Just imagine waking up in the dead of night to a group of criminals (Rascals, as they are called here), armed with guns and knives breaking into your home and terrorizing you and your family. I, for one, shudder to think of it. But for some members of our church here in Lae this became a reality. It happened in the Pastor's house on the Kamkumung Church Property last night. At the moment it is not occupied by a Pastor, but instead by three of the Bouway girls, one who is married with a newborn, and also an elderly man (Rumanasen) from our congregation lives there too.
Already last Thursday night a group of rascals had attempted to break into the house, but this attempt failed partly because they were a little ill equipped to break through the security at the house (doors, and locks), but also because the Lord provided in the form of a drunk lady on the road who heard Rumanasen calling for help, and in turn called out to the neighbors on the road who chased the rascals away. The tenants of the house were all shook up by this attack, naturally, and the married daughter's husband returned home to be with them all (he works on a mine and is often gone for weeks at a time.)
Last night, however, the rascals returned with a vengeance. This time they were armed with guns and were able to force their way into the house, terrorizing the occupants, stealing many of their things and cutting Rumanasen with a knife. Rumanasen is an amazing man. He is elderly by PNG standards and is very small and frail. However, he was putting up a fight, making it clear today that he was worried about the girls, and he willingly put himself forward in an attempt to protect them. Truly selfless. He was basically cut on the head and on his arms. This morning Ian picked him up and brought him to the hosptial and Andrew joined them there after bringing our girls to school. He was pretty shaken up, understandably, but thankfully his wounds were not more threatening. He is now staying with another church member. The Bouway girl's have gone to their mother's village to be safe for the time being.
Truly a harrowing experience. Harder still because the police do not respond. When they attempted to call the police in both incidences the phones were not answered. Nothing. They also tried to call on our mobile, but we did not hear it. Actually, I am thankful we did not hear it and were not able to answer it. What could Andrew really have done against armed rascals, except put his own life in grave danger, meanwhile achieving nothing to really help them? However, how hard it would be to hear the urgent cries and not respond.
We are thankful to the Lord for protecting the lives of all involved, however, they need our prayers for emotional recovery after such a harrowing experience. Even I felt kind of insecure today and on edge, and that though even not actually going through the experience. This morning I was planning to walk into Biwat to do some singing with some of the members there (I have recently translated a couple of songs and we were going to practice them together), but instead Andrew dropped me off there on the way to Kamkumung. Other times I have walked the short distance just with Ashlyn, but today I just felt uncomfortable with it. It's upsetting to think that rascals can just get away with such activities, and knowing that it goes on repeatedly all around the country. However, we need to remember that God is always in control, no matter what! May this bring all the victims of last night's attack, and all of us, much comfort.