PNG (MNN) — Papua New Guinea is a mixed bag of reactions when it comes to sharing the Gospel. Some people respond with joy and excitement and are eager to hear more about Jesus. Others cling to their old religions and reject the life-giving news.
New Tribes Mission witnesses many exciting things going on in PNG. This past week, for instance, they were able to present the newly-translated New Testament to the WAXE people after many years of building relationships with the group.
However, they also experience hard hearts and the devastation that brings to entire tribes of people.
Jonathan Kopf, a missionary with NTM, met with Hewa tribal leaders over the weekend to beg for the lives of four women and their families.
NTM’s David Abbot reports:
In response to a measles outbreak in August 2014, Hewa village leaders called for a “court” meeting to decide which women were causing the deaths. As a result, it was decided that four Hewa women were responsible. Now, men are planning to kill these four women, their children, and their grandchildren.
The Hewa have an ancestral practice of killing women and children who they suspect are possessed with evil spirits. During this recent “court,” a “head witch” was asked to join the village leaders to decide which women were causing the deaths. The village leaders have heard God’s Word in the past but have chosen to reject it and continue their ancestral practices.
As of now, there’s no report on how the meeting went, but you can still pray. The major concern is that the Hewa have not shown any interest in the Gospel, so common ground for discussion will be hard for the missionaries to find.
For there to be any change in these practices, it will have to start at the heart. Pray that God will soften the hearts of the Hewa and that they would embrace Jesus as their Lord. Pray for the safety of these women and for the eradication of witchcraft in the land.
Pray also for wisdom for Jonathan Kopf and his team as they continue reaching out to the Hewa.
I have prayered and will be praying that satan hands will be broken off the women and children . As the Lord make a way for them.
” Holy and Merciful Father, the earth is full of bloodshed, fear, war, and hatred. These are the times You warned us about love growing cold because of the increase of wickedness. I am overwhelmed with grief for those who are suffering at the hands of the wicked and deceived people of the world. I ask You, for Your Holy Name’s sake, please open the hearts of these Hewa men. Stop them from killing these women. Let this be the door You use to open the hearts of these people to the gospel of our Lord, Jesus. Set them free from their ancient beliefs which keep them bound to darkness. Loose their chains as only You can do. We cry to You as You told us to do. Now answer from heaven and do this for the advance of Your kingdom. This would be a miracle, and only You can do miracles. Nothing is impossible for You. Save these women and open the hearts of those bound by wrong fears. As this wickedness increases, I pray that the love of Your children will not diminish but increase in power and passion. Bless Your servants over there who are trying to stop these killings. Please, when thy open their mouths, You fill them with Your Living Word and pierce these darkened hearts. May You act quickly on behalf of Your name.