Believers from the Ata people group in PNG tell the story of hearing God’s Word for the first time. In 1992 the Ata first heard God’s Word in their own language, and it radically transformed their whole community. This is not a typical missionary story, but a first-hand, insider’s account of the most momentous time in the history of the Ata people. It’s their story, told in their own words, of their encounter with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
24 years ago missionaries went and lived among them, learnt their culture and language, translated the New Testament and taught the people the truth of God’s Word. The church was formed and has since gone out on it’s own accord to other neighbouring people groups in recent times, as they seek to tell others about Jesus.
Kaikou, Palava and Phillip describe in this video what the lives of their people were like before God’s Word came, and the factors in their existing worldview that once “held them in the darkness”. When the light of Truth came, it was a joyful and transforming time, but it wasn’t an easy transition. The new church faced opposition, and even violent persecution, for going out and sharing their faith – but in spite of that, they continued to reach out and took the words of life throughout their own people group and beyond. Kaikou describes how the elders of today are facing the challenge of cultural change and are developing relationships with the wider Body of Christ.
The current generation of Ata are growing up in a very different world to the one their parents and grandparents knew. This video will expand your view of the potential God’s Word has to impact a community and transform the lives of people. Most of all, it will encourage you to enter into the experience of a group of people being brought from darkness to light, and to share their joy and thankfulness to their Creator and His Son for all He has done.
This short 23-minute documentary was produced by the AccessTruth Team. The Ata church leaders contributed significantly to the teaching within the Cross-cultural Essentials curriculum, giving their insights from a first-hand level, about cross-cultural church planting, literacy development and curriculum development. Those videos are available within module 8 and 9 in Church Foundations.