Please pray

Please forgive my long silence– will try to catch you up soon on what’s been going on. For now, one very important thing for which we’d really appreciate your prayers…

This morning while walking to church we passed some people on the road who told us that there had been a fight yesterday involving a believer in our neighborhood. Apparently his adopted son (now married and on his own) had lost in a card game and gotten knocked out while trying to beat up the guy who won his money. The believer then lost his temper and tried to beat up the other guy, and from there it’s escalated into a full-blown village fight–the lain (extended family) of each guy taking his side (dividing Kiari into its two basic families). As we were leaving church this afternoon men from the lain settled on the ridge behind the church were running past us with bushknives (machetes), bows and arrows, and even a gun (illegal in PNG). Someone was calling from the far corner where the road goes around the mountain for them to bring sheets of metal roofing to use as shields. As we walked home we had the opportunity to stop and try and persuade these guys to go home; that lives are way more important than the little bit of money lost in a card game. Another guy was also encouraging the men to go home– though his reasoning was more along the lines that it was starting to get dark and tomorrow would be a better time for this! But at least they seemed to be turning back for now. When we came to Kensa (the location of our house and area where the other lain is settled) we called for everyone to follow us to the hausman (communal house) and Jeff told them all the same thing and also was able to briefly share the gospel. Afterwards some “big men” replied to him that it was the other lain who wanted to fight, not the Kensa lain, and that they were eager for peace. (We’re somewhat doubtful that that’s the complete truth since they all had their bushknives and bows and arrows out too, not to mention having shot warning gunshots back when an arrow was shot onto one of their roofs!) After that we walked back toward our end of the hauslain and were followed by the believer and his wife who had started it all. They sat down with us outside of their house and we were able to pray and talk with them for some time. They seem repentant and willing to take the first steps to try and make amends. This is a huge opportunity for this man to humble himself and be a good testimony before the whole village. PLEASE PRAY FOR HIM. Also pray for Jeff as he goes back to the hauslain behind the church tomorrow to try and persuade them to settle the matter peaceably in court.

Thank you! We see this as an opportunity for the Lord as much as (if not more than) for the devil, and we believe that He will be glorified through our prayers and whatever outcome He allows.

Elizabeth Owens

P.S. On the way back to our house Jeff was flabbergasted when I took a bow and arrows from a man who was very drugged and I know to have quite a temper; I told the man that I’ll keep them for him and when he wants to go hunting he can come and get them, I just don’t want him to fight with them! I don’t know how wise that was; please (seriously) pray that the Lord will overrule my foolishness and help what I did to work for the good instead of only causing additional problems! I have really been praying for this man’s wife, whose heart seems to be soft towards me, and hoping for opportunities to share the gospel with her… and also this man would really not be a very good person to be hated by!