Mourning for our persecuted world family

Filed on 04 August 2019 in Food For Thought category. Print This Page

Mourning for our persecuted world family

I am horrified – more than usual I guess – at the latest news of persecution as detailed in Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin RLPB 513 31/7/19.

This is a weekly prayer bulletin and Elizabeth Kendall has an excellent grasp of our world right now and the significance, including the political.

For instance, she asks us to pray for the church in Hong Kong that it may be a peacemaker in the conflict re the very real risk that the escalating unrest will result in the Chinese army coming in to “restore order”. For the sake of world peace and the role of the church in Hong Kong this is a very constructive prayer.

There is SO MUCH to pray for isn’t there. How do we handle it?

Sometimes just with an attitude of prayer.

We have a saying in our early morning prayer group

Mourning – for the suffering world and in particular the suffering church
Grief – for our nation and the continued attack by anti-God forces but coupled with a sense of
Excitement – because God holds tomorrow, and, in the midst of all this, definitely
Joy – because of who God is, all He has done and for our relationship with Him through Jesus

If the sense of burden is too much then it may be helpful to read Troubles, Situations, Worry, even Gloom?

I commit to you the thought that the above attitudes need to be an increasing part of church life community and in our meeting together.



Reading further through the bulletin to the section on Papua (below) and letting it sink in I readbetrayed, abandoned and persecuted, the indigenous Melanesians of Papua are a Christian people”. The story of how the cannibalistic warring tribes of the Baliem Valley area became a Christian people is one of the remarkable stories of mission in the 20th century.

Norm Draper and John Betteridge were the first into the Baliem in 1956. For the West Aussie readers of this, Bill and Pat Goodlet were there from 1969-1976 before coming home and then later returned to Sorong in the “Birdshead” area. It was through Bill that my brother Malcolm became a Christian and then the rest of our family. Unfortunately, Bill and Pat were killed when their vehicle left Gt Northern H’way 15 yrs ago or more.

If you don’t get the RLPB then I suggest you subscribe and at least read the abbreviated (church bulletin) version.

In December 2018, nineteen Indonesian laborers were killed in Nduga Regency while working on the controversial Trans Papua Highway. The Indonesian military responded by launching a military operation in Nduga, forcing some 32,000 mostly Christian indigenous Melanesians to flee their homes [see ‘Papua: the Christian Crisis in Eastern Indonesia,’ RLM, April 2019]. Seven months later, thousands remain displaced and a humanitarian crisis is setting in. The region is closed to outsiders, and because the Indonesian government does not recognise the displaced Papuans as victims of conflict, it refuses to provide trauma counselling or humanitarian assistance. Instead, the burden of care falls on local (Papuan) government agencies, charities, civil society groups, youth groups and churches. Efforts to distribute food, medicines and other supplies to thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) spread across 23 locations in Wamena (the capital of Jayawijaya Regency) — let alone those in more remote locations or those trapped in the jungle — are largely unco-ordinated.

At one camp, established on church grounds in Wamena, there are some 5200 displaced Papuans from Nduga Regency, including more than 700 children. According to a report by aid group Solidarity Team for Nduga — released on 18 July and dismissed by the Indonesian military as a ‘hoax’ — many of the displaced are suffering from respiratory infections, diarrhea, dysentery and trauma. Access to food, clean water, clothing, health care and education is limited; and 139 people from Nduga have died in the camp, mostly from disease and malnutrition. Betrayed, abandoned and persecuted, the indigenous Melanesians of Papua are a Christian people. Please pray.

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