Sunday, August 12, 2012

Is it worth it?

My husband and the guys who volunteered to start cutting the wood we need to build our house made it into the tribe safely on Friday. There was a brief scare with a broken down plane two days before they were supposed to leave, but the plane was fixed and everything went smoothly from there.

However, things seem to be going not-so-smoothly in the bush. The guys are working really hard to just cut the trees down that will become our house, and have yet to start actually slabbing it into lumber. But that is the way things go when you build a house in one of the most remote places in the world. I mean, where is Home Depot when you need it?

Anyway, so I have been talking to him through email and through short wave radio. Yesterday, when I listened to see if he would come on, my new coworker, Susan, said that they have to fly a man out of our village into another village...

Because he had a tooth infection.

And would probably die.

Yeah. Die. She gave him a course of antibiotics before she left to go on break, but as soon as she was gone, he stopped taking them. He now has gangrene, and probably will not make it. It is very sad, frustrating, and heartbreaking.

What is even more frustrating and heartbreaking is that he had to be flown out because he is not from our village and if he died there someone would accuse one of the teen girls in our village of being a witch.

Then they would kill her.

On my first trip into Hewa Susan pointed out a skinny young girl in a red necklace and told me that one day, she would be marked as a witch because her mother was marked as a witch. Thankfully, they helped her mother escape to another village. I haven't been about to stop thinking, "will she be as lucky?"

All I could think about when I heard this story, was the skinny girl with the red necklace. And although, my heart goes out to this man who will die because of a tooth, my heart is relieved knowing that this precious girl is saved...for now.

One of the biggest challenges with this work is the Hewa people are so big and so spread out that reaching all of them with the truth of the Gospel will be very difficult. Most of the people who live in our village are believers and are done with witch killings, but all the villages surrounding are still ruled by darkness. For them, someone has to pay for every sickness... someone has to die for every death.

Is it ever going to change? Are we going to make any difference at all? Are these guys out in the middle of no where busting their rear ends for nothing? Even if we disciple these believers, so that they can reach the neighboring villages, what about the villages even further away that our people cannot even communicate with? They are still called "Hewa" but the dialects are so different, they might as well be foreign. And even if those villages get reached what about the neighboring tribes? Tribes that are known to be dangerous and violent, and missionaries are advised to not to go there. Will it ever end? Will these people ever not live in fear?

The truth is probably, no. They will always live in fear of death of the body. If not by murder, by disease, accident, hunger...who knows.

But the truth is also hopefully, yes. They will no longer have to live in fear of the second death. Death of the soul which is separation from God. They can have hope through the precious blood of a Savior who loves them. Hope that to be absent from the body is to be present with the One who created them and knows them by name.

But isn't this the truth for us all? For those who feel safe and secure in America, that is really only a false sense of security. If you really think about it, don't you fear things everyday just as these people do? Don't you fear drunk drivers, and cancer, and terrorists? Don't you fear just walking into a movie theater now?

The truth is I cannot create for them a perfect life. I cannot give them material wealth or earthly security. And I cannot even give them eternal security. That is up to God our Father.

But what I can give them is myself. I can offer love and friendship and sisterhood. I can be there to walk, eat, garden, talk, and parent alongside them. I can cry and laugh with them, and show them love that does not come from my wicked, sinful self, but love that comes from a Father who loved me first. And whose Spirit fills me with that very same love.

I can spend my life with this little girl and hope that one day she knows that no matter what her neighbors call her... her Father calls her His.  And no matter what they do to her body...her Father will treasure her soul forever.

No matter what the outcome, I can be obedient to Him who gave me the honor and privilege of being involved in His kingdom. And that is definitely worth it.

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