Hewas sorting out unresolved conflict

POSTED ON 2009-03-27
  by Christina Johnson

Standing in the middle of a crowd of Hewas, an aging witchdoctor tried to rationalize marrying his young grand-niece.

The young girl protested, saying she did not want to marry him.

The Hewas observing the situation broke out into arguments. Some said she should marry the old man. Some said it wasn't right for him to marry his own relative.

"My wife is too old for all the work that needs done and I need a younger wife to take care of me as I get old," the witchdoctor said.

The young girl had been raised by the witchdoctor and his first wife after her parents died when she was a child. The witchdoctor decided to take her as his second wife so she could tend his pigs and take care of his garden in their village in Papua New Guinea.

The debate over what should be done escalated until eventually, the witchdoctor decided to blame Eyaka, a Hewa teacher.

"You have been trying to steal the girl who is my rightful wife by keeping her in your school classes. If she had not been in school, she would have been tending my pigs and taking care of my gardens like she should be doing," the witchdoctor said. "You spoiled it for me by teaching school. This mess is entirely your fault."

"This unresolved conflict is just one example of how Satan is trying to disrupt the beautiful thing that God is doing in the village," Jonathan wrote. "Of course Eyaka is not to blame for what is going on in the lives of the villagers. He is not forcing anyone to attend school, but instead has been happily teaching over 30 villagers how to read and write at their own request."

The villagers, and even the witchdoctor, have requested to learn to read in preparation to hear the message of the Bible for the first time.

"Please be in fervent prayer for [this village] as they draw nearer to the day when the beautiful story of salvation will be taught to them for the first time," Jonathan wrote. "Pray that the witchdoctor and others would clearly understand their lost condition and their need of a relationship with their Creator."

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