Menu Close

Toilet tales

An encounter with God sometimes comes in unusual ways.

Aini sat in the teaching house listening faithfully to the first lesson of the firm foundations teaching.

“God created the animals and the plants and the trees and all the food we eat,” thundered Wusaraambyan Bible teacher Willis. “We were lied to by our ancestors. They told us that the spirits created everything. We don’t have to do all the chants anymore. God doesn’t want us to chant; He just wants us to believe Him.”

Fear rippled through Aini’s frame as she listened intently. After a few moments, she angrily interrupted the Bible teacher to exclaim,” If we stop chanting to the spirits, they’ll destroy our gardens, make our kids sick, and make us old people die!”

Several others joined her in the outcry against the message being proclaimed, but soon the cry settled down as the villagers listened intently to the creation story.

On her way home, Aini picked up fire wood to start a fire for her grandchildren high up on the mountain ridge where they lived. Her son and daughter-in-law had left two weeks before to seek work in the city leaving Aini to care for her grandchildren.

She spat at the ground and grumbled, “They should be taking care of me.”

She had much to be angry for. Her husband had left her to join the spirit world when she was young! She had raised her children on her own. Now, when the spirits should have been good to her and made her children care for her, they were making her raise her grandchildren instead.

She was known in the village as “Angry Woman” because she had often hollered angrily at the younger village women or at her own children and grandchildren.

When Aini arrived home, she found three crying youngsters. They needed to go to the toilet, but thus far, the spirits had not showed Aini yet where to dig a toilet hole. All the places she had tried were too rocky.

Hurrying into the house to start a fire, she ordered the crying children, “Be quiet, and let me cook you sweet potatoes!” Their sobs soon ceased as they waited patiently for the promised food.

As she cooked, Aini thought about the white people’s God that Willis taught about. Was it true that he was bigger than the spirits?

“OK, God who made everything,” she called out through the night. “If you are there, prove yourself by putting the moonlight exactly where I am supposed to dig the toilet hole.”

Suddenly, the moon shifted in the sky and cast its light through the trees in the exact shape of a cross. The light was so bright there, that Aini knew this had to be the place. She started digging. Her shovel sunk easily into the soft ground.

All of a sudden, she began to wail as she realised that this God was real. She dropped her shovel with a clink on the ground and fell to her knees. This could be no coincidence; God was real.

The next day, Aini went to the teaching with great joy. The other villagers were astonished by the peacefulness she had about her. Confused whispers circled amongst the women as they waited for her to angrily dispute the Bible teacher’s words. Instead, she listened quietly.

One of the women asked her, “Why aren’t you angry any more, Angry Woman?”

She answered, “Because God is real! He helped me dig a toilet hole last night in soft ground when there was only rocky ground around.”

Suddenly the woman who had been the strongest opposition to God now became the strongest advocate for Him. For nearly three months, she came to the phase one teaching every day. Finally, she heard about the Saviour who had died for her on the cross.

“That’s the same shape that God spread the light to mark the place for me to build the toilet hole!” she exclaimed in amazement to her friends. “He wanted me to know that He had died for me on wooden posts that shape.”

That day, she told Jesus that she wanted Him to wash away her sins. He did. Now “Angry Woman” spends her time joyfully telling people about God instead of hollering at her neighbours.

Posted in Asia-Pacific, News, Papua New Guinea, Prayer Requests, Wusuraambya People