Another Sunday has passed and what an eventful one it was. It started like any other Sunday. We got up and got ready for church. We had a beautiful service. Andrew preached a sermon on psalm 51 about our sin/repentance and reconciliation with God. I really enjoyed the sermon. However, it was not till later on in the day that we realized how the Lord had used the gospel message preached to really speak to a couple of members in the congregation. I’ll explain…
After church a brother and sister in the congregation talked to Andrew to say that they had found out at 6am that morning that their daughter (also a member) was pregnant (not married). They spoke of their worries and anger and frustration. The daughter came to see us this afternoon (about an hour after we came home from church -around 2pm) and we spoke with her, opened God’s Word with her and prayed with her, after which Andrew took her home to her parents and did the same. The father of this baby does not have a great reputation as far as women go, is not a Christian and on top of this is known to get drunk fairly regularly. Andrew spoke to them all about the Lord’s desire that those that marry should do so only in the Lord. The parents and the daughter herself say they do not desire a marriage to take place (especially after speaking about it and opening God's WOrd and praying about it), however, the father of the child and his family may try to force a marriage.
This situation will also bring great shame to the family, and a marriage is sometimes a way to end this shame. The parents of this girl also spoke of how this morning they had put all their daughter's things out of the house in anger and had basically told her to leave (because of their anger and shame). However, in God's perfect timing he ensured that this morning ANdrew woudl be preaching on psalm 51. IN this sermon ANdrew spoke about the context of the psalm a lot (David's sin with Bathsheba), and he spoke about how there was no sin that God could not forgive when heartfelt repentance was present. God's Word as brought in this sermon served to convict these parents that they had to be there for their daughter, to lover her despite her sin and to guide and lead her in love. WHat a blessing!! Please pray for the whole situation, that a marriage will not be forced. Please pray for this young woman who is pregnant, and for the road ahead for her and her whole family and this young life she is carrying.
I had a mad rush getting dinner ready tonight after all this, which would not usually matter, except that we were expecting guests (a couple - Bible translators from another area - who we have had over before, as well as her parent's who are also translating the Bible in a village near Goroka, and who have been doing this in PNG for the last 47 years!!). Kirilee was a good help, and I got everything done, and our guests arrived while Andrew was still out (he returned at about 5:30pm.
He returned home soon and we had a lovely time of fellowship with them. While we were eating dinner, however, Andrew's mobile rang and it was the father of the family who are now living in the Kamkumung house. He was stuck outside the property (he had gone for a walk) and his wife and the rest of his family were in the house. And the thing that was preventing him from going inside the property? Armed men (guns and knives), holding up countless cars coming down the road right in front of the church property (this is only 7pm). Apparently they had a pile of cars (20 or so) stopped and were smashing windows left, right and centre, and after stealing things ended up hijacking some cars. The man called to ask Andrew to call the police (he was hiding behind some tree). So Andrew tried about four numbers, to no avail - they rang out (emergencey numbers!!). Eventually he got through to one number but by this time the armed hold-up were over, and the father was back inside the property. He and his family were unhurt (the attack was in no way directed at them), but it sure is unnerving for them to live with that kind of violence around them all the time! Please pray for that area of town, as it is really bad for hold-ups and violence and we drive there a lot as well. Andrew sometimes travels that road at night too, as he will be doing tomorrow night after a meeting. God is always in control and we saw that again today in more ways than one.
So that was our Sunday - busy and stressful and tiring and yet a blessed day too! Isn't it wonderful how God has a way of mixing our pain and sorrow with joy?