Introduction / History
Hill country surrounds the coastal homeland of the Waima people. Hacking away the overgrowth, families plant gardens that supply most of their vegetables. Practiced Waima hunters find plenty of game in the verdant jungles. Sometimes they hunt wallabies to earn extra cash. They also catch fish to trade for cooking bananas and other staples their families enjoy.
Higher in the hills, more aggressive people hide in the jungles. Waima speakers and other coastal people groups maintain a tenuous distance from these potentially threatening neighbors. Robberies and other criminal activities nearby have made the “lowlanders” rather reluctant to embrace strangers.
Christianity came to the Waima area in the late 19th century, but without the mother tongue Scriptures. People misunderstood the message of Christ, but they embraced the physical improvements, the cargo, that the Christian workers brought. That left churches fighting a strong undertow of “cargo cult” beliefs and they are eager to have the whole Bible in their own language.
Scripture in the mother tongue will counter error with the living Truth. It will generate freedom from fear of spirits and release those bound to empty ritual. God’s Word in the Waima language will reveal the deception behind the power of traditional practices and cargo-related beliefs, giving Christians courage to lay them aside.
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