Saturday, October 4, 2008

Challenging days for the Nakui church

We heard from Greg and Heidi Greenlaw last week, who recently moved back into the tribe after covering leadership needs at the Wewak base for 6 months. The news out of Nakui is not overly encouraging. For the G-laws personally, they returned to find a good number of their solar panels had blown off the house and their power system down. This, in turn, shut off the 12-volt fridge which meant a freezer full of rotten meat greeted them upon arrival. Most of the next week was consumed with repairs and maintenance in order to get their home livable again. We've done that one before and let me tell you, it's not very fun.

One of the keen Nakui believers who has showed promise as a Bible teacher is struggling. This man has been a key figure in the church and was very intstrumental in the outreach to Yabu village last year. After many months of accusations, it has finally come to light that he has been in an adulturous relationship with another woman. To make matters more complicated this woman, who is another believer, is his wife's very good friend. There is now pressure on this man (from her family) to take this woman as his second wife (polygamy is not only common but a sign of status in Nakui culture). This man's wife is beside herself and making life miserable for everyone around her. What a mess. When God's people live according to the world's ways and not surrendered to the Lord, there is always a cost. In this case the Nakui church is paying a heavy price.

Another struggle in the church has to do with the death of Tunawe's daughter Sien. Although Diana spent much time in June nursing her back to health, she died in July of a mystery illness. I'm sure Tunawe, who had just recently lost his father Imo, was devistated. Nakui animistic beliefs require someone or something be blamed for death, and this time the blame was cast toward Yabu - the very village the Nakui church did their outreach. Relationships with Yabu had already been strained. Now they teeter on the brink of war. A few days badk a band of Nakui men left to attack Yabu, but were talked out of it by a man who lives in a village half-way village. During a church meeting the following day it sounds like Greg was able to initiate some healthy discussion centered around 1 Thessalonians 2 where Paul describes being holy, rightous and blameless among they young Thess. believers. This is indeed a key time in the life of TWO churches in the Nakui language group -- they need our prayers.