We are more than half way through our week-long crusade here in Menya. We have now covered 13 out of 20 lessons! Yesterday morning Joseph taught about the plagues in Egypt and how each plague showed God’s power over a false god of Egypt. Here in PNG, false gods abound. They aren’t in the form of statues, and they don’t match each of the plagues of Egypt, but it is easy for all of us here to see the parallel between Egypt and Menya. Even those who are religious still fear, believe in, and attempt to use the power of the sprits according to the traditions that have been passed down. Many of our believers have already wrestled through the veracity of what they have always believed in, and this week, a new crop of people are having to do the same. Rather than let them continue to think that their traditional beliefs can coexist with a faith in Christ, we are exposing their spirit world for what it is–opposition to the one true God. And sometimes that gets uncomfortable. After that lesson on Egypt and their gods, one of our believers, Zabet, asked if she could do a skit to expose the fault in their traditions even more obviously.
In her skit Zabet used all the proper “tools” and acted out a typical process of seeking the spirits’ aid: A lady laid on the ground pretending to be sick and she hit her with leaves, chewed up some ginger and rubbed it on the sick lady, while chanting. After she finished she held up the leaves and ginger and asked if those things had power. She said they were nothing. That they were all things God had made and put here, but that the Menyan people have been worshipping them and attributing power to them that belongs to God. It was a simple little drama, but very pointed and very bold. All the people here either currently believe in those rites, or did until very recently. To see Zabet recognizing the truth and walking away from tightly held traditional beliefs, and wanting others to see that truth as well, was so encouraging. Pray that others will see the futility of their idol worship and turn to the true God!
LORD, my strength and my fortress, my refuge in time of distress, to you the nations will come from the ends of the earth and say, “Our ancestors possessed nothing but false gods, worthless idols that did them no good. Do people make their own gods? Yes, but they are not gods!” Jeremiah 16:19–20