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Archive for October, 2006

Greetings All,

We are now quietly anchored at a pretty little island just off the mainland waiting for a weather window to come home and I’m thinking about how faithful God is.

As we left Woodlark Phil said, “Well at least we’ve finished our talks!” “Don’t be so sure”, I told him. We thought we were just going to drop off the delegate from Woodlark for the leadership conference at Alotau. We arrived at Alotau and went ashore to meet Pastor Fuwe, Chairman of the National HQ and Pastors Henry and Gill, the provincial leaders. They gave us seven teaching sessions, a total of nine hours, at the conference with half a day’s notice and with three sessions the following day. Phil’s faced dropped about two feet. “Don’t worry”, I told him. “I already know what we’re going to say.” We had a really hectic week but very worthwhile.

There are a lot of very committed young men at the local church at Alotau. They provided the music and the energy for the conference. One of the things I spoke on was “Preparing for the new Generation” and the need to include young people in church and recognize the enthusiasm and freshness they bring and give them the encouragement and guidance and training they need to get started. Three of them came up and shook my hand afterwards and said how much that was needed.

We are looking to arrange sponsorship for one young man, Jeremiah, to do a two year Bible College course at Port Moresby. The $1000 fee is extremely difficult for them to raise and he has been praying for four years for the finances to be able to go. He has a lovely open nature, a bright smile and that fluid movement when he’s leading worship that comes from having music in your veins.

Another young man, Jones, was ordained at the conference and it was a joy to see how universally loved he was by all that knew him.

Phil spoke on the leaders being like a football coach preparing the game plan and equipping the his team. It was well received and he was asked for copies of this sermon notes.

It was a very busy time for us but we feel we achieved quite a lot — good relationships and understanding with the National and Provincial levels, a bonding with the local church and some teaching that was well received by the delegates at the conference. The young man we brought from Woodlark extracted a photo from us and has pledged to pin it up on their church notice board and to keep praying till we come back and visit his village. We said, ‘That’s spiritual blackmail”!

We are feeling sad to be leaving. There are so many people here we love and it’s been a really good year but we are looking forward to being back in Australia and seeing you all and having a rest. Please pray for good weather and fair seas for the crossing as it has been a funny season and the reports are not encouraging. At the moment the first cyclone for the season is raging out near Vanuatu.

God bless you all,

Phil and Pam

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Greetings All,

We have been at Woodlark for the past week and a half — our first trip to this isolated island which seems to have popped up in the middle of the ocean miles from anywhere. The people feel very cut off especially as few trading boats or yachts call in and the nearest neighbours are more than 100 miles away. We may be taking some of the church leaders to a leaders meeting at Alotau, the only problem is it could be a couple of months before they can get back home on a trading boat.

The main church at Kulumadaw is a good two hours walk from where we are anchored so we are keeping fairly fit. Phil gave the sermon at the church there on Sunday while I took the whole Sunday School (about 50 kids of all ages). We’ve also spoken to several ladies’ groups and had a number of one – on – one counselling sessions. Phil spent yesterday composing a letter to a truck river who gave us a lift. He’s the first person we’ve met in PNG who doesn’t believe God is real. I asked him if he’d had a bad experience in his church or his life that made him think that but he said no — it was just logic. So Phil felt challenged to answer that statement and leave something with him that may cause him to rethink it. The church presented us with a beautiful ebony carving of a seahorse about 18 inches long.

We leave for Alotau on Thursday and will clear customs for Australia from there a week or so later. We’ve started to think of that first meal at Sizzlers and dream of carrots and snow peas (me) and chocolate and icecream (Phil).

See you soon, Aussies!!

God bless you,

Pam and Phil

PS We just got an e-mail from Tim tonight announcing the birth of a daughter for he and Angela. (Our fifth grandchild).

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