Please be praying for the effects of a tribal fight taking place in the area north of the Nazarene Hospital in Jiwaka Province. A local leader’s son was killed at Banz yesterday which is a town about 15 minutes away. We are told the man started some disturbance at the market there. He was attacked by a group of people and died as a result of those injuries. Today many young men from the Kuma Tribe (one of the tribes neighboring the Mission Station) blocked a bridge into that area. Many of our Hospital staff that live in the Banz area, could not come to work today because of this. We are now hearing that many of the Kuma men went up to the Banz market and surrounding area. They have burned down buildings and houses in that area. Many of our staff and Nazarene church members are trapped there with this fighting – feeling that their own properties and lives are threatened. There is a lot of potential for the fight to grow and spread and affect many others as both sides feel wronged. The Nazarene Hospital itself currently remains unaffected directly, but this will affect some of our staff and surrounding community.
In many ways this is really an extension of the prayers we have already been praying for our community. Many of our project workers are from the Kuma tribe. Many recently gave their life to Christ this past weekend at a spiritual retreat the hospital ran for them. We had even told them at their retreat that often immediately after coming to Christ there will be some big temptation. It has certainly turned out that way. The Nazarene Hospital has this week had some community tension over land issues, and now today is a time many of them were having to decide to stay home and be a comfort to a grieving family… or go join a tribal fight that will only build destruction and death. Satan knows there are no winners in these fights – both sides lose. Please pray for our community leaders, these young men, police/authorities, etc.. to do the right thing. Pray for the protection of innocent life and property.
Scott Dooley – Hospital Administrator
Harmon Schmelzenbach – Field Strategy Coordinator