Friday, October 06, 2006

ANOTHER DAY IN PNG: HOLD UP IN OUR OFFICE.



This week was an exciting one: we had our first hold up at the new office.

Two raskols held one of our drivers at gunpoint in our car park with a hand-made gun and took the keys to one of the ADRA four-wheel drives and took off. As they backed out of our driveway, they threatened our security guard and scratched one of our staff member's cars with the stolen vehicle.

They didn't get too far thankfully as ADRA has installed motor vehicle kill switches in each car (yes, we've had cars stolen before) and they got as far as Kamkumung, which is about five minutes from the office before the engine stopped.

The police did catch them and had their way with them also, which wasn't very nice, and not uncommon. And we had two very shaken up staff members as a result of the hold up.

The vehicle came back in one piece, but what was interesting was the reaction of the ADRA employees as a result of the incident.

One of our staff members went to the police station with our driver to report the incident and took some photos of the raskols after they had been beaten up by the police.

He came back to the office and emailed the photos to the rest of the staff. Some of them were happy about the beatings as these employees felt retribution and 'payback' for their crimes. But there was a response from some others asking for forgiveness of these two men. Suggestions to assist these two raskols included feeding them, giving them bible studies and praying with them.

So guess what? A rehabilitation program has been arranged for the two raskols, food was provided for them, painkillers for their injuries and first aid equipment for their wounds. A few even spoke to one of the raskols (the other couldn't come to the interview room due to his serious wounds from the bashing) and they accepted offers of help. These guys were fed and prayed with by ADRA staff. What a turnaround!

One of our work guys said, "Just looking into the eyes of this young man my heart reached out to this lost soul. We offered a word of prayer in our hearts whilst Tamalu (see pic above of Tamalu with the hand made shotgun) chatted with the prisoners. And we pray that they will finally be lead to the saving Grace of our Lord Jesus."

It gets me thinking about crime in this country. There are many people who I know wouldn't dare come and live here because of the security issues. We see it first hand here regularly and see how people live in fear and won't leave their houses at night. There are continual break-ins, hold ups and even recently, our own lives were in danger and our car damaged extensively as a result of an attempted hold up. To say it was 'too close for comfort' is an understatement.

So, I was so proud to see that our own staff at ADRA, despite being sick of the crime waves and worried for their families' lives, stopping and thinking about what Jesus would do. Was it easy? No. Some of the staff that visited these raskols have been held up and had guns held to their own baby's heads.

How would we respond if it was our child? Our family? Our belongings? In the comfort of our nice homes and safe (well, compared to PNG) country. Would we do what Jesus would have done?