I just wanted to ask for prayer for my house helper. Her name is Ibu (Mrs.) Ana, and she has worked for me from the day that we moved here to Wamena (almost 4 years now!)
A little background about Ibu Ana: she is her husband’s second wife, which is not uncommon at all here in Papua, unfortunately. She was married previously to a man from a different city here in Papua. They had several children together, and then he went back to his hometown. She started to wonder about him, and when she went looking for him, she found him married to another woman! So she came back to Wamena as a single mom with several children. Now, from what I understand, the man she is married to now felt sorry for her and took her in and married her, even though he already was married. So, that’s the background…
Today she came to me with some concerns. She said that her husband’s first wife (still married to him) is jealous of her. Even though they don’t even live in the same town (Ibu Ana is from another town here in the Baliem Valley – a several hour bus-ride away – and that is where the first wife lives), and the husband supports the first wife with rice and money, much more than he supports Ibu Ana. Ibu Ana supports herself with the money she earns working for me, and lives in a small house very close to the MAF base. Well, she told me today that recently this first wife beat her and took her clothes, leaving her naked! (I don’t know if this happened here in Wamena or at a time when Ibu Ana was back in her hometown visiting family.) She has heard from friends that the first wife is making plans to come here to Wamena and beat Ibu Ana again in the next few weeks. She has gone to the police, as she did the first time she was beaten, but honestly there is not much the police can do. She has made arrangments for her kids to walk her to the gate of the MAF base in the morning, and then meet her again at the gate when she is ready to go home, so she won’t be walking by herself. (her kids are teenagers, not young children, but still…)
I know that many of these problems could probably have been avoided if the men here would not take multiple wives. But unfortunately, it is still something that happens here. Please pray for my helper, that she would not live in fear. Please pray for her husband’s first wife, that God would work in her heart and that she would not harbor jealousy or anger towards Ibu Ana. Please also pray for Ibu Ana’s safety. Thank you.
I will try to let you all know what happens. Although, I probably will only hear anything if something bad happens. Because if the first wife never shows up, then life will continue as normal… So no news is good news!