The snakebite conversion

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Billy Jack is an active youth member from the Kogena village in the Maria District of the Central Papua Conference (Papua New Guinea). Currently a Grade 6 student at Toule Adventist Primary School, Billy was baptised in November 2016 and loves ministering to the community through Bible discovery guides and service. Billy’s mother and four younger siblings are also Adventist Church members.

His father, however, was a different story.

From the beginning, the family faced a seemingly hard challenge as Jack Snr resisted their acceptance of Bible truths and their fellowship with the Adventist Church. His obstinate resistance eventually became so unbearable that young Billy decided the only thing he could do was pray. The month he was baptised, Billy prayed intentionally for his father, asking God to teach his father a lesson that would result in his turnaround.

For almost a year, Billy’s prayers seemed unanswered. But on October 13, 2017, Jack Snr was working in the village garden when he was bitten by a venomous snake. Rushed to the emergency department of Port Moresby General Hospital, doctors worked to save Jack Snr’s life. Miraculously, he survived and began the road to recovery.

When Billy visited his father three days later, he shared his secret prayer from a year earlier. His father was moved to tears and thanked God for saving his life. He asked the whole family to forgive him and, together, they prayed for God’s healing on their father and in their hearts.

Billy Jack.

Since his discharge from hospital, Jack Snr has joined the family in their Sabbath worship at Kiru Seventh-day Adventist Church. He is currently attending the baptismal class and plans to be baptised very soon.

Billy Jack’s story is a wonderful testimony of the commitment of many young people in the discipleship-making movement within the Central Papua Conference—like Billy, simply praying and asking God to use them in their homes, villages, workplaces, churches and wider communities.

Nelson Richard is Maria District director, Central Papua Conference.

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