looking forward to the day you will meet your Tugutil family gathered around the Throne.” Larry Goring, Coordinator for International Ministries, NTM 

“The sacrifices, the highs and lows of mission service, the tears mixed with the joys of attempting to break into an unengaged culture, the privilege of watching firsthand, as God bursts into the lives of the Tugutil people. This was the experience of John and Betty and their little family as they ministered in the dense jungles of Indonesia. This is a must-read account of reaching the unreached with the Gospel. Read it, and be prepared to be used by God to reach your world today with the same message that transformed the Tugutil. Thank you John and Betty for both your service and your honesty in your writing.” Keith Henderson, Chairman of CrossView Australia

“Reading this book is dangerous for people living a no-risk, comfortable life. This book will astound and challenge even the most adventurous, faith filled pioneers of this generation. As I read this story, I found myself saying time and time again, ‘You must be kidding!’ It will make you (as it did me) ask ‘have I been too safe, too comfortable, too in control?’ What John, Betty and their children did in the 1980’s in the middle of the Indonesian jungle without the resources we have today, is a massive eye opener for a generation where comfort, safety and avoiding risk (especially with our children) often determines what we will and won’t do for God. The book was a joy to read. John is a masterful storyteller. He writes just as he speaks, with great humility and always giving honor to the great God that he and Betty love so much.” Paul Butler, Senior Pastor at New Heart Baptist, Brisbane