Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Martyrs of New Guinea: 3 September 2012 (Tranferred from Sunday)

The Martyrs of New Guinea:

New Guinea is a very difficult place for missionary work.  Rough terrain, few roads, over 500 languages, cannibalism and other factors made it a tough place to work.  Christian missionaries first appeared in this area in the 1860s.  They suffered many privations in their work.

When war broke out, it became oblivious that Europeans would be in danger.  The Anglican Bishop, Bishop strong wrote to his missionaries,

"We must endeavour to carry on our work. God expects this of us. The church at home, which sent us out, will surely expect it of us. The universal church expects it of us. The people whom we serve expect it of us. We could never hold up our faces again if, for our own safety, we all forsook Him and fled, when the shadows of the Passion began to gather around Him in His spiritual and mystical body, the Church in Papua." 

The eight “official” martyrs of New Guinea were 8 Anglican clergy and laymen who were murdered by the Japanese as examples on the 2nd of September 1942.  They had the opportunity to flea, but stayed in order to continue serving the people of Papua New Guinea.  Lucian Tapiedi  was killed with an axe.  The rest were beheaded by the Japanese.  During the course of the war, another 333 persons of various Christian denominations died for the faith and to help the Papua New Guineans.  

The Anglican Church and other denominations are thriving today in Papua New Guinea.

Collect:  Dear Lord, as the faith in Papua New Guinea was watered by the blood of martyrs willing to give up all for you, help us to also be always ready to make that final sacrifice for you, this we ask in the name of him who died for us.  Amen.  (red)

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