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Archive for June, 2006

Greetings All,

We have been a week at Misima, the main island in the Louisiades, waiting for a team to come together so we can do outreach first in Woodlark, 100 miles to the north and then in Rossel 100 miles to the east. Communications are a major problem here. One person tells us that three men are coming by trading boat from Alatou on the mainland of PNG and will be here this week, Another said they won’t be ready for another month so go to Rossel and come back for them later. We are waiting until after the weekend then going with whoever is here, weather permitting. So far the weather has been pretty awful for sailing.

Meanwhile we have had some interesting encounters. We went to church on Sunday and heard Kingsford preach a powerful message. It was good to see the funds to send him to Bible College had been so worthwhile. He is also taking mid week classes to train his people for evangelism. The other Bible College graduate, Lawrence, is coming with us to Woodlark so we will get to see him in action also before too long.

We had a meeting with the chief police inspector to discuss the closure of Misima as a clearance port. He wanted a copy of the e-mail we had sent to the Port Moresby customs re this matter and is going to chase up the business people in Misima to further the protest from their end. During our discussion he told us his testimony; how he had been a corrupt policeman, a womanizer, a drunkard and a thief and an elder in his church at the same time. He was converted and realized the need to live a holy life and many others have testified to us of the change in this man. He attends the PNG Revival Fellowship and he and his wife have been to the Gold Coast in Australia for a conference. He had us amused describing their terror in attempting to cross the road and deciding to do whatever the people around them did. He also told us how strange they found the food and how they asked their host to cook them some rice and sweet potato. I mention this man’s story to illustrate the situation of many people here, they regularly attend church but there is no evidence of a Christian lifestyle until they are challenged to a personal commitment to Jesus. They have a veneer of Christianity but not a life-giving faith. That is why we are here. Keep praying that we may have opportunities to present the full truth of the Gospel. Pray also for safe travel to Woodlark, our first time to this reef-strewn area; for good weather (so far we’ve had strong winds and lots of rain); for good health for us and the crew — our sores are healing but still tender and malaria is very prevalent this year.

Through all things we are trusting our God. He brought us here. “The one who calls you is faithful and He will do it”. 1Thes 5:24.

For our Gideon friends we have had a constant stream of people down to the yacht — now identified throughout the Louisiades as the boat with the Bibles — requesting a Bible. There is a tremendous hunger for the Word of God and a desire to go deeper. Praise God for this openness.

God bless you all,

Pam and Phil

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Greetings All,

This is our fourth day holed up on board in an isolated spot where the anchorage is good and the wind blowing like crazy. The weather is widespread and quite a few yachts, including a fellow Coastlands vessel are also holed up waiting to leave Australia. At least we are on the “right” side of the ocean. Although frustrating, it’s been good for us to have a number of rest days as we have both been suffering from tropical ulcers which if not carefully treated can eat right down to the bone. A trek we did at Motorina through ankle deep mud didn’t help. Thankfully they are on the now mend. Phil took a photo of the worst of mine and will be able to show you the gruesome image on our return.

We left for the 150 mile slog back to the Louisiades intending to take 3 to 4 days island hopping. However, I woke at 3am to find we had a N.E. wind and we decided to leave then and keep going right through. We had a mixed bag of weather with sudden squalls, high winds and rain but the wind stayed N.E. and the current sometimes with us — unheard of going eastward in these regions. The seas were relatively flat apart from on section where the bottom shelved steeply and the water swirled every which way knocking our speed back to 2 knots even when motoring. We arrived 29 hours later at Motorina in the main lagoon of the Louisiades, tired but pleased to have made it.

While at Motorina we had the opportunity to catch up with some friends, Ammon and Veronica. They came out to our boat bearing gifts — crayfish and some cooked yams and chicken soup. They brought another family with them to watch the DVD “The Cross Over China” which we were given by The Voice of the Martyrs. It’s a moving documentary of the explosive growth of the church in China. When the island people are interested in something they make a clicking noise with their tongue and there was a lot of clicking that night. It obviously challenged their faith as it does ours. Ammon and Veronica have made a stand and are living a godly life and trying to influence their kin to join them and it was good to be able to encourage them and leave them with some Bibles, daily reading notes and Christian magazines.

We also had a visit from Patrick, the elementary (infants) school teacher. It’s his first year teaching (they get six weeks training and then are sent out) and he has virtually no materials. I gave him a magnetic alphabet and number set given me by the op-shop ladies at Iluka and some exercise books and pencils. And, of course, he got a Bible.

When the weather clears, hopefully by Tuesday, we will proceed to Kimuta to unload some gear (Hurrah!) and on to Misima to see what the plans are for this year.

More later.

God bless you all,

Pam and Phil

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Greetings All,

We are HERE! The only good thing about an ocean crossing is arriving. It’s a bit like hitting your head against a brick wall — good when you stop. We had strong winds almost all the way and a beam swell that kept us on a constant roller-coaster ride. We had two “dramas” on the way. One when the wind kicked up to 30 knots and Phil went to put a further reef in the main sail only to find one of the reefing lines had tried itself to a shroud above the first spreader and the sail wasn’t going up or down. The second was just after we crossed over the reef and had our first sight of land. We hit a savage squall that whipped the wind from behind us to 38 knots on the nose, backwinded the sails, disarmed the autopilot and poured down bucket of rain. In the middle of it all, Coastlands Base called to give us a weather update!.

A plus for me was my new anti-seasickness device, a “wrist-watch” which delivers an electrical impulse every four seconds. It has several drawbacks. The main being that it’s difficult to sleep while being “jolted” and also difficult to maintain the correct wrist position while asleep, but all in all, I did the whole crossing with a clear head and settled stomach under conditions that proved a good test.

We arrived at Samarai at midday, five days after leaving Magnetic Island. It’s a small island with the dilapidated air of past glory. The main centre has moved to Alatou on the mainland of PNG. Felix, the Customs Officer, was out fishing and he apologized for the delay. We were only the second vessel to clear in there this YEAR so we can understand why he doesn’t sit in his office all day.

Now we have to face the 150 nautical mile bash back to the Louisiades against prevailing winds and current. We will probably island hop and improve our geography of the many scattered island groups on the way. Keep praying for safe travel and favourable winds for us and perhaps opportunities to sow into some lives on the way. Thankyou to those who sent e-mails back to us. We love hearing from you and find it a great encouragement.

God bless you all,
Love from
The Weather Beaten Sailors.

PS I’m writing this at night because my body clock says it’s time to wake up for my watch and it needs to be re-programmed.

In my last e-mail I forgot to thank all those people and churches who once again helped us with supplies and goods and finances for the work over here. They are very much appreciated by the island people. Also a special thanks to those who facilitated our transport and stay in Australia. WE very much appreciate that.

A note from Phil.

A couple of people have asked if we can use Bcc when sending the updates. Unfortunately the Amateur Radio “Airmail” programme that is used for HF radio data does not have a Bcc facility. As there are over 60 people who have indicated their wish to receive the e-mails I have divided them into three lots. Next time I will divide them into four lots to lessen to t number of Cc addresses you receive.

Phil

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Greetings All,

Today we cleared Customs en route for PNG. We are lying at anchor in an idyllic setting at Magnetic Island, some 12 miles from Townsville, without a breath of wind waiting for the South Easterlies to kick in so we can start our journey.

It’s a welcome break for us as we have been flat out getting ready to go. Everything seemed to take turns wearing out and the last couple of months we’ve replaced our inflatable dinghy (Never buy a Zodiac brand), one engine battery and four deep cycle house batteries, the engine alternator and the end piece on the spinnaker pole which decided to drop off under the lightest of breezes. They say BOAT stands for Break Out Another Thousand and it’s not wrong.

While Phil has been Mr. Fixit, I’ve been busy making a cover for the inflatable dinghy (not an easy job cutting out newspaper patterns with a gale blowing as it was at Southport), and provisioning for six months. The last has been the fresh goods. This week I’ve packed 15 kilos potatoes, 12 kilos onions, seven pumpkins, 60 carrots, 80 apples, 70 green tomatoes (rapidly reddening), 60 mandarins. As well as that I cryo-vacced two kilos each of chops, chicken legs and steak as well as some bacon and a 3 1/2 kilo lump of steak I bought already cryo-vacced.

We already have a mountain of dry stores and space is at a an absolute premium. Goods for the islands include two chainsaws, six blackboards, 100’s of exercise books, 60 pairs of reading glasses, 12 clocks for the pastors, boxes of Sunday School materials, a detailed set of flannel graph materials, three guitars, ten tambourines and several boxes of Bibles.

We have some new ground to cover this year as we can no longer clear Customs in Misima but must go to Samarai just off the tip of the mainland of PNG and fight our way back 150 miles against wind and current. We’ve been studying the charts and trying to work out what speed we will do (a hopeless task) so we can arrive in daylight for this unfamiliar territory.

It’s great to be back in contact with you all. We value your prayers immensely. I hope not to be as entertaining as last year with the sagas of the rats and the blocked toilet — but who knows what lies ahead?

God bless you all,

Pam and Phil

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