The past week has been pretty interesting here. The part of the island I live on is doing a “culture show.” (I tried to post pictures for this post, but blogger was having trouble.) There are no tourists here to look at such things. This is all for themselves. Perhaps the closest thing to it in the states would be a county fair. However, this is not like any fair you have been to. As I sat down looking at the tribal dances taking place, the Lord used this time to remind me why he has called me here: there are still so many people in total darkness. The tribal dancing was taking place walking distance from my house. As I arrived, I was quickly ushered to the very front by a group of men. They saw I had a camera, and I think that is why they took me to the front. (Everyone on the island knows I am the Baptist missionary. Had they not took me to the front I would not have seen anything. People were everywhere.) One of the dances they did was describing eating another human. Cannibalism is now over with, but just as few as 50 years ago, it was very much a part of the culture on this little island. The first missionaries on this island were chased out by cannibals. Some of their dances are for calling in “spirits” to give them strength and to help the men find women for their lust.
Another interesting event was with my truck, again! This time my battery started leaking battery acid all over. I did not know it until Sunday morning when my truck would not start. The road bounces the battery all around, so it was just a matter of time before this happened. My family and I push started my truck. The lights of my truck have also decided not to work now. When coming back from the village one night, every time I would hit a bump, the lights would go out. Now, there are no street lights to light the road here, so when your truck lights go out, it is just pitch black. The only way I could get them back on was to hit another bump, which was not all that hard considering the lights were not working! Soooo my family and I drove for over an hour hitting bump after bump as the lights went off and on. Pretty entertaining, actually!
This week I also attended a bride price ceremony. This is the wedding custom here in PNG. Here, the man must buy the woman from her family. The amount he has to pay is called the bride price. It can be very expensive in some parts of the country. The man also needs to buy anywhere from one to six pigs as well. A pig here is worth a lot of money. You do not mess with another man’s pig! The ceremony is very simple and it is also a sad occasion, not a happy one! There is some joy in it of course, because two are getting married. However, the people at the wedding cry and mourn because they are loosing the woman from the clan. Once she is married she goes to her husband’s clan. One thing I like about that idea is when I think of it terms of our Christian life. When one gets saved, he needs to leave his old “clan” for good, and only follow the Lord. He needs to leave the ways of this world behind and follow his new family, God’s family. No reason to look back! No reason to dwell on the past, just look to your future and follow the Savior!