|Rev Herman Awom|
On Sunday I received an SMS from West Papua. It read “The days are coming declares the Lord when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and will do what is just and right in the land.”
This text is from the Hebrew Bible and it speaks out of the experience of an ancient people living in exile who longed for justice and peace in their homeland.
The SMS was accompanied with the words “Selamat memasuki Adven” or “welcome to the entering of Advent”.
Advent is the period we celebrate before Christmas and it marks a time of waiting and expectation as the “Prince of Peace” is born among us.
My friend, the Rev Herman Awom, sent me this SMS. Herman is a minister with the Evangelical Christian Church in the Land of Papua. He is a passionate man committed to justice and peace for his people. Herman has been instrumental in setting up a clinic on his home island of Numfor to care for his people. He has spoken out, often at risk, to raise concerns about human rights abuses in West Papua and he has been an active mediator in the community to ensure peaceful outcomes to very tense and often explosive issues.
Thursday December 1st will be a critical day in West Papua as many Papuans gather to mark the first declaration of independence some 50 years ago in 1961. People are anxious about the future while Indonesian security forces are ready to act. History indicates their responses could be violent and brutal.
My friend, Herman Awom, is deeply committed to a peaceful resolution to the emerging crisis. Justice and peace will come at a cost. Hermon knows this.
Pray for our sisters and brothers in West Papua this week as they, like the ancient people of Israel, cry of for justice and peace. Remember our friends in West Papua as they wait with hope and with expectation for their true liberation.
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