To this untrained eye this waterfall looks like a jungle paradise. A place all of us would love to discover and experience, an oasis of cool after a long hot hike…to the untrained eye. To a person who has been brought up in these mountains of Hewa territory this waterfall invokes pure terror in a locals heart. This is where the BAD spirits live, the ones that eat your soul and extinguish your life. This waterfall is to be avoided at all costs. That is the product of animistic thinking, there are places of bad spirits and of good spirits and the people are ruled by their fear of certain things and are required to appease the spirits.
To the untrained eye this is a stunning valley of beauty, an airstrip that offers life and a link to civilization and medicine, an incredibly lovely location to explore and experience God's beautiful creation…to the untrained eye. To the Hewan people that live here the deeper one travels into this valley the more terror grips their heart. This valley is filled with the worst spirits and the lower you go the larger and scarier they become. This is a place only a witch would live and this is considered a village of witches as only witches would live so close to the evil spirits.
This Animistic thinking is how the Missionaries truly know the people that have decided to live near them in this valley are true believers of Jesus. Only a true believer would live near such horrible spirits as they no longer rule their life and no longer strike terror in their hearts. We were privileged to live there for 8 days but the Missionaries have lived there for years and are seeing the fruit of their labors as people have come to a saving knowledge of Jesus and no longer live in terror of the spirits of the forest, waterfalls, trees and the fear of spirit eating witches. They no longer fear death as they know Christ defeated death.
Hewan Christians need your prayer as they are on a journey of truth and learning God's word for themselves. They just finished Romans and are taking a break until they all come together for the next study. Please pray for the Missionaries as the spiritual battle is very real and Satan does not want them to succeed. Please pray for the Hewan people that have not decided to believe, they are lost and hurting souls, afraid of spirits and living a life of terror.
Honestly if you would like to learn more of this tribes history and belief system the Missionary -we visited with and love dearly - Jonathan Kopf has written a book you can buy on Amazon, called Canopy of Darkness. It is entirely eye opening to the life of a Missionary and to the spiritual journey of the tribal people they minister to. If you would like an eye opening book that helps you know how to pray for our Missionaries this book is entirely gripping and honestly I couldn't put it down.
You can also buy the book at Entrust Source Publishers if you would like Jonathan's family to benefit from your purchase.
We have more stories to come but for now please pray for the Hewan believers as God's word continues to penetrate every aspect of their life. Please pray for all of our Missionaries in the bush, Satan would love to see them fail, he attacks our marriages, he attacks or mental health with fear, frustration and worry, and he attacks our physical health. Pray the Missionaries would cling to God's truth as they face each trial and sickness that comes their way as they are isolated and depending on co-workers and the availability of the next flight. Pray we would all depend solely on God and trust that everything that we face, pleasant or troubling, has come to us only after it passed through God's hand as He has allowed it!
This is a walk of faith, but God is FAITHFUL!