A few weeks ago, my crew of carpenters showed up at my door agitated and angry. They had just visited the construction site where our mission house is being built, and they noticed that someone had come and stolen my big stalk of bananas and a ripe papaya from my garden during the night. This was not the first time. For the last two years, someone has stolen everything from my garden piece by piece before the fruit became ripe. People come to my worksite and walk away with lumber, nails and tools as well. The feeling of being robbed again and again has been simmering in my heart for weeks now. I have found myself getting grouchy with the many bystanders that flock to our construction site. I feel like a guard dog with my teeth showing. I feel guilty about these emotions. I know I’m not being the loving missionary I ought to be.
My carpenters asked my permission to take care of the thief the PNG way. Before giving my consent, I asked what they planned to do. They told me they would get a syringe of poison and inject the remaining papayas with a lethal dose. And just like that, our thief problem would be over. Horrified, I told them I didn’t want to kill anyone.
In that moment, a thought flashed into my mind to pray for the thief instead. I want this person to know what happiness an honest life will bring. So I am praying for the blessing of God to fall upon the thieves so that their consciences will be pricked and they will begin listening to the call of the Holy Spirit. Will you join me in praying for the conversion of our thieves?