Banana Victory

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Two sisters, Angie and Julie, cheerfully walked along a jungle path in Papua New Guinea to their banana garden.

“Angie, I’m so glad the AFM missionaries are having this Overcomer’s Conference. I am looking forward to learning more about controlling my anger,” said Julie.

Angie nodded, adding, “A lot of people will be camping at the Gogodala Training Center. I heard the Erickson’s say that more than 70 registered for the conference, but they expect over 85 will participate.”

The sisters continued down the path, enjoying the tranquil beauty of their jungle home.

But the peaceful silence abruptly shattered as Angie gasped loudly, pointing into their garden. “They’re gone. Somebody stole them!” Angie’s face, so peaceful a moment before, instantly contorted in anger.
Angie stomped into their garden, stared up at a banana plant, then whirled around to face Julie. “I knew as soon as those strangers set up camp on the other side of our garden that there would be trouble. THEY STOLE OUR BANANAS! Those thieves! Let’s strike back!”

Still, Julie was silent, deep in thought. Her face showed a range of emotions from shock to anger, then resolution. Julie shook her head and said, “Angie, we are not going to do anything. There are plenty of other bananas in the garden.”

Angie froze and stared at Julie. The idea of not retaliating was new to her, and it required determined effort for her to nod her head in agreement with Julie’s suggestion. But as she decided to resist giving in to the angry thoughts and feelings, a sense of peace overwhelmed both her and Julie.

The next week, Julie shared their experience at the Overcomer’s Conference with AFM missionaries Steve and Laurie Erickson and the participants. Julie said, “God gave me self-control in that situation. I’m thankful for what I am learning at this conference. Before coming here, I wondered how I could know if I had the Fruit of the Spirit. Now because of the conference and my experience with the stolen bananas, I know one of the Fruits of the Spirit is self-control.”

Practicing self-control over a bunch of bananas may seem like a small thing. But in a retaliatory culture where this type of situation can quickly escalate into extreme violence and even murder, every choice to practice self-control is a big deal.

AFM missionaries on projects across the 10/40 window are praying for opportunities such as this Overcomer’s Conference. Opportunities to share how victory in Jesus is possible. Opportunities for local people to choose and experience overcoming with the help of Jesus, even amid heavy temptations.

Watch your mailboxes for a special letter from AFM. In it, you will learn more about the Overcomer’s Conference, including its exciting results. You will also discover how you can partner with us to give many more unreached people groups the opportunity to overcome through Jesus Christ.

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