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Archive for August, 2007

Admiral’s Update 2007 No 11

Greetings Everyone,When you challenge these people they really rise to it! Phil’s leaders’ meeting was like that. There were about twenty five leaders gathered from all the Rossel fellowships. A full day’s programme was planned — prayer 5-6 am, worship 8-8.30 am, Phil’s session 9-12 them 1-3 pm after lunch. Evening worship 6-7 pm and a missions challenge 7-8 pm and missions prayer 8-9 pm.

In the morning Phil spoke about the CRC church. We had known nothing about the CRC movement until we came to PNG and little then until this year when the Adelaide HQ gave us four books — one was on the history of the movement and three on the speakers’ notes from the 2003-4-5 international conferences. Both of us got really excited reading them on the way over and wanted to share this information with them and the vision God had given the leaders for the future. So Phil explained this vision and then gave the leaders a copy of the CRC charter and went through each section discussing with them what a CRC church was meant to be and the part that each of them had to play — from their local fellowship right up to the Christian Church worldwide.

It may sound dull but was anything but. You could see their vision for their own fellowships expanding as the day went on. In the afternoon Phil looked at each fellowship and outreach on Rossel Island in turn, challenging them to work together on a five year strategy plan for their future development. We finished the evening about 9.30? 10pm? but heard later from a bleary-eyed Kingsford, that most of the leaders stayed up till well after midnight talking over what had been said and planning for the future and committing themselves to meeting regularly and working closely together.

They said they had never before had teaching such as my Relationship Conferences and Phil’s leaders’ meeting and both had challenged them and given new direction for their leadership. Kingsford is planning similar programmes for when we return to Misima and is looking forward to seeing similar results on his island.

At present we are in Sudest Island. Rain and poor visibility has made it dangerous to thread through the reef to Jelewanga on the south side of Sudest so we are anchored on the north side and the team walked across the mountains to do the teaching in our place. Having sat through four lots of my teaching on Rossel Island they are more than capable and it’s good to see them “owning” the teachings while we kick back and have a rest and dine on the dolphin fish we caught coming back through the Rossel lagoon. The team are due back on Wednesday and then we will sail to Misima.

Please pray for Bruce and Dianne on “Pacific Mercy”. They are also with Coastlands and do a film ministry in the Louisiades. They are near Alotau on the mainland of PNG and they have serious engine trouble and are left with major decisions and few options.

God bless you all,

Phil and Pam

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Admiral’s Update 2007 No 10

Greetings Everyone,This has been my first experience of living in the village. I went with some trepidation but it was a very positive experience. It was a first time for the village people, too, and they were worried about how to meet the needs of a “Dim Dim”. They nearly spoilt me — provided a mattress, two pillows and a mosquito net in my bedroom; built a bathroom next to the river for our team and cooked chicken and sago as well as the usual yams for me to eat. Dascelo, the only lady on our team, and a good friend, stuck to me like glue and saw that I didn’t fall down the toilet or step on poisonous millipedes and helped me maneuver in the slippery slopes. I found out why they have predawn prayer meetings. The roosters — all four of them — start crowing about 4.30 am and keep it up every five minutes till daylight.

We went by dinghy with a 30 HP motor. We left late and the tide was already falling. The weather was rough and they couldn’t go outside the reef and there was too much coral exposed inside it so we got out and walked for miles along the beach. It was a pleasant walk but I was concerned for the time as I was supposed to start teaching at 10 am and it was already that when we left the dinghy. We arrived at 11.30 am. The village was expecting us but the outlying village people hadn’t arrived so they said we would delay starting til the next day. One of the pastors brought a pressure kerosene lamp and some kero and I packed three days teaching into two and did a night session as well.

One man, Gabriel, came to see Kingsford as he had lived with him in Misima and had been one of the original leaders but had backslidden. He told me he thought the teaching would be “Nothing much” but was deeply challenged by it and recommitted himself to working under the leadership of the local pastor and doing whatever was required.

There were a lot of divorced women in the gathering and it was a painful time for them. We prayed for them and also for the widows, including Luke’s wife and three children. I gave her a good photo we had taken of him and a letter saying our appreciation for Luke’s life and what he meant to us.

Back at the ranch, Phil had a fruitful time sharing with the head pastor there and also with a young man, Paul, who has been hovering on the brink of a commitment to Jesus for some years and whom we believe will one day be a strong leader . Phil also set up a meeting at the local community school for me to speak to all the students at 10 am the day after my return. I was feeling tired and looking forward to a break. Thanks Phil!!

On the 14th August Phil is chairing a meeting and all the key men on Rossel Island are coming. There are a lot of issues to be raised. Please pray for wisdom for Phil and that the decisions made will be acted upon.

God bless you all,

Pam and Phil

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Admiral on Rossel

Admiral’s Update 2007 No 9

Greetings Everyone,

A short e-mail to keep you up-to-date with our happenings. Today I’m going on a very wet and bumpy two hour power boat ride to the south side of Rossel Island for another teaching session. Please pray for me that I don’t succumb to the mosquitos or a tummy bug or fall down the bush toilet and for Phil, minding the boat, that he survives his own cooking.

Last Sunday was one of those memorable days when God does something special. Phil gave a challenging message on the call to missions and many were deeply touched and searching for God’s purpose for their lives. There are people here whom, I believe will take the gospel much further than their own shores.

Keep praying for the weather as constant rain is making it difficult for people from the more remote villages to attend the teaching. Many walk over mountains for half a day or more to get there. More on my return.

God bless you,

Pam and Phil

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Admiral’s Update 2007 No 8

Greetings All,

Your prayers make such a difference. The first day of the Relationship Conference at Buo was wild weather and the numbers were down but days two and three, the sun came out and dried out all the mud and many more people came from the more distant villages. Again the response was overwhelming.

One man who came with his family was Esau Paul. I’d heard about him when I wrote “The History of the CRC in the Louisiades”. He had started a church on the island of Ole in 1993 and then left to get his teeth fixed in Alotau and never came back. Another man, Matthew, reluctantly took over the leadership and kept praying for this man to return. I asked Esau how his teeth were and why he hadn’t returned. He laughed and said, “I was running away from God.” A modern day Jonah! He and his wife were very challenged by the Conference and he recommitted his life. He has real leadership qualities and I think, will now fulfil the call God put upon him all those years back.

We have now finished the third Relationship Conference at Yonga Bay, another deep bay along the west coast of Rossel Island where the wind whistles down in bullets over 35 knots and our wind generator screams it response. We must be anchored over a very large bombie (coral outcrop) as when we swing the depth sounder goes from 12.5 metres to 5.0 metres. The water is too dirty to see what is there. We are praying that the chain is not caught and the anchor will come up cleanly.

I wrote a letter to a couple I had met a couple of years ago. I had heard that George, the husband, had back-slidden so wrote inviting them to attend the teaching. They came and George asked many questions and was obviously reconsidering his stand with God. One of the questions he asked me was why couples as they grew older separated and lived in separate houses on Rossel and was it Biblical. I told him it wasn’t and I hadn’t been aware of this custom. One of our team members said it was a new thing since the ’90’s and becoming more common but no-one seemed to know why. George said it was an inspiration to them to see us still happy to be married after 38 years.

Please pray for the long term effects of my teaching. These people are challenged to rethink some of there cultural ways especially in regard to bringing up children but their habits are deeply ingrained. Immediately after hearing my teaching on lovingly disciplining your child, I saw one mother throwing rocks at a small child to hurry him along and then a father twisting the ears of his very young son who was embarrassing him by disrupting the meeting. We continue to hear horror stories from the past of children being burnt, being held under water (one girl with her uncle’s foot on her neck to keep her there),being tied up to a tree and made to watch the family eat their meals but not being given any themselves. Jokingly I said a “rod” was a small stick not a post, pointing to a support in the building, only to find out later that that was what was sometimes used. No wonder children are frightened of their parents and good communications so rare.

But things are changing and they are soaking up the teaching like blotting paper and already taking steps to heal past hurts and open up lines of communication. God is at work here!!

God bless you all,

Pam and Phil

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