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August 03, 2015


What If It Was You?


By D.S. Phillips, from his book The Leaf Book and the Crossed Wood



Imagine for a moment what life would be like if you were blind. You have been blind from birth. You can hear things like the deep guttural sounds of thunder rumbling across the sky and the powerful crack of lightning strike the treetops around you during a storm but have no idea what these powerful things look like. All you know is that when they come, they scare you to death!

What if no one in your entire community had ever even met someone that could see? Everyone you know was blind from birth and are also scared spitless of these regularly reoccurring rumbles of thunder and cracks of lightning. Though you hear these powerful sounds and know they exist, there is no way that you can see or understand them.

In the book of Jonah, as Jonah is sitting on the sidelines of the city, pouting that his source of shade and comfort has been taken from him, God describes the spiritual blindness of the people of Nineveh in a similar way; “Shouldn’t I feel sorry for this important city, Nineveh? It has more than 120, 000 people in it as well as many animals. These people couldn’t tell their right hand from their left,” he says.” (Jonah 4:11)



“Aa too otoogiyoo!” one of the men yelled frantically as he ran circles. We hurried towards the clearing in the middle of the small thatch roofed houses in case one of those huge prehistoric trees was to come crashing down on us. They continued hooting and hollering making their “Whoop! Whoop!” noises as they ran in circles and stomped until the earthquake once again subsided. “What is going on? Why do they run circles and whoop like that? Is it because they are scared?” I asked our Dani guide. “They think there is a giant snake…That is what they think causes the earthquakes: a giant snake with a body the size of a tree trunk. It is said to be a demon snake that goes around underneath the ground causing everything to move and jolt as it slithers along under the surface. That is why they run in circles hollering and stomping! They are trying to get the snake to go away!” he continued.” – From Page 158 of Prophecies of Pale Skin



None of us chose where we were born.  The fact that you were not born in a similar state to the Ninevites or the Dao people or any other spiritually dark place where there is not a single person that can “tell their right hand from their left” is a gift from God. If you were born in a place with access to the truth then that was the merciful and undeserved act of a gracious God that cares for you.



We can see God’s attitude towards people like this, through His pursuing of the Ninevites in Jonah’s day. “Should I not feel compassion for these people?” God asks. He pursues them and sends a reluctant messenger to them. “For God so loved the world…” John 3:16 cries out to us! THE WORLD! He wants them to know Him and He has an intricate plan to bring every last sheep into the flock. 

It is anything but easy to get unreached people like these. There is a reason why the last remaining untouched people groups of this world, that have not a single shred of the Bible available to them, live in such incredibly hard to reach places. Often there is a reason the Bible hasn’t yet been translated into their languages!

But God will not stop compassionately pursuing people like these until every last “tongue, tribe, people and nation” has “representatives standing before the throne and singing His praises” (Revelation 5:9) and we, as His people and His ambassadors to this world should not stop pursuing and seeking them out either. So what if it was you that was born blind? What if you lived a day in and day out with the questions that these people live with and had not a single avenue by which you could finally get some answers? You could want someone to come to you wouldn’t you?



“We are here to bring you a message” we said at first as our Dani guide began to translate. The old chief got quiet and looked at us with interest. “We are from a land very far away but we have hiked into your territory because we want to tell you a story about the Creator of all things” we continued. At this point all the other Dao people in the room were also completely silent. You could have heard a pin drop if it wasn’t for the crackling and popping of the fire. “We don’t come to bring you material wealth or things of this earth. We come with a message about the trail to eternal life. We come with a message primarily for your spirit” our Dani friend continued to translate as we spoke one phrase at a time. “We want to tell you of these things and give you this important message that we carry but in order to do so we must first learn your language so that we can tell you well in a way that you will understand. In order to do that we would need to move here and live among your people.  We would need to spend time learning your language and your ways,” we continued and then waited again as the Dani continued translating.  The old chief’s demeanor had completely changed from earlier. He had a penetrating and serious look in his eyes as he listened. Then a huge hopeful smile swept over his face. He began speaking in his language fast and excited and our guide tried his best to translate as Totopwi spoke…“We have been waiting for your message. Come! We want you to come and live among us! You can have trees for your houses and land to build them on. Come here and live among us and we will help you learn our language. We will help you so that we can hear your message. Thank you! Thank you! Yes, come!” he excitedly replied as the other Dao people in the room also nodded in agreement… We could have jumped up and shouted for joy at hearing the words of that old nearly toothless chief. It seemed God had prepared these people before we had ever hiked into their territory. We hadn’t hiked all this way in vain. They wanted us to come. They wanted us to live among them and learn their language. They wanted us to bring them the greatest message of all time. They wanted to learn about their Creator!”  – From Pages 172-173 of Prophecies of Pale Skin




  1. Stop and think for a moment about what life would be like if you had never heard a single verse of scripture. If you had been born in a place without access to the truth or if the Bible you have had never been translated into English. What if you had no way of reading or knowing the words of those pages? How would that affect your daily life?
  2. Imagine for a moment how things would be different if you had not a single friend or family member that knew anything about the God of the Bible or that had ever even once heard the name “Jesus”. How would this affect your daily hopes and fears?
  3. How can we take active steps to begin searching for and reaching out to those that reside in places without access to a single shred of the truth available to them in their language and culture? What can we do to start proactively being a part of seeing these people have their first opportunity to hear of their Creator’s love for them?


Read 2 Corinthians 4:3-6 and ponder these verses and how they relate to your own life.



Used with permission. © 2014, D.S. Phillips

The Leaf Book and the Crossed Wood is a thought provoking study on the effects of the Bible and the Cross in an isolated culture in which they had never been previously introduced. Based on the true story found in Prophesies of Pale Skin.

Along with his family, D.S. Phillips lived and worked among the very remote Dao tribe in South East Asia. The Dao tribe is a people group that before they arrived had no written alphabet for their dialect, not a single verse of scripture available to them and no church or religious organisation of any type working among them.

If you would like to purchase the book go to: The Leaf Book and the Crossed Wood


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“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world.”

- Matthew 24:14

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