All men are murderers
It became evident that some of the guys in our village were guilty for a murder and that the family group of the person that was killed was demanding some sort of payment settlement. We asked a lot of people to explain what was going on but it took quite some time to get the whole story since people were trying to keep things hidden from us.
We found out that our people believe that any time someone dies, it is always thought to be caused by evil spirits or sorcery. When a person is very sick and about to die, other family members will ask that person if they have seen a dream of a person or an animal. If they have seen a dream with a person’s face, the family will ask whose face they saw. If the sick person says someone else’s name, that person is thought to be the sorcerer that brought about the sickness and death.
As soon as the person dies and is buried, the men of the family will get together and head off toward the village of the supposed sorcerer. They will sleep in the jungle and plan their trip in such a way so as to arrive at the house of the supposed sorcerer before daylight, about four or five in the morning.
At that time, some of the men will surround the house in order to kill anyone that may try to flee from the house. The other men break down the door and go inside and subdue everyone till they are able to find the person that caused the death of their relative. When that person is spotted (often a woman or girl), they will ask them if and why they did sorcery to kill the other person. Then they will kill the accused sorcerer and flee from the house for fear of retaliation.
After the raiding party has gone some distance, they will find a spring or creek and wash the blood from their axe, or machete, arrow or whatever they used to kill the accused sorcerer. Then they will run downstream and drink the water that is polluted by the blood.
We now know that this is not an unusual occurrence. Since there have been so many deaths by sickness in the history of the Hewa people, many people have been proclaimed sorcerers and have been killed by raids such as the one I just described.
At first, when we heard this story and knew the names of the guys that had murdered this lady in her house before daybreak, we were a little shocked. How could Seven, Foko, Lobet and the others have done this? They were our friends, living together, eating together. Seven was actually the one who had repeatedly asked that New Tribes Mission would send missionaries into Hewa in the first place. He appeared so peaceful, loving, caring–could this story be true? We have found out since this incident that a lot of the men that are in our tribe, maybe over half of them, have been on these midnight raiding and killing trips.
Right now we know of one man that is being hunted from village to village because he supposedly worked sorcery on seven different people. We hear that he claims that he is innocent but people think that he is the one causing deaths so they won’t quit chasing him till he is dead!
These people are in bondage to Satan and his ways. They are doing what they have been doing for centuries without the influence of the Gospel message. Don’t believe what people tell you on TV when they say to “leave the natives alone, they are happy the way they are.” We as a church need to reach out to these people groups all over the world with the freeing message from the Bible.