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Archive for August, 2006

Greetings Everyone,

Only PNG could produce the situation we encountered this week. Ganta, the leader of one of the new outreaches is in jail. Three men stole some of his possessions and he reported it to the police. The police arrested the men in Alotau (100 miles away) and they said it was a fourth man. The police let them go and put the forth man in jail for two days. When he got out he wanted Ganta to pay 750 kina because he had been wrongfully jailed. Ganta both couldn’t and wouldn’t pay it so the police put him in jail for six weeks!! When he is released he can appeal and should be exonerated and maybe the real culprits apprehended — maybe.

Anyway, we went to visit him in jail last week. He’s not worried at all, doesn’t want to be released yet and is rejoicing at the opportunity to preach to a captive (no pun intended) audience. Every evening at eight o’clock, Ganta and another Christian, Benson (with a similar story), hold a Bible study. I asked him how many of the 20 inmates attend and he said, “All of them and the two guards!” and that several had made a commitment. The guard then told us he was pleased the two men were preaching to the inmates as many of them were young men and needed to sort their lives out. He then asked us if we would take the service there on Sunday. So we took a few others from the church here and were joined by two men from the COC church. Phil gave a strong salvation message looking at ‘How bad, as a slave to sin, life is’, ‘How big God is’ and ‘How good Jesus is’. One man made a first time commitment after it and many others were challenged and Ganta said they would probably do so at their Bible study. Please pray for Ganta and Benson over the next four weeks as they minister to them and for Seta, one of the guards who told us he’d backslidden and should probably come back to church. Another good result was that the prison has invited the CRC and COC churches here to run regular services at the jail every Sunday. We gave each prisoner a Gideon New Testament and some basic Bible teaching notes from a pastor friend in Australia, to Ganta.

This is PNG. You never know what will happen next. It just makes life interesting and keeps your prayer life active!!.

On Tuesday, Thursday and Friday nights they had us speaking at Galowa church on the roles of men and women in the family and the church. Many from the other churches also attended these talks which were very well received.

We hope to leave Bwagaoia tomorrow morning with a team and start making our way through the Calvados chain to Sudest for more outreach work.

The weather is fining up at last. Hope it stays that way.

God bless you all,

Pam and Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

We’ve had a challenging time at Rossel Island. After the Sunday School teachers’ conference ended we returned eight girls to Buwo and picked up our team from there. The forecast was fairly savage and unlikely to change in the near future so we went ahead. For the nautically minded, we had up a triple-reefed main, the staysail and a reefed yankee in winds gusting to 36 knots. We would have flown across apart for the two knot current against us. For the non-nautical, we had pocket handkerchief sails up and gave the girls a thrill. They’re not used to a boat heeling and were sure we were going to tip over, especially when the wind generator screamed in the stronger gusts. Still “Maranatha” is built for heavy weather and it was a good trip.

When we anchored we were getting bullets of wind off the mountain. The strongest was 42 knots and flipped one of the outrigger canoes coming to meet us completely upside-down. Phil rescued him in our inflatable and then transported the team, their luggage and the usual mountain of food back to the yacht.

We returned the same day to Damunu for a two day ladies prayer and fasting conference. An issue that had been bothering me was the lack of men in the congregations on Rossel Island (not so on other islands). I challenged the ladies to pray by name for their menfolk and then to ask them to come to hear Phil talk the next day on the role of men in the church and the family. They poured their hearts out to God in prayer. About twelve men came and Phil did an excellent job of explaining how God holds them accountable for leadership in the church and in the home (Eph 5:22-33). The pastor was impressed and called a meeting of his church elders the following Monday for a repeat of his talk. I also spoke to a meeting of former graduates from the Yonga Bay Bible College and challenged them to put their knowledge into practice evangelizing their island.

Phil had also addressed the Bible College at Yonga Bay on the history of the nation of Israel from the fall of Jerusalem in AD70, the dispersion, WWII, the holocaust, the return to their land in 1948 up to the current war in Lebanon. They were extremely interested and had no knowledge of these things. He was asked to repeat it at Damunu before we left Rossel and again last night at the main church at Misima with quite a number from the United and UCM churches attending. We continually find instances where we have access to information these people here don’t have and they have a hunger to know.

Our plans changed and we made a quick trip directly back to Misima as one of the team members, Joe, was notified that his daughter had given birth prematurely (6 months) to twins, one of which died but the other is doing well. They don’t have any humidi-cribs or other equipment usually found in Australian hospitals for such cases. We are now planning to return to Sudest Island and meet up with some of the leaders from Rossel to help start a CRC fellowship on that island, something we have been praying for since the first year we came here as there is virtually no effective Christian activity on the island.

God bless you all,

Pam and Phil

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Greetings All,

I am halfway through a mini-conference at Rossel Island teaching 30 women and one man involved in children’s ministry. One of the things that delights me is to see the four young women who had attended my conference in Misima two years ago all now serving confidently in positions of leadership. When they came before they were young, shy and not at all sure they could do anything. Now three are leading workshop groups for me and one is at Bible College. All show great growth and maturity and a real commitment to serve God.

The other thing that delights me is to see how they have gone throughout their island, teaching the whole course I taught them, to others very effectively. The ones I am teaching now are from the new fellowships on the north coast, many of them very new Christians, shy, not at all sure they can do anything but already responding to the teaching. It’s such a joy to see the ripple effect from the teaching we do — so little goes so far.

They certainly are making good use of our time here and that of the team we brought with us from Misima. I don’t think Phil and I have ever done such a concentrated six weeks of ministry in our lives and the team are all rejoicing in the results of their ministry tours to the outlying districts and are all want to come back and do more.

We had an interesting time last week when they asked us to go to a village and speak to the family of an 18 yr old youth who had died as a result of sorcery. We had a very good talk to them and were able to give the gospel to very attentive ears. They are very afraid of the sorcerers over on this island and also the island we will be going to next. They had a big public meeting with about 150 people just near where we are more do discuss the problem. There was much shouting and yelling but nothing achieved. However, it does give the people we are working with the opportunity to witness to them regarding the power of the Blood and their lack of fear of evil spirits speaks very loudly to the rest of the locals.

We leave Rossel on the 14th and before returning to Misima will have a weeks ministry on Sudest Island, launching the first CRC Church on that island. It is a very needy place full of fear and sorcery with virtually no effective Christian witness. The people there beg us to stay and teach them the truth every time we pass through. It has been on our hearts to see a fellowship started there since we first came to PNG so it is a joy to be part of this beginning.

Two things we keep being asked for are Study Bibles for pastors and church leaders and Good News Bibles for those who struggle with English. If any of you have access through your churches to either of these requests you might like to keep them for us to take back next year. The need is so great especially with the huge growth we have seen in Rossel this year.

The weather has finally cleared up a bit with fine days and the normal 20-30 knot winds. Hope it stays that way.

God bless you all,

Pam and Phil

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