Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Please Pray

If you can remember, please pray for several things going on in Mibu at the moment. Our co-workers wrote it well in their latest update, so I'll just copy their words here...

Trouble last November

First of all let me say that this is not an email we have been planning or even looking forward to sending out, but rather on behalf of the Mibu church we feel compelled to send this out as they (and we on their behalf) are asking for prayer in this regard.  While we didn't have a lot of information until very recently, it has now been confirmed by several independent eye witnesses that a group of twenty+ armed men learned that there was missionary plane that had had an accident in the remote village of Mibu.  They devised a plan to hike to Mibu and loot the plane.  As they approached the mountains to the South of Mibuland a large contingent of the group found the hiking to be too strenuous and so they turned back, and only 6 of the individuals continued on from there.  Before their arrival, a crew of missionary aviation mechanics arrived and worked on repairing the plane which took them about 4 days.  (It took many months to secure a new engine and other parts which delayed this repair far longer than anyone was expecting.)  The morning the plane was scheduled to fly out of Mibu a group of men from other villages arrived in Mibu with ample supplies of alcohol.  Early in the morning they began sharing this with some of the young men in Mibu and got severely drunk.  As the plane was getting ready to leave they all went up to Mibu and began to cause quite a stir, even threatening to damage the plane and helicopter.   Many of the drunk men and boys (around a dozen) had to be restrained before the plane and the helicopter were able to take off, which they finally were able to do.  Meanwhile, as the group of armed men hiked towards Mibu, they passed through some neighboring villages in another language group bordering Mibuland.  There they shared their intentions with some eyewitnesses, and showed them some of their guns and hand grenades (no doubt procured on the black market in Lae).  A couple of days after the plane left Mibu they arrived and learned that they had just missed their opportunity.  From there they traveled north towards the coast, several Mibu people saw them as they traveled via side trails rather than take the main trails through the area.  They made their way to Da.  village where they sold a couple guns in order to raise money for their boat ride out of the area.   From there we've then heard a rumor that one of this group in December was killed in a shoot out with police during a failed break-in attempt in Madang...
Outside church building on a typical Sunday.

Trouble near Mibu


Some of you may have seen been following my travelogues of my journeys in and out of Mibu.  During my trip out of Mibu in November there was some postings I made regarding the people in a village outside of Mibuland that were furious over the recent deaths of two prominent people.  They were cutting down trees blocking all the roads leading out of their villages to determine who had worked sorcery that resulted in these deaths... (more on this in a bit)

Trouble Last Week


Last week one of the elders of the church in Mibu sought our help in contacting the police in the area.  Recently a believer in Da.. village (same village as referenced above) was being disciplined by the church there for unrepentant, unfaithfulness to his wife.  Often times when individuals are confronted they react very differently.  This individual decided to act violently.  He began lashing out against others and damaging houses and other property and threatening to hurt others.   We haven't gotten a lot of details of what has happened since then, other than that he hasn't stopped being belligerent but instead continues to cause trouble. 
One of the gardens after the attack

Trouble this Sunday


During church services this last Sunday, 11 men came into Mibu with faces painted black and armed with machetes and bows & arrows.  They forced the believers out of the church and rounded them up away from the building down to the basketball court area of the village.  There they expressed their anger that one of the Mibu men had insulted his wife who was from one of their villages.  They also proceeded to blame the Mibu people for being the ones who had worked sorcery on the two men who had died in one of their villages back in November.  For this they were ready to execute some Mibu people! Additionally they were demanding K5,000.00 and a payment of 5 pigs.  Some community leaders seeking to calm the situation invited the men into one of the houses.  During the discussion when they thought the situation warranted it, they told the men that the insult they heard about wasn't true (both the husband and wife in question agree it was blown both out of context and proportion), and that the accusation of sorcery was also completely untrue, because Mibu--unlike many other places in the area--hasn't been practicing sorcery since the Gospel came and was accepted in 2006.  Still, one of their comments struck a nerve and the group snapped.  In an attempt to kill, they nearly succeeded in injuring two Mibu men who thankfully were able to run to safety.   At this point everyone in the village fled, leaving the assailants free reign.  They then proceeded to attack vanilla & food gardens claiming that they would be back as they left.  Later in a report, Mibu people were able to identify 6 of the 11 assailants, one of whom is a known murderer.  The church has now sent this report to the authorities regarding these six names along other details of the incident. 

Please PRAY!


D We have encouraged the Mibus with the words of Jesus in John 15.  We are promised in scripture that we will have trouble in this life, especially if we choose to live godly lives.  The Mibu church has weathered difficult times before, but it certainly feels like the enemy is ramping things up many more notches.  We imagine there are those in the church who are scared, rattled, and possibly looking for the easy out.  PRAY they will stand firm in what they know to be true.  PRAY that they will not cave to the cultural norms, but instead rely on they power God to show himself strong on their behalf.  PRAY that the police are able to come quickly and help address the matters in a helpful way and restore some order to the area.  PRAY through it all that the Mibu church will be a shining example to their neighboring communities, and that these accusations and troubles that are coming their way don't affect the peace that has come to be associated with them.  Pray for our friends, our brothers and sisters, that they will seek the face of God, and walk humbly in his ways.


2 comments:

Unknown said...

Praying!

Unknown said...

Father in heaven on behalf of these people Lord,I ask you to strengthen them,to protect them,Father keep them safe from harm. In the name of Jesus I pray.