Missionaries recount work with Papua New Guinean tribe
The Williamson family has served as missionaries in Papua New Guinea since 2006. They have returned to Georgia to help prepare their oldest daughter, Kadynn Williamson, for beginning her adult life in the states as she transitions out of high school. Judah Williamson began his junior year and Eden her freshman year. They are adapting to living in Georgia long-term, considering they only visited for months at a time in the past and plan to remain here until July 2021.
When the Williamsons moved to Papua New Guinea, Kadynn was four years old, Judah was two and Eden was nine months.
“We grew up there, so it’s what’s normal,” said Judah. “It’s weird because I know nothing about America, and all the basic stuff is different.”
Both parents, Jason and Nisae Williamson, grew up in Christian homes and felt God’s calling to pursue missions. They found the New Tribes Bible Institute, which is the first two years of a four- year training program with mission organization Ethnos 360.
While they were there, a teacher read letters from foreign tribes. One tribal man elaborated on wanting to hear God’s word but had no one to tell him. There were countless letters of pleas from people with no opportunity to hear God’s word but, despite their deprivation, sought someone who could tell them.
“All God is looking for is people who are willing to go,” said Mrs. Williamson. “We weren’t anything special. It’s not like we had degrees in language learning. We were just normal people and decided we’d go if God could use us.”
They proceeded further in training, graduated and learned the American phonetic alphabet so they could then learn an unwritten language. After departing in 2006, they continued to Africa to live with the Iski tribe.
As they began their new life in an unfamiliar country with a foreign tribe, they hoped to learn. They sought to live, hunt and eat with them. They desired to learn their culture and who they were. Because they approached relationships this way, the tribe was eager to teach them everything.
The Williamsons helped develop an alphabet for them and taught them how to read and write with the goal of someday translating God’s word, so they could read it for themselves. There are now over 100 literate people in the tribe. They were able to teach God’s word in 2017, and their church was born.
“What they heard about the salvation of Jesus was such a relief to them because they always worked so hard to do all the right things, so they wouldn’t die or their gardens would grow, and realizing that there’s a Creator that loves them and wants a relationship with them was really transforming,” said Mrs. Williamson.
“I love seeing people hear the gospel when they didn’t know how to read and write in their own language and knew nothing about God. It’s cool seeing them grow in the Word and learn to read and write; I got to be a part of that,” said Eden Williamson.