Avoro's Homecoming!

avoro and trina
 Avoro & Trina, June 7th, 2013

Included in the pictures is one of Trina and Avoro, the last time we saw our sister alive on this ground. The Huruta funeral was a very special time, and not only reacquainted us with many Orokolo, but also provided a lot of cultural information and experience. We arrived on a Wednesday, with the expected arrival of the body and Moresby family members on Thursday. A house cry was in progress at Avoro’s sister’s home and the mood in the village was sweet, but subdued. Because Avoro and her family were believers, the church youth and all who wished, stayed up each night with the family, singing hymns to encourage them. A sister-in-law of Avoro made sure that those who stayed all night with the family had tea and sago as desired, and it seemed like someone was always cooking!  On Thursday morning, the shelter that had been built for the service was decorated and also, a path was planned and adorned with flowers for those carrying the body to follow. The last part of the family’s trip with the body was by dinghy, so, as the tide was out when they arrived, the body had to be carried quite a way, and they arrived late Thursday afternoon. As soon as the body got to the edge of the village, a great deal of wailing began and continued as the body was brought into the shelter. Pastor Maisa felt that it would be best to sing a few hymns, and for Wil to just say a few words in testimony, postponing the actual service until the next day. He used Avoro’s favorite Scriptures, Psalm 121:1,2.  Friday morning a service was held that included special music by Trina and others, testimony about Avoro, and Wil preaching.  All were encouraged by the reminder that our sweet sister was not really there in Huruta at all, and what a terrific time to share the gospel!! Much of Brother Jerry’s family is lost.  The casket was opened following this service, allowing for viewing of the body. This was the largest demonstration of grief we had ever witnessed. After all who wished had an opportunity to look, and the crying subsided some, the pall bearers closed the casket and carried it a short way to a grave that had been dug underneath the home of Avoro’s parents. A hymn was sung and Wil preached briefly here too from John 11. All were dismissed. Jerry stayed at the gravesite, and food was brought to him there. The nightly house cry gatherings continued through Monday, when the Port Moresby family departed. One of the things we really appreciated was the fact that time was given during the process to talk, remember, and grieve. Sometimes it seems even “death” has to be handled in an efficient way in the States – we desire the quickest route to “moving on”.  Maybe that journey would be facilitated by a slower start.