A Life of Testimony
If someone asked me the names of all the nations of the world, I could name a maximum of 30 countries and not more than that. You may do better than I did. Many of us can easily remember the powerful and developed nations such as United States, Germany, England, Japan, etc.. But there are so many countries whose name we have not heard in our entire life. One such country is the Solomon Islands.
It is believed that King Solomon got the gold to build the Temple from this place and hence its name. It consists of 6 major islands and over 900 smaller islands near Papa New Guinea. The country lives on tourism and fishing. It may seem like a God forsaken country, but God has not forgotten it. This article is about an unknown man in an unknown island used mightily by God for his Kingdom.
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (Matt 24:14)
Cannibalistic Chief touched by God
Tatagu, Kata Rangoso’s father, was a cannibalistic tribal chief and a head hunter in the Solomon Islands. When God started to move in his life, he began to dislike the pagan customs of his people and realized that there is a better way of living. He banned the human sacrifice of young children.
When his wife was about to give birth, it was customary to celebrate “Devil’s String,” a ceremony in which strings were trailed through the fishing grounds and used to catch fish with the aid of evil spirits.
Birth without Devil’s Strings
Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Before you were born, I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations – Jer 1:5
During Rangoso’s birth, his father refused to celebrate any of the pagan ceremonies. This caused great anger and grief to his people. The people decided to celebrate themselves and went trailing the devil strings to the fishing ground. The Chief kept his calm an went to catch fish but without the Devil’s String. On the way, evil spirits seized his canoe and rocked it violently. Ordinarily, filled with fears, he would have gone home to take his Devil Strings, but this time he did not give in. Finally, the spirits gave a violent shake to his canoe and left him. Tatagu continued to his fishing grounds and came home with a full load of fish. The others came back with almost nothing. It was a great surprise for everyone. When his son was born, Tatagu named him Kata Rangoso which means “without Devil Strings.” God had begun to move in their midst.
When Captain G F Jones arrived on this island and started a mission school, Rangoso was one of the brightest in the school and learned to speak good English. He soon dedicated his life to Lord Jesus. The power of God moved mightily in his life and helped him overcome all the obstacles that the devil had laid for him.
Pulled by the hand of God
He reached down from heaven and rescued me; he drew me out of deep waters. 1 Sam 22:17
When a missionary couple along with their 3-year old daughter arrived in the Solomon Islands, it was Kata Rangoso and his crew that ferried them to their new locations. Captain Rangoso was a very experienced sailor and knew all the safe passages through the coral reefs, but somehow in the night the boat hit a rock, and their little daughter was thrown into the dark water.
One of the experienced crew dived into the lagoon to rescue the girl but he couldn’t find her. As soon Rangoso realized the situation, he plunged deep into the water and searched in the darkness amongst the treacherous branches of the coral. After coming to the surface for breath, Rangoso praying desperately for the girl, plunged into the water again. Suddenly his hand touched her clothing and hair, and the little girl was saved. Who would have saved the little girl except for the mighty hand of God? God was slowly preparing Rangoso for greater exploits for his Kingdom.
Rescued by an Angel
But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out.
– Acts 5:19
During World War II, Rangoso was in-charge of the Missionary work in the Solomon Islands. His strong religious convictions led him to conflict with the British commanding officer. After severe mistreatment, Rangoso and his assistant Londi were thrown into prison and left to die. The people loved Rangoso very much and decided to gather and pray for him. And in answer to their prayers, it appeared that God sent his Angel and miraculously helped these two prisoners.
At about 10 pm, a man with a bunch of keys walked past the armed guards and opened the gates. Calling Rangoso and Londi, he led them through the gates and down the path to the beach, where he directed them to the empty canoe that would take them home. When they turned to thank him, he was gone, although they could see the moonlit path for more than 100 yards. Later they discovered that the only keys that could be used to open the gates had been on their peg beside the officer all night.
Dying for Jesus – He alone has the power over Death
Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings!” – Acts 5:29
When Rangoso insisted on being led by the Holy Spirit rather than the British military officer, he was again sent to die. He prayed earnestly to God to save him.
Rangoso was thrown across a 40-gallon gasoline drum and beaten until the blood flowed from his back. Then as he stood up, the officer smashed Rangoso’s face with the butt of his revolver. People seeing this atrocity cried – “Stop – no killing Rangoso“.
The firing squad was drawn up. Rangoso quietly waited for the fatal order. The officer instructed the firing party to shoot when he counted up to three. In a tense silence, he began to count: “ONE! TWO! ___” and somehow he could not say “THREE.” He started again: “ONE! TWO! ___” and again his tongue refused to speak the fatal word. In a towering rage, he shouted: “You watch this time, ONE! TWO! ___”. For the third time, his speech failed. In fact, the officer became dumb and did not speak at all for nearly three days. God had answered Rangoso prayer and spared his life to continue his ministry.
Exploits for God
Kata Rangoso exploits for God continued in the small island nation for many years and his unwavering faith during the turbulent times of World War II, helped many wounded soldiers earning him the nickname “Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels.” He was involved in translating the Bible into the Marovo language. His life story and how God used him is captured in the Book: No devil Strings; the story of Kata Rangoso.
God’s plan for our lives
You may wonder if you could be like Rangoso. It was not his strength that enabled Rangoso to stand boldly for Jesus. Similarly, Stephen, the first martyr, was ready to die for Jesus in spite of no faults of his. He not only died for Jesus but was able to forgive as Jesus did. All these feats were possible only by the power of the Holy Spirit. Only the Spirit of God gives power and makes us stand as great testimonies for Him (Acts 1:8). Therefore let us not only be inspirited by the story of Rangoso but ask God to fill us with His Holy Spirit so that we too may rise to do greater things for God.
1. No Devil Strings – The story of Kata Rangoso by Eric Were
2. Fuzzy-Wuzzy Tales
3. Welcome Holy Spirit by Garrie F Willaims
4. Kata Rangoso picture taken from – https://www.cartereport.org/news/2011/power-report
Note: Pictures are only for the artistic purpose and not the representation of the content.