The Story of Pruiba, Proving God Faithful
The Tagbanwa people in the Philippines have a word for ‘proving God faithful.” It is called, ‘pruiba.’ They have many stories about God’s faithfulness-how He comes through for them when they entrust things to Him. They have learned to trust God for everything. Every little thing that upsets them, every lack or need, they go straight to the Lord and say, “Oh, Lord, give me a ‘pruiba.’” God wants us to prove Him faithful, “Prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it” (Mal. 3:10).
The first time I heard the word ‘pruiba’, was when we had returned to the Philippines for a visit after 4 years. We were trying to familiarize ourselves with the language again. The day after we arrived we heard Berto, our neighbor, talk about wanting to buy some paint for his boat. It was just a small dugout canoe, maybe six feet long. He saw that visiting fishermen had painted their boats, and he wanted some paint to preserve his boat.
One day when he saw a fishing boat approach the pier, he went up to the owner and asked if he could buy some paint (they all travel with paint to do the touching up on their boats). The owner said, “No, no, we do not have any paint for you.” He tried another fisherman, his attitude getting sour. He quickly checked his attitude, and said, “Okay, Lord, you want us to pray about everything, so I’m giving you my problem about the paint. I would really like some paint for my boat! But, I am leaving that in Your hands.”
It was getting late in the day and he had not fished for his family’s dinner. So he got in his boat and went to get his supper, which being interpreted is, get in your little dugout canoe, go to the very large refrigerator called, ‘ocean’ and catch your fish for supper. So he went out toward the deep. As the sun was going down, something caught his eye on the horizon. Being curious he rowed toward it and saw a large can bobbing on the water. He looked inside, dumped out some seawater and realized he had found about a half a can of paint. “Oh, thank you, Lord! This is the paint I asked you for.” He quickly rowed back home after he caught his fish. The next day, he painted his boat! He repeated, “’Pruiba!’ ‘Pruiba!’”
‘Pruiba’ was a new word to us and we were trying to assess this whole situation. He was just excitedly sharing God’s faithfulness! Out in the middle of the South China Sea, God caused that can of paint to float near Berto, right after Berto had entrusted the whole situation to Him!
Since that time, I have heard more ‘pruiba’ stories from the people, because there they have learned to trust God for everything. Every little thing that upsets them, every little lack, they go right to the Lord saying, “Lord, give me a ‘pruiba.’” And then they share their ‘pruiba’ stories to each other.
So the Lord also invites us to prove Him faithful. Even though we brought the Tagbanwa people the message of God’s faithfulness years ago, we are continually amazed at God’s grace to those who entrust everything to Him.
By missionary Dottie Connor Bingham
The story of ‘Pruiba’ continued…
The truths shared in this letter, written by my mother, are not just for remote groups of people and the people who choose to go there. As a kid growing up in a foreign country and watching my parents follow God’s leading in their lives, it was very normal to see God’s supernatural provision for our family and those we knew. It was expected. After all, our family had sacrificed a lot to go to the Philippines and teach about the saving grace of Jesus Christ. It was taken for granted by me, as a kid.
Now that I have grown up, I do not take it for granted. I am thrilled to see miracles (pruibas) in my everyday life, even though my business deals with office furniture and not people’s souls. It has been a revelation to me, as an adult, to see that God cares about each of us exactly where we are. When we rely on His provision, timing, strength, and grace, He will prove himself faithful.
God’s grace is available to all, not just a chosen few. He wants to show it to you as well! It is not about religion or about following a long list of ‘thou shalt’s and ‘shalt not’s. It is about relationship. The relationship that was broken in the Garden of Eden can be restored through God’s Son Jesus Christ. He paid the price that we could not pay, death, to save us from eternal separation from God. His resurrection broke the power of that death. Salvation is now available as a free gift! But as with any gift it must be received. The Bible says in John 1:12, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the power to become the sons of God.”
God’s motivation for this plan is His love for you and me. Although it may be hard to conceive, it is true that the creator of the universe longs for a relationship with you! The Bible says in Romans 5:8, “God demonstrated His love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
To some people this “Good News” is too good to be true. But I am living proof that it is true. My company would not exist today if it were not true.
If you have any questions or comments, I would love to talk to you personally about this. Office furniture will come and go, but life goes on forever. Where will you spend your eternity?
John M Connor