It’s hard to wrap my mind around the fact that in our day and age someone could be accused of witchcraft — and condemned without a shred of evidence.
Yet here I sit, my heart burdened for a family on the other side of the world, for a family I don’t even know. My heart breaks for the brother who thought he could protect his sister — and realized too late that he could only stand helplessly by while men from a neighboring village brutally murdered her. I can’t begin to imagine the agony of that moment. The helplessness.
It all started when an outbreak of measles brought death to a Hewa village in Papua New Guinea. Blame had to be assigned, and in Hewa culture that someone would be a woman or child accused of being possessed by evil spirits.
But Mifila wasn’t the only one accused of witchcraft. And if nothing is done, those other innocents will meet the same fate as Mifila. Thankfully, an intervention is underway. One family has already been evacuated by plane to safety. But another family remains.
That’s where things get complicated. For this second family, the extended family is arguing against the evacuation. The family of the husband of the accused woman insists that the wife’s family must first pay a “death payment” because it would be like their son has died to them if he leaves. But if they don’t leave…. Well, I think you get the picture.
There’s the possibility of the final evacuation taking place tomorrow. … If the people will go. … If they can go.
I really don’t like those “ifs” thrown into the equation. But what we can throw into the equation is prayer.
Would you pray for changed hearts that encourage the falsely accused to evacuate — rather than burden them with impossible demands? Would you pray with me for this Hewa family right now?