In workplaces across the USA, people are talking about gas prices jumping. Few are talking about the woman tortured and burned to death after being accused of witchcraft earlier this month.
But you can’t do anything about gas prices.
Were you shocked by the recent reports that a woman who was accused of witchcraft was burned to death in Papua New Guinea? Did you know that after that, police reported two more related accusations of witchcraft, which they narrowly kept from becoming killings?
Do you realize that even that is just the tip of the iceberg?
“Belief in sorcery and witchcraft is still widespread in Papua New Guinea,” reported Jo
Chandler in The Daily Beast on Sunday. “Enduring tradition widely resists the notion that natural causes, disease, accident, or recklessness might be responsible for a death. Rather, bad magic is the certain culprit.”
“When people die, especially men, people start asking ‘Who’s behind it?’ not ‘What’s behind it?’” the Daily Mail reported Dr. Philip Gibbs as saying. Gibbs is an anthropologist, sorcery specialist and Catholic priest.
The answer to that question is often a witch, who pays with her life. That’s been going on for years in remote villages in Papua New Guinea. What made the murder earlier this month newsworthy was that it happened in front of a crowd in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea’s third-largest city.
It’s just a sign of what has been happening for years: Tribal people are moving to cities, yet retaining their identities. That includes their beliefs.
These killings stem from a belief system of superstition and fear that keeps people in bondage. Jesus Christ is the answer these people need. Yet there are not enough missionaries to take the message even to those who have been asking for years. We need more missionaries.
But we need more than just more missionaries. We need more properly equipped missionaries. So NTM must expand its training facilities.
It also has to adapt. New Tribes Mission has effective training, and what keeps it effective is that it is continually improved to match the realities of missions. Our focus has always been on unreached people groups, and that has led us to remote villages. Today, it takes us to cities and towns, and whole new set of challenges that our missionaries must be prepared for.
Those missionaries also need teams of prayer and financial supporters to get to their ministries and stay.
NTM President Larry M. Brown recently shared with me the story of a couple who left their jobs and homes and families, trained to plant churches among an unreached people group, went to Papua New Guinea … and had to come home because they lost the funding they needed to serve God.
Julie and I have the privilege of helping meet all those needs.
Ian is part of NTM’s Ministry Advancement Team, which is aimed at improving and increasing mobilization of new missionaries. One of Ian’s goals is streamlining the application process so more people who are interested in becoming missionaries are able to achieve their aim. Because of your participation in our ministry, more people are able to hear the good news and escape the bondage of fear and superstition.
Our Communications team is producing the materials needed to support expanding and improving NTM’s missionary training. Because you assist us in our ministry, more missionaries are being equipped to effectively present the gospel to people who are trapped in superstition and fear.
We’re also equipping missionaries with the tools they need to build and maintain their teams of prayer and financial supporters. Your participation in our ministry is helping missionaries get out there faster and stay longer and establish churches among unreached people groups, churches made up of vibrant, growing believers who share God’s love with people who need to hear about Him.
So maybe you can’t do anything about gas prices.
But you are already helping to end witch-burning. Thank you!
And you have opportunities to do more. Recurring monthly giving makes our work possible, and one-at-a-time gifts help where those fall short. Please sponsor our ministry.