My usual rotation of genres to read doesn’t include horror stories, but it does include classics. And so a couple weeks ago, I decided it was time to read Frankenstein again. The back of the edition I checked out says: Mary Shelley’s gothic tale is the world’s most famous work of horror fiction. I have read it a couple times before (once as a grade 9 student who definitely didn’t appreciate it) and didn’t remember it being scary, but I read it this time with that description in mind.
It becomes a horror story when Frankenstein’s monster realizes he is not wanted by his creator or the community. When the monster realizes that he will always be “solitary and abhorrent,” he sets out to wreak havoc on Frankenstein by destroying all that the scientist loves. The monster succeeds is destroying Frankenstein and in the lengthy quest, he doesn’t find any one to love or accept him either. That indeed is a horror story: to be rejected by your maker and to feel like there is no one who loves you. And I thought it describes the state of so many real souls today, that is people who don’t know that their Maker loves them and they don’t know the community that comes from a common bond in that Maker. They live searching after something to make them complete and whole, often wreaking havoc as they go.
That’s why NTM PNG exists…to be a part of bringing people out of the horror story and into the truth of their Maker loving them and uniting them. The communications manager for NTM PNG wrote the following about a people group that is continuing to grow in that truth, and their story shows what joy can come from being a part of generations of Christ-followers.
On the island of New Hanover in Papua New Guinea, the Lavongai church was born in 2016. Missionaries Jon and Janet Mitchell have been working with three Lavongai believers to continue reaching more of the Lavongai people. Jon has trained these teachers and now meets with them every week to do in-depth lesson preparation. The teachers-in-training are two thirds of the way through sharing 90 evangelical bible lessons with their families, relatives, and peers.
The teachers and students have had to overcome persecution and ridiculing remarks from their peers who continue to believe in the old belief system. Jon says, “To have people that we taught the Good News to, to have them teach their village peers, brings all sorts of memories and emotions to the surface. This one thing I have learned and would like to share— it was worthwhile: sacrificing, persevering, spending lots of heart and time teaching, discipling, laying a solid foundation for the first-generation Christians. Now they remain solid in their personal faith in God and can continue teaching others despite persecution. And, I’m so excited that in a few months time, Lord willing, Janet and I will be spiritual grandparents!”