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Archive for August, 2008

Greetings Everyone,

We’ve had an adventurous time! We did a long, slow trip by banana boat to a remote village on the south coast of Rossel. They weren’t expecting us for another week (the message got mixed up). The house we were to stay in wasn’t finished — roof and floor but no walls. They quickly constructed a ladder so we could climb up and then went off to the garden to finish making sago and collect more food. It was very late by the time we started dinner and the old hurricane lamp didn’t give off much light. They had boiled some eggs as part of the meal and when Phil shelled his he thought it felt funny (couldn’t see well in the dark) and when he had a good look the contents had just started growing feathers. They all turned out to be the same.

The pit toilet hadn’t been built — just go down the slippery slope and find a spot in the mangroves — nor had the “bathroom” — so another slippery slope trip to the “bathing pool”. I took a photo of it — about one metre radius and less than half that in depth with clay all around. Phil nearly did a header into it and we decided washing wasn’t a priority and ended up muddier from the track than when we started. It has been raining almost non-stop here for several weeks and everything is water-logged. The mud here is so slippery it makes Teflon look like glue.

They really wanted to please us and killed two chooks as part of a meal. A young boy about four took the heads, threw them on the fire and cooked them and chewed away, eyes, beak and all with great enjoyment. Phil said if he’d had his way we’d have been eating the rooster that started crowing at 2.30am and kept it up non-stop until dawn.

This is a very poor area and Pastor Sigi told us that the first time he went to visit them (a three day walk over very high, wet and slippery mountain tracks), the only plates they had to put food in for visitors were old floats used by the Japanese long-line fishermen which had washed up on the shore and they had cut them in two to make bowls. Part of our trip this time was to take them some dishes, cups, cutlery, and children’s clothes.

After a late breakfast (11.30am after they had gone looking for food) of yams, taro, chicken and sago we had a meeting for us to speak to them and encourage them. Linus and his wife Concepta have started a CRC house church and their family and friends have ostracized them because of it — a fairly common scenario. But Dim Dims attract a lot of attention so, as well as immediate family here, we had three teenage boys an their way to soccer, two women and Linus’s brother. The meeting went really well — people so hungry to hear Bible teaching — and Linus was almost in tears that his brother had come. It takes courage for them to make a stand like this and God honours them.

After the meeting we left fairly quickly as we had a long trip home. The track to the dinghy was very slippery and I lost my footing going through the mangroves and with a bag in each hand, fell literally flat on my face and arose unhurt but covered in mud, all over my face and clothes. So much for dignity! As they were short of fuel, we then sailed the dinghy (banana boat) for about four hours using a sheet of plastic tied between two sticks.

Please pray for the weather here. We’re waiting now to do a trip to new areas on the north coast but it has been blowing like crazy and raining buckets full. We’ve got cabin fever and webbed feet!!

God bless you all,

Pam and Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

Three prayer points coming up!

Tomorrow I am taking all the Sunday School — about 65 kids from five to fifteen years old and then spending the rest of the day in a workshop  with their teachers showing them how to adopt the Scripture Plus and Connect materials we’ve brought from Australia.

On Tuesday we have a meeting with all the leaders here regarding a rebel pastor who is no longer part of the church but has come back and is attempting a take-over bid including the small Bible College.  He’s caused a lot of confusion and division.  Pray that all the leaders will come and for wisdom for Phil and Kingsford as they address the meeting.

On Wednesday we are going by banana boat to the south coast to visit a new outreach and will stay overnight in one of the villages.  We have purchased mosquito nets for doing this sort of thing but it still is an adventure with many challenges — not the least being that it has rained continually since we got to Rossel.

Pastor Sigi is his usual self and has found lots for us to do.  Phil has installed the HF radio and antenna, solar panel and battery and five lights — three in the church and two in the pastor’s house– a job involving quite a lot of climbing and construction work.  The people LOVE having communications and are catching on quickly to how to use the radio and calling up Misima and exchanging news.

I’ve been teaching guitar especially to Dailo and Joseph, two young people here, as no-one is playing guitar for church worship.  These two have the ability but not the confidence yet.  Dailo is playing in Sunday School for me this week for the first time and we hope to have both of them playing in church before we leave.

Our team are helping with the guitar lessons, and in practical ways — digging gardens, fishing and building a new eating area.  Sigi and Julie are caring for 17 students from outlying areas who are schooling at Damunu.  They are a very loving and sacrificial couple.  It’s really stretching their resources but they are happy to do it.

We are well and happy but food is getting more inventive as we have finished most of our fresh food from Australia.

God bless you all,

Pam and Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

Today we bumped coral for the first time. We were leaving early from an anchorage we’d only been into once before and exiting between a sand bar on one side and coral on the other.  We were trying to fine-tune our way point and bumped the coral.  It is not like sand where you slide to a stop.  It was a hard bump as the tip of the coral lump was broken off and we continued on.  Something to be said for steel hulls. (Probably shouldn’t tell you this as our insurance broker also receives the e-mails).  We do feel the value of constant prayer support as protection over us.

We have been travelling constantly for the last week or so, island hopping to work our way against the current and a determined easterly wind down to Rossel Island at the eastern end of the chain.

We stopped at Kimuta on the way and I was able to pray with Beatrice, the young lady whose baby had been dismembered.  I wanted to change that dreadful image in her mind and prayed with her to see Jesus reaching down, holding and restoring her child and taking him to be with Him.  In their culture no-one talks to the person who has had tragic things happen to them — just leaves them to deal with it alone.  She’d really been on my mind.  I feel it went well and only wish there was more follow up for her.

The effect in the community has been a large number of young people coming into the church and they have just started a youth group and are going to liase with Lawrence on Misima.  Please pray for Pastor Palaimo and for John Cameron and his wife as they lead the youth.

Another Christian couple, John and Jullianne on “Eirene” who are doing similar work to us, have a young man, Jordan, with them who is experienced in youth work and has promised to spend time with the youth and their leaders both on Kimuta and Misima and share ideas for games, music, programmes, leadership training, etc.  It’s exciting to see things coming together for these young people.

We have just arrived in Rossel and are looking forward to a church here today and catching up with a lot of friends.

God bless you all,

Pam and Phil

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Regards,

Sam Doyle
Site administrator.

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