Introduction / History
The Pal people speak a language called Pal and are spread out along the southeast end of the Adelbert mountain range in the Madang Province of Papua New Guinea. The bush trails linking the eleven Pal hamlets are steep, with the highest peak just under 5,000 feet. For generations the Pal people have been intimately acquainted with the skills needed to survive in a treacherous mountain region. They are experts at subsistence farming and as adept at hunting wild boar as they are at surviving massive mudslides, earthquakes, and the flash floods that pervade their tropical environment.
The Lutheran missionaries in the Madang Province introduced Christianity to the greater area in 1887. Later, national Lutheran missionaries were trained at remote stations and sent out to spread the Gospel to villages in the vicinity. For the Pal people, the Adelbert mountain range proved to be an obstacle that prevented national missionaries from coming for eighty-seven years. Finally, in 1965 and 1966, the national missionaries from Wanuma Station braved the rugged mountain terrain to establish a church among the Pal people in the villages of Wambupu and Naburume. Within the last decade the Apostolic and Catholic Churches have also been established in the Pal area. However, the Lutheran Church remains the dominant church.
Two thirds of the Pal have membership in either the Apostolic, Catholic or Lutheran churches. Church workers in the area report that those who hold a church membership attend church regularly. But many in the community who call themselves Christians would be considered syncretistic, because they generally combine traditional religious practices with Christianity. To break this trend, it is critical that the Scriptures become available to the Pal people. Though they are a small people group, numbering only a few, they have expressed a need for God's Word in their own language. Please pray they will have God's Word in a language they truly understand.
Bring His Word to the Pal people. Pray that a team would be assigned to work with and train national translators in the Pal language group. (Since the level of education is quite low in the area, there is a greater need for formal instruction and training for the national mother tongue translators.)
Help the Pal people establish schools in the area. The next generation of Pal speakers need to be educated, but there are no government funds to help establish schools in the area. In PNG, it is common for communities to start their own schools using the educated people in the village to teach the next generation. Pray that the Pal people would be proactive and establish schools within their own communities.
Break the strongholds associated with syncretistic practices. Pray that the Pal people would be whole-heartedly devoted to God, and would continue to seek Him and hunger for His Word daily. Pray also that God would reveal to the Pal people changes that need to be made in their daily lives so that they reflect Jesus more fully. In addition, that God would give the Pal people wisdom and understanding in breaking the spiritual strongholds associated with their syncretistic practices.
Scripture Prayers for the Abasakur in Papua New Guinea.