Things I Don’t Understand
Politics have never been my forte. If the conversation turns to politics I might as well take a nap or leave the room because I will not add anything to the conversation or my brain. It’s sad, but I just don’t understand or appreciate the games played in these circles. So if my mind spun in America, here it is just plain confused. Obviously my observations are new, having only lived in Papua for 9 weeks. However, I feel to share with you these observations…
Perhaps 4 or 5 weeks ago our older boys were out playing sardines in the dark on a Saturday night. They came running into the house to share that they had witnessed a drunk man on a motorcycle get hit by a minivan (public transportation), outside the aviation fence. The minivan driver fled. You can only imagine the vivid accounts our boys shared with us. Later the drunk man died. Yesterday the “brothers” or “tribe” of the drunk man decided to retaliate. So they came (less then 1/2 a mile from our home) and burned down the house and the vehicle of the father to minivan driver. We heard them all war whooping and dancing down the road after the burning. The fire truck came hours later. We saw police trucks, but were these men arrested? No. Confusing and a bit unnerving as I can’t help but wonder who will protect us? Certainly not the police.
I have mentioned that the airstrip here has been shut down (now going on eight weeks). This is very detrimental to the program as many salaries must still be paid along with airplane insurance, etc. The problem was supposed to be handled by others, but by week 7 Uncle Bob pulled in his own legal adviser. Together they went to the police station with the proof that we indeed have all the legal papers to this land. That information had never been told to the police. So now that they know we are the lawful owners they are willing to take action. However, we are third on the list. So in a while they will arrest the main trouble maker and provide security while the rocks/dirt are being removed. Not sure when….but when they can.
One of the problems the police have to deal with before addressing our airstrip issues is in a nearby town a clan of men destroyed all the heavy duty equipment at the nickel mine, by burning it. Darron say’s he feels like we are living in the Old Wild West. One morning when Darron and I were walking in the street across from aviation we witnessed a drunk man walk up to a police man and start punching him in the face. The police man did not pull out any gun or other form of protection. He just simply tried to defend himself. In a few minutes several other police men came to his aide. Then the drunk man was just walked back to his place.
Coming from America where police have much authority and lots of respect, the politics and behavior here sometimes puts our minds spinning. If I think about it for too long it can make me nervous. However, I have to keep committing our safety to God. I fully trust in His protection and every night I sleep in peace (unless I just can’t sleep for other reasons and then I call my friends in America….wink). I imagine these observations might make you feel on edge for us and our safety. Please just continue to pray for us and the large community of missionaries (probably over 300). I don’t understand politics and I don’t understand how God can take care of so many peoples needs that are calling out to Him, but I do know in His awesome greatness He does. May your dreams be as sweet as mine. And hopefully soon our aviation strip will be in full operation, again.