Home WHO WE ARE History The First Congregations Among The Jabems
Browse this website in:
History - Chapter 6 PDF Print E-mail

The First Congregations Among The Jabems

Missionary Bamler had worked faithfully and hard for fifteen years.  Now his furlough was near.  Inspector Martin Deinzer of Neuendettelsau (brother of Inspector Johannes Deinzer who had died on January 25, 1897) wrote to Bamler that her should return home with a few kernels of the harvest.  The supporters of the work of the mission were looking for a sign that the Gospels would eventually bring about a victory. 

The first baptism at Simbang by Pfalzer on August 20, 1899 of two young men who had been trained was not the hoped for success.  Kaboeng baptized Silas was a weakling who was eventually excommunicated from the congregation.  The baptismal ceremony impressed those who saw it.  Both men renounced the men’s cult, sorcery and praying to the dead.  (p.118 GNM).  The second baptism of Kokomu Joel on Tami by Hoh took place on December 31, 1899.   The baptism of the six former school boys by Vetter took place at the end of 1900 at Simbang.  In 1903 Vetter baptized five school boys at Kwalansam.  Again in 1904 he baptized twelve men at the same village.  Also in 1904 Hoh baptized five people on Tami including the first two women.  (p.119 GNM).

Some of these baptized individuals were faithful, some not.  Some were killed.  Others were weak.  It seemed that real joy and communion was missing.  (p.120 GNM).

But the faithful Vetter kept trying.  He looked for a more middle point as a station site for the Jabem people.  He found a grass shelf on the south side of Logaweng hill and named the station Jabem.  He moved there on May 30, 1902.  Vetter was an invalid.  He evidently had yaws for which there was no remedy at that time.  His body was covered with sores, his feet were swollen, and he ran constant temperature.  (p.122 GNM)

At the end of 1905 Vetter baptized forty people among whom thirty-four were women.  Two hundred and fifty people came to attend the baptism.  The fear of sorcery was declining.  Each one of the baptismal candidates threw a bull-roarer, connected with the secret Balum cult, into a fire.  But there was little participating from the station village itself.  The village leader said to Zahn, “The Balum cult is not the worst.  Far worse is the sorcery which destroys people with wounds and sickness.  And pigs are bewitched so that they eat up the gardens.  That business should be done away with.  “(p.123 GNM).

Vetter immediately began a new class with thirty-five women and three men.  Then Vetter went to Sattelberg in January, 1906 because he was so ill.  He returned, completed the instruction, baptized the class.  Two days after the baptism, he and his family were taken by ship to Australia.  On shipboard he suffered from dysentery.  While the ship was anchored in Adelaide harbor, Vetter died on May 3 1906.  he was buried at Tanunda by Pastor Auricht at the side of the grave of Tremel.  Vetter was one of the most gifted of the early missionaries in language learning and in literature preparation.

(cf. Konrad Vetter:  Ein Lebensbild.  By Wihl. Koller.) (p.125 GNM)

Comments (0)
Last Updated on Friday, 08 July 2011 13:26
 

Bible Verse of the Day

               Copyright © 2018 Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea. All Rights Reserved.
               Powered By: Joomla!