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Why is the Earth Shaking?

Pilots Mike McGregor and Jon Leedahl (light blue shirts) with the Maliyali team and villagers.
Tags: Papua New Guinea, Papua-Neuguinea
POSTED ON Apr 06, 2018 by Wonita Werley

Earthquake after earthquake rocked the highland region of PNG starting on February 26.
Helicopter pilot Mike McGregor had just flown two hours into a Maliyali village, bringing consultants to do a language check for the missionary team.

While the consultants worked, Mike had a few days to sit back and observe the villagers’ reactions to the terrifying rumblings shaking the earth around them. Each night, he watched as the people solemnly gathered, struggling to deal with the intense fear generated by the unknown. They took turns telling what they thought was happening — why, when, and where it might happen next — and what could be done to stop it.

The Maliyali are animists. They believe everything bad happens because of supernatural powers reacting against somebody’s actions. So … who did what to cause this earthquake? Or who didn’t do something they should have? What spiritual forces were at work — and how could they convince those forces to stop the earth from shaking?

The missionaries in Maliyali would love to jump right in and tell the villagers the real reason why bad things happen. They’d love to explain that God is more powerful than these earthquakes — and how they can be safe in His family, no matter how much the earth shakes. They want to let them know that God is already fully satisfied with what Jesus has done on their behalf.

But they can’t. The team is still learning the language and culture. They are continually observing, taking note of what the people say, what they think, and how they view events. It won’t be long before they can clearly present who God really is and how He has made a way of salvation.

Thanks for helping make aviation available to sustain the Maliyali team in the village. Pray that they will remain steadfast in study until they can teach the gospel to this people group.