So we are coming back from Bible Study this morning (see end of this blog for details on this) and a young woman (I estimate in mid twenties-early thirties) is walking right in the middle of the road. I turn to the lady next to me in the car and say in Tok Pisin, “she’s not looking out for cars very well.” I slow down and move around the woman in the middle of the road, as the lady next to me tells me, “she’s crazy. She’ll often dance in the middle of the road.” (the tok Pisin word is long long which denotes anyone with a mental problem really, but basically means “silly” or “crazy”.)
“Oh,” I ask, “was she born like that?”
“No,” the woman replies, “she was born fine. However her husband constantly bashed her up and in so doing caused her brain damage. She has a child, but her husband has left her now because she is crazy and he has married another woman.”
Then I am at the settlement and the women get out of the car. That is that. So matter-of-fact. Just the way life is for many women. But just because it is the way it is, and just because the women sound almost accepting of it (inability to do anything about it!) this does not detract from the terrible trauma and pain suffered by so many women. For one man to destroy a beautiful young woman like that and then just go off and marry someone else, just makes one shudder. Shudder and pray.
On a happier note, we held our first women’s fellowship today for the year. It’s a bit late in starting, but with the library to organise and other things to sort out, that’s just the way it turned out.
It was a good fellowship morning – Fellowship with women one in Christ. We sang, we prayed, we shared, we delved into Scripture. We missed one of our own, though. One woman, though she continues to come to Sunday Worship, is keeping herself from the other women in times of fellowship and the like. She has spoken to us (as missionaries) about the reason for her absence. She sees certain sins in some member’s lives (they live in a close community where everything you do is seen by everyone else), sins that they struggle to fight against, and this makes her heart cry (her words). She feels that they are being hypocritical and refuses to fellowship with them because of it. We have tried to talk to her, tried to speak about not judging, about taking the log out of your own eye first (Okay that one was said tactfully!), shared with her that while we are still on this earth sin will continue, and we will never find a perfect church with perfect members; encouraged her to speak with these members and pray for them; exhorted her not to stay away and thus hinder the work of the Holy Spirit in her life; exhorted her to come and share what gifts the Lord has given her with others; and we have prayed for her. But she feels so “heavy” so “burdened”, so “terrible”, that it keeps her away and apart (though thankfully she does worship with us on Sundays still). Please pray for this lady that she may come back to the rest of the women to fellowship with them, and for the other women that they may welcome her and make it easy for her to come back, and also that their (and all of our) struggle against sin may be earnest and strong!