Reaching the "Forbidden" inthe South Pacific
After his senior year at Bethel, Michael Phipps, two of his friends and his former youth pastor traveled to the South Pentecost Island to minister to the Bunlap Tribe. The Tribe was what the islanders called “forbidden” — highly against any sort of evangelism regarding Jesus. Phipps and his team knew that in order to reach the unreachable, they needed to fully rely on God.
“[I was] desperate to hear his voice to follow his leading. Being sensitive to the Spirit and simply taking time to listen to the Lord rather than talking so much was a theme of the trip for me, “Phipps says.
Sharing the Truth
Phipps and his team eventually got the opportunity to share the gospel with the Bunlap Tribe. They used a simple illustration of being dirty (with sin) and becoming clean (without sin). One of the o ther team members stood before them completely covered in mud, wh ile Phipps remained clean. They told the tribe that through Jesus’ death on the cross they could be forgiven and clean, able to spend eternity with Jesus in Heaven. The chief of the tribe, along with many other men and children, accepted Jesus into their hearts that day.
Struck Down but Not Destroyed
The following day, the team went back to the Bunlap tribe and came across a very angry man.The man asked them for money and then told them to leave because of their failure to oblige. As they left, they began to sing “Jesus Loves Me” and dance. Unexpectedly, about 20 men and children followed them, singing, dancing and worshiping God. The Bunlap men took the team to a mountainside pasture where they continued to worship with, talk to and love on the so-called “forbidden” tribe.
What's Next for South Pentecost Island
When Mike’s team returned to the states, they knew their mission with the Bunlap tribe had just begun. Their vision going forward is to have discipleship conferences and send out teams to unreached tribes, spreading the love of Jesus like rapid fire on Pentecost Island.
To watch the video diaries of the team, click here.