Excited voices of children fill the air as Jenilaa and Daaslin hustle them into the new Sunday school building. The little house built directly behind the Wusuraambya church is a place where beautiful things happen.
Its thatched roof and woven bamboo walls can barely contain the bursting voices that praise God as Daaslin plays the guitar and Jenilaa leads the children in song.
Members of the Wusuraambya tribe nestled deep in the highlands of Papua New Guinea, these two girls would never have been seen in the Sunday school classroom just seven years ago.
“I used to gamble and attend disco dances,” confesses Jenilaa as she prepares her Sunday school lessons to the pattern set out by the Firm Foundations Bible teaching program. “As a young teen, I even remember fighting with my mom and screaming for hours when she didn’t give me my way.”
But her life was changed, along with the life of her best friend Daaslin, when tribal believers from the neighbouring Aziana tribe came over to share the gospel with her and her best friend. When two of the Aziana girls stayed with Daaslin and her family during the week-long conference they were leading in Wusuraambya, Jenilaa and Daaslin saw that their joy was contagious.
“I learned so much that week about what it means to be truly happy,” says Daaslin.
“I used to think that the things of the world would bring me fulfillment,” she continues. “But now, I realize only God can do that.”
After watching the joy of the Aziana believers, Daaslin and Jenilaa decided that they wanted that too. They faithfully attended the first Firm Foundations course taught by Andrew Goud in the Wusuraambya language and have since then been encouraging their friends to attend each of the following teachings. Now, just seven years later, they are part of a fully functioning Wusuraambya church averaging 150 believers. They are excited to see the gospel spread with the newest outreach taking place in yet another Wusuraambya village.
This morning, there is no trace of anger in her voice as Jenilaa patiently helps the Sunday school kids memorize scripture verses and recount Bible stories from creation to Christ. When the children giggle and laugh, she gently reminds them that they each need to be quiet so that they can all hear the stories about Jesus.
“My life has been changed so much by God,” says Jenilaa, smiling at her best friend Daaslin. “I just want to see others experience the same transformation God has given me.”