Peace amid the pain


POSTED ON 2008-10-23
  by Brian Johnson



A loud cry pierced the early morning air of a Dinangat village in Papua New Guinea last week.

Missionaries Ralf and Elli Schlegel hurried towards the sound to see what was going on.

They soon found out.

Max, the 9-year-old son of their good friends Bommy and Wiregupe, had suddenly died.

Many Dinangats had already gathered and were crying loudly together. When a child dies, no matter what the culture, it hits a community especially hard. But for the Dinangats, death is not just a reason for sadness. It is a reason for anger.

"Death to them is not a natural result of sickness or other reasons. There is always someone to blame," the Schlegels wrote.

But this time, for some, things have changed.

"When I heard of Max's death I got really angry at Bommy and his wife," said Mesari, a Dinangat believer. "I thought, 'They didn't take care of Max and therefore he died.' I wanted to go to his house and hit him bad.

"But then I remembered that those thoughts are the thoughts from before when we didn't know the truth. And I remembered that God is Max's Father and He gave him his life and he can also take it again. God is above everything. Whatever He does is good."

"I am very sad because my only son died," said Bommy. "But I know that he is with his Father now. Max believed in Jesus and we know that he is in a very good place now.

"I am also amazed to see how encouraging the people … are to us. They don't only cry, they also remind us that Max is at home now and that we don't need to worry about him. It wasn't like that before. But today we know the truth, that whoever believes will be saved."

The Dinangat believers are finding God's peace amid their pain.

Please pray for Bommy and Wiregupe as they deal with the loss of their only son.

Pray also for the rest of the Dinangat believers to continue to help them through the healing process.

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