PORT MORESBY – With Papua New Guinea under a state of emergency, I haven't been able to return to my home in Wabag and, here in the national capital, I continue to hear the lady next door pray to God every morning.
Today's prayer, translated from the Enga and Pidgin languages, went something like this.
Thank you God Almighty for giving us Papua New Guinea. It has oil, gas, gold and coffee and other rich resources but why we remain poor, only you know.
May this time of pestilence be a time when PNG can acknowledge you as our God and Saviour.
May it be a time when everybody repents and turns away from our bad ways. Forgive us our sins. Take us back. Guide our government
Thank you for keeping us safe thus far. Destroy the yoke and set us free. Protect our leaders and give them wisdom in our time of need. Let them bow down before you.
This tiny germ has forced them to their knees. From there, let them see you as the only one who can give them strength to face this tiny germ.
Other countries have many doctors, nurses and money but PNG lacks everything. But God you have kept us safe.
You are a merciful God, the God of Abraham, Jacob and Esther. You are the God who sent manna from heaven, the God who gave your people water in the desert.
You are the God who fed multitudes with only five loaves of bread. You are the God who healed the sick. Let PNG see you, the God of Miracles.....
And on she prayed....and like for the last three weeks, my ears were turned in the direction of her humble home.
And the birds continued to sing providing the background choir every morning, perhaps praising God as they've done for millennia.
They never fail to announce the dawn of a new day....