People like Matiro in the Awa culture were caught up in God's love when they discovered God was a God who gave them things rather than expecting them to give Him things. They valued the fact that God gave them His only son. Matiro and other Awa men and boys deeply and personally know what it means to sacrifice a son, because their culture lives daily with the fear and threat of revenge killings of sons to pay for the sins of the fathers. Matiro also understands this concept deeply because he is a son, targeted to be sacrificed and murdered at any time by his father's enemies. But Matiro sees the difference between his own death and the death of Jesus. Jesus' death would bring life, peace and joy to people, Matiro's death would not bring anyone life or joy or peace. Matiro's death would bring more death in the endless cycle of death and hatred and revenge that had been going on so long in his culture.
When a group of men surprised him and surrounded him in his sweet potato garden he knew that they had come to kill him for his father's sins. He did not want to die, but now that He had met Jesus the special son his situation was vastly different. We have a relationship with Jesus and express our communication with him as being in our heart, Matiro expresses the same relationship by saying that he hears Jesus' voice speaking clearly to "his liver". This must be the organ representing the innermost being of man to the Awa culture! He had also asked Jesus to live in his liver. So now that Matiro knew Jesus as Savior and new Jesus was with him even when a group of men were there to kill him, he was ready to go to heaven with Jesus if it was what Jesus wanted. He knew that God was more powerful than the evil spirits he had been taught to fear as a child. At this point he dropped to his knees to speak to God in preparation for his death at the hands of these men. "At least I can meet Jesus in this (kneeling, head bowed in prayer) position. Because Jesus had bowed his head on the cross for me."
"O Big One, in your Book you say you are able to protect me or to let these men kill me. I would like to hear my baby laugh again. I want to walk the path holding my son's hand again. I want to eat sweet potato dinner with my wife again. I want to teach my people about you. (He was helping the misisonaries to interpret the scriptures into Awa) so these pay-back killings won't keep happening." He continued praying to the Lord and then when he finished he opened his eyes and discovered that the men who had come to kill him had gone away. He felt like he had experienced a resurrection- because in his culture death was certain, it was just a matter of timing when the men might come. And here he was alive and his enemies all gone! Jesus had saved the first son in his culture!
Matiro is a good humble reminder for me in his prayer style.