Written by: Carolyn Crockett
5:15 a.m. rolled around on the clock as I made my cup of coffee and grabbed a piece of mint brownie from the fridge (side note, I enjoy eating something sweet with my coffee first thing in the morning even if it’s not a legit dessert time). A couple hours had passed, calling for our 7:00 a.m. radio roll-call. If you are wondering what exactly that means, we check in daily with one of our colleagues who lives in the city; it is more of a safety check to make sure all is going well within the different interior stations.
It was then the scheduled time to meet with the ten ladies who teach different Bible studies in the
different small villages. We try to meet monthly to pray together and update each other on how our
groups are doing. If you look on the outside, these ladies are a motley crew. Some still wear their
bark skirts with no tops (they always wear beads, though, as it means they've got their "make-up on for
the day"). They don’t feel that bathing is essential. What is important to them is to gather food from their gardens every day, so their family has food to eat. No extra time to waste on bathing and washing clothes. So, they certainly do not look the prim and proper type.
But, I wish you could see their hearts.
They are passionate about God’s Word. They are passionate about teaching their children about the Gospel. They are passionate about teaching other ladies. They are passionately waiting for the second coming of Christ.
They live in a rough, rough world.
My heart is blown away by their love for the Lord.
And I want to be like them.
After we were done, I hiked up to where our airstrip is located, as I wanted to check up on a Moi lady who had been bitten by a snake the previous day. They cut slashes on her leg to bleed out the “bad” blood. That’s an old superstition, but likely not a bad idea for a snake bite. At least they only gave three gashes this time with a bamboo knife! At that point in time, she seemed to be doing alright. Just weak. Others were helping by taking care of her baby.
Then, I waited on the airstrip with many other Moi as the little mission plane made its way onto the tribe's high-risk airstrip. The winds and mountains blocking the approach makes the airstrip high-risk. He attempted six different landings and did great! Praise the Lord for missionary pilots. He then offloaded all of our supplies I ordered from the coastal town of Nabire; things like rice, soap, salt, oil, flour, etc. (we have no stores in here; it’s just a jungle).
Finally, it was time for the pilot to head back to Nabire, so we helped a Moi family board the plane. The mother had been crippled with some strange disease in her knees for a total of three weeks. We tried several different things to help her, but nothing had worked, so we decided to send her to the coastal hospital to get X-rays. Lord willing, we will get answers. My heart aches for her because she is one of the hardest working ladies I know.
Strong as an ox.
It was 2:00 p.m. by the time the plane left, so I ran home to make lunch; rice, squash leaves, and a frozen
beef dish that I had stored for a day such as this. By the time we ate and had the dishes cleared away, it
was time for my hike down to Biumanitadi, the village that is only a fifteen minute hike from our home. It was my turn to meet with the ladies for Bible study.
As I approached the village, I heard a loud, sorrowful wailing.
I couldn't help but wonder what had happened. I arrived to the news that one of our older Moi men was on a three-day hike to the Moi festival when he just fell over dead. His daughter was wailing the most out of all, but others joined in as it is considered respectful to wail along to show your sorrow and grief.
I cannot wail like they do, but I sat there in tears as I watched my dearest friend mourn the death of her beloved father.
I thought to myself, "where will they bury him?" Could they carry his body up and down the slippery steep jungle trails? Or if they buried him over there, where he passed, how would she get see his body one last time? Each time a new group of ladies showed up at the house, the wailing began again. Together, we mourned the tragic death.
As we hiked up the steep jungle trail to her mother's house, we talked about God’s goodness in bringing salvation to this mountain area.
Dodonopiya is in the presence of our Lord!
The mourning had turned from a heavy sorrowful, hopeless mourn to a mourn of hope in the eternal promise of new life in His Kingdom.
What a beautiful change it was.
I waited till dusk when most of the ladies had returned safely home to their families, when I asked to pray with Bumabea, the daughter of Dodonopiya. We sang a song about heaven together. One that they themselves made up.
With joy we sang, in our chanting way, through all the pain and sorrow, about being in the presence of our Savior.
Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
1 Peter 1:8-9
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
Matthew 28: 19-20