Announcing the home-going of our village friend Alimpu.
After a long battle with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease brought on by living in smoke filled huts), Alimpu entered the Lord’s presence on the first day of February 2013. I helped the family carry Alimpu’s frail and lifeless body to our church where we joined his relatives and other villagers in grieving the loss of their patriarch (pictured left).
You may remember hearing about old man Alimpu years ago when we wrote to tell how he and his family had been asking for someone to come to their village to teach them the message of the Bible. It wasn’t until January of 2008 that Susan and I were able to move to Alimpu’s village and live in their huts as we helped Yanis and Ken teach God’s Word there for the first time. Alimpu and his grown son Fato were among the first to believe the message of the cross and yield their lives to the Lord. If you would like to know the story of how Alimpu publicly burned his bag of spirit appeasement possessions and then demonstrated his faith by baptism, please feel free to read the account here.
The night after Alimpu died, another old friend of ours in a different Hewa village died, and then the next day one of the preteen boys in our village fell and broke his arm while playing in the river. These kinds of tragedies, and their sudden succession, have a tendency to put immediate fear in the hearts of the tribal people as they have believed that all sickness, injury and death are a result of evil spirits who have somehow been able to attack them. Please pray that during these difficult days the Lord will strengthen the faith of the believers, and that they will boldly speak out to point people away from fear and superstition to focus on Jesus and what He has done to give them eternal life.
In the hours after Alimpu’s death, John George and I helped a few men fashion a crude casket from planks. As soon as we were done our Bible teacher Yanis held Alimpu’s memorial service, teaching from I Thessalonians how that we as believers can have confidence from our trust that Christ will give us new life and how we will see Alimpu again when the Lord returns. Yanis and the other teachers did a terrific job pointing the mourners to the saving and resurrecting power of Jesus. Please pray the Lord will speak to hearts, and that many more Hewans will accept what Christ has done as they are considering their eternal destiny.
Thank you for your love and prayers and gifts! We are deeply grateful for your part in sharing the love of Jesus with our Hewa tribal friends here in Papua New Guinea. Thank you!
Jonathan, Susan & Mikenna