Smoking the Mango Trees


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The Buhid are a tribal people scattered through the jungle highlands of the mountainous island of Mindoro in the Philippines. They were reached with the gospel some decades ago, and viable churches were planted. Yet the Buhid concluded that they needed further help. Fear of spirits was a daily reality; oppression by the luktanon, the lowland Filipinos, was common; backsliding was a constant problem. They prayed for a couple who could teach and guide them. The answer came in the form of Martin Haworth, his wife Alexandra and two young children, who felt themselves called to meet this challenge. This vivid account by Martin, a gifted narrator, describes how he and his family, living among the tribespeople, mastered Tagalog, gained the confidence of the Buhid, and working with local church elders, developed a programme of teaching to set the churches on a sound footing. They learned the reality of spiritual warfare, and experienced the joy of seeing people caught up in the discovery of gospel riches. As the Buhid gained fresh confidence in the power of their Saviour, they started to reach out to other communities.

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