[Warning: this is sad]
Most of the national guys I work with in COC live across the road from our base. They also, for the most part, live across the river (farther than you can see in the picture above.) I haven’t had a chance yet to see the river, but I know the guys have to swim it every morning on their way to work and again on their way home. And since we are in the middle of the rainy season, they are often talking about how high and fast the water is.
Today, they were talking about something different, though. Today they were talking about a woman who was trying to float across the river on an inner tube with her two sons and her two year old daughter. When the river pushed the tube toward a fallen tree, the two boys (who could swim) got scared and jumped off the tube. This caused the mother and daughter (neither of whom could swim) to flip the tube and fall in themselves. The mother was pulled out, but the two year old girl was lost in the muddy, swift current.
This story is heart-wrenching, obviously. But it is also a reminder of the fact that the people of PNG live in a harsh environment with many dangers. And in this environment, most of them are working hard just to survive. It is a reminder, too, of how urgent our task is. We trust God with the timing of our lives and the progress we are making toward eventually preaching the gospel here, but we also pray that He would make our paths straight and enable us to accomplish our goals as quickly as possible.