Three days ago we read Psalms chapter 9. The verse 9 and 10 captured our attention:
The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.
Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you. – New Living Translation.
The word “oppressed” is very familiar to us. The Lisu/Yobin tribe of India has been (let me use multiple words) marginalized, oppressed, misrepresented, pushed around. A few examples would just suffice.
- Removed Indian citizenship and branded a refugee from 1980 – 1994. Still Scheduled Tribe status has not been restored till today.
- Chased away from our homeland and settled ex-army families at gun point.
- Our only road to town, Miao-Vijoynagar Road has been abandoned since its construction till recently. Still we cannot reach home.
- Our villages – Nibodi, Yibidi and Miphutu – were burnt down by forest officials and administrators in the 1970s.
As a result we have much difficulties and negative consequences.
- I have to travel 10 days from Bangalore to Shidi.
- Less than 1% of Lisu people are employed in government offices.
- Many people die due to malaria, dysentery. Forget the people who die of serious diseases; no use of talking about them.
- Rarely anyone pass matriculation from our high school. There is nothing to learn – no teachers.
In this context, I am greatly encouraged by the words from Psalms. The words “shelter” (hwapheu) and “oppressed” (nyizi) communicate better. Hwapheu is victory center or source of victory. God is the source and he ensures even those who are wedged in between.
May our people never forget the God we and our fathers worship. He doesn’t and cannot forget His children.