Monday, August 13, 2007

Church Shootings at Neosho, Missouri

(Courtesy Fox News)

So what does this tragic incident have to do with me?
Actually quite a bit.
The people of this church are from Micronesia, (not to be confused with Indonesia, see map below), the place where my husband has been visiting every year for the past 25 years. (I have been there three times). His task has been to teach Bible classes for the Islanders, on the islands of Pohnpei and Chuuk. The Islanders would then return to their own islands (there are close to a thousand of them, not all of them inhabited), and teach their own people what they have learned.

Micronesia, Pacific Islands

In addition to these many islands in the Pacific, there are a number of Micronesian communities here in the United States. Neosho is one of these.

This is Kohne and Elsie who are from Pohnpei,
(actually Pingelap, to be more accurate, but you won't find Pingelap on many maps) They are dear friends of ours. They went with us to England in May and June. They now live on Saipan where Kohne is a pastor to a Micronesian church. In recent years he has been teaching Bible classes to his own people, and then after they are trained, he sends them out to various Micronesian communities. It so happens that Neosho was one of the communities to which he sent one of his graduated students. In fact, after our trip to England, Kohne and Elsie went to Neosho to visit the church there before returning to Saipan.

The senior pastor of Neosho was killed. The assistant pastor, the man Kohne had sent there
, was also killed. He and his wife had attended one of my husband's classes when he was on Pohnpei. Another man was shot and six of the congregation are in the hospital.

Because all these communities and islands are so small, everyone seems to be related to everyone else, so you can imagine how this news has shocked the Micronesian communities throughout the world.

These dear people need our prayers as they try to navigate the next days and weeks. With their church leaders gone, it will be more difficult for them to make the necessary decisions. So please pray for them.

To learn more about the Micronesians, read my book "Good News Comes to Pohnpei"
written by Birgitt Gehring, edited by Christine Jones.

1 comment:

Wanda said...

Thank you for sharing this story. My goodness, I will be praying for this situation. How sad. We live in hard times.