By Norm Weatherhead
“Having lived in Papua New Guinea for a few years, we knew that hostilities run deep in the culture, and fights can break out at any time. One reason why most villages are small is because of constant rivalries, feuds, disputes, and hostilities between villages. Normally, a man marries a woman from a different village. And until recently, one of the ways men found wives was to go out and storm another village, taking some of the young women. If the village about to be raided had enough warning, they would construct a solid bamboo wall to block the raiders from gaining entry into the village.
We witnessed this kind of event once. Men from our village went to “get” the bride from a nearby village for one of our young men. But those villagers had constructed their bamboo barrier across the path. Our men hooted and hollered and shook the barrier until they could smash their way through and go raid the other village. The targeted girl was found and brought to the middle of the village. And then the clapping and cheering broke out as the little “drama” was now finished, and it was time for the wedding feast.
Ephesians 2:11-22 speaks about how Christ came to “break down the dividing walls of hostility” between people. He did this by shedding his blood and offered salvation and forgiveness to all people. I am convinced that the entry of Christianity over the past 100 years into these primitive areas of the world has had a profound effect on the people. Where there had been dividing walls of hostility before, now I am seeing more and more that the people of PNG are embracing each other as brothers and sisters in the Lord.”
Norm is a Bible translation consultant serving the bibleless in PNG based from Canada.