A couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of helping to plan a funeral service for a young girl who was killed by an as yet unexplained bullet to the head. The funeral was held during the time of the ‘Haus Krai’. The ‘Haus Krai’ or open home is where all sides of the extended family, along with friends come together to mourn, it is a place of hospitality and sharing, confrontation and honesty. It is a time of asking the hard WHY question. Always in the background of thought and belief here is witchcraft and sorcery; the dark side of spirituality are the cause of all things unfortunate and unsolved for both victim and perpetrator.
In their search for answers some looked to their belief in witchcraft and sorcery for explanation and even comfort. Others talked the guilt and fear associated of their own encounters with the spiritual realm. Some of our young people who live at the mission house also began to have bad dreams and nightmares after the funeral, they and began to wonder aloud about the presence of spirits of the dead. Nearly all found it hard to reconcile their Christian beliefs and their cultural beliefs, and yet one our church young people came to the point just this last weekend of posting on Facebook “Find joy in every day, not because Life is good but because God is”.
Having lived as a Christian in a neighbourhood where the occult was evident for those who had eyes to see, this reality in everyday PNG culture and belief does not surprise me. Rather it saddens me. Like my New Zealand neighbours, the people of this beautiful country need to know that the light, the life and the love of God can and does transform our hearts and minds to turn away from these things, to stop communicating with the past. To stop exclaiming ‘the devil made me do it.’ There will be more conversations where there is the opportunity to share the freedom we have in Christ.
Please join me in praying not only for the truth to be revealed in this situation, but also for the need all people have to experience the power of turning their lives to walk in the way of truth and light, so that both heart and mind are transformed. Please pray for those who have been traumatised by the things they have seen and heard.
The above photo is of the steps leading from the church hearse lined with flowers as the body of the young lady was carried to the waiting hearse – an act of love created by the youth of the parish to farewell their friend until they meet again.
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