ARTHUR MOUW: TRIBAL CONVERSIONS IN BORNEO

ARTHUR MOUW

TRIBAL CONVERSIONS IN BORNEO

 

Dr. Arthur Mouw was a pioneer of the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Borneo. His entire ministry among the Dayak tribe on that island is a story of faith, suffering, and displays of power, followed by more suffering and more powerful manifestations. It was God who did all these things through the modest steps of obedience of Mouw and most of his converts.

 

 

Under Arthur Mouw’s ministry, the gospel had divided the Dayaks. Some followed the missionary, while others continued with the indigenous witch doctor. On one occasion, while Mouw was away, the chief brought together the chief leaders of his village and the entire village.

 

 

He told them, “We have always followed the spirits of the hills, rivers and forests, until the people of Jesus came to live among us. Now we are a divided people. Who is God? The man-spirit says that the true gods are the divinities and the spirits whom we have always worshiped; Jesus’ people say that He alone is God. Today we are going to know who God really is. I am going to organize a competition between the gods, and whoever is able to face the challenge will be the one we follow.”

 

 

The leaders and the people agreed, and the chief set the stage for the ordeal. He led the traditional witch doctor to one of the largest communal dwellings, which was about thirty feet high and thirty feet long, and then asked a leader of the Jesus people to come forward.

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A young believer was brought forward. This in itself was not normal for their culture: the fact of confronting the mature, wiser and more respected religious professional with a young man, and last but not least a new believer. The chief then gave each of the two a fresh egg and said, “The true God will preserve the egg of his servant, and we will all follow the God who manifests his power. Each of you must throw the egg over the house, and the true God will not allow his egg to hatch.”

 

 

The witch did his customary rites and then threw the egg over the communal dwelling. At the far end of it, the elders watched as it broke into a thousand pieces.

 

 

The young man then lifted his heart to God and prayed saying, “I beg You to manifest that You are the Lord, the Creator of Heaven and Earth. Show all of these that Jesus is Your Son. Make each of them see that we are Your servants and that we speak Your Word in Your Name.”

 

 

Once the prayer was finished, he threw his egg on the communal house, and it fell to the other side of it and bounced like a rubber ball, without the shell even cracking.

 

 

 

“The God Jesus is the true God!” The chief shouted. “We will all follow Him!”

 

 

And the whole tribe turned their backs on their animistic spirits and became followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.

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