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Archive for September, 2009

Greetings Everyone,

The music seminar was all that we hoped for and more.  We counted 157 attendees on the first day and more came over the next days.  I had 65 in my beginners group all of whom had never held a guitar.  We had 29 guitars, quite a few with strings missing and one without anything to attach them to.  The four guitar groups were divided again into two, working concurrently with the tambourine group to give everyone access to an instument.  The time-tabling for the various groups was quite complex and every day they got me to read over the timetable as I’m sure I had them quite baffled.

However, everything ran smoothly.  We used an old bugle we had on board as a change-over bell and people moved quickly between groups and obviously enjoyed each one.  On the final night we had a concert which was very unpolished because of the large numbers and short time but great fun and a breakthrough for many who had never “performed” before.  Every person had to do at least one item at the concert.

Three things in particular gave me great pleasure from this conference.  One was to see my 65 beginners all able to play D, G and A7, writing down five or six songs they could now go on with and keen to continue.  Another was to see the leadership team working incredibly hard and effectively.  I was especially proud of Ben, a young man showing great leadership potential, who took the top guitar group plus one of the 1 1/2 hour teaching sessions each day, and in between times played the guitar for the singing group.

The third thing was the overall results.  When we first came to Rossel Island eight years ago there were no guitars and virtually no one able to play.  Over the years we have supplied each of the eight main church fellowships with guitars.  The music seminar topped up the training for budding guitarists from all over the island so that many centres where they had no music now have a “band”, guitarist, singers and tambourine players.  It’s a big breakthrough and left the people grateful and excited.

We would love to get an experienced Guitarist/ worship leader/ worship song writer to come over for a few weeks and take them to a higher level then I can in these areas.  (Any volunteers for next year?).

We left Rossel after the conference with 33 on board, picked up another nine from Sudest Island and proceeded to Kimuta Island for a week long leaders conference.  After dropping them off we went to Misima and picked up another 45 and brought them to Kimuta for the conference.  This conference is going well with a lot of practical workshops on how to run funeral services, child dedications, baptisms, etc.  We haven’t had a big part to play in it, only a session on how to write letter for various situations, and are enjoying a more relaxed time and opportunities to sit and talk.

God bless you for yours prayers and continued interest in our happenings.

Pam and Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

A quick e-mail to enlist some prayer for the music conference.  We picked up 57 people yesterday ( record for the boat) to bring to the conference and another two yachts brought 20 plus more.  Counting locals, there will be well over the 100 mark.  Please pray specifically for:- 1)  FOOD. This number over a four day period will severely tax the local church food supply.  Several breakfast times are marked fasting on the programme simply for this reason.  2)  THE WEATHER.  Rain would make everything more difficult.  3)  The group leaders.  We have time-tabled six groups to run simultaneously – guitar, tambourines, sport, teaching (music theory and the meaning of worship) Sunday School songs; singing.  Pray for each leader and each group.  For some time it’s a first.  4)  The crusade on Tuesday night.  Pray for the weather and for Pastor Gibson’s voice.  He has had problems with it.  5)  A major impact on the young people attending, not only in the area of music, but in understanding what it means to worship and in personal growth in their walk with God.

Thanks for your backing!!

God bless,

Pam and Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

We left the boat and had three days at the Pambwa Beachfront Church on the south coast of Rossel Island and were treated like royality.  They provided us with a mattress, pillows and mosquito net and built us a private bathroom complete with a 44 gallon drum of water and a dipper to dipper it over ourselves, fed us pork, chicken, sago, eggs and fruit as well as the usual yams.  It was really beautiful.

But it was not a holiday!!.  Phil did an excellent job of organising the opening of their new church building, paralleling Nehemiah’s dedication of the wall.  They gave us a clean slate and said, “You organise the whole thing and Phil, you give the opening address and the dedication”.  They said they had never done anything like this before so wanted to see how to do it.  (Mind you we have never done this sort of thing before either.)  Anyway, they were over the moon with the whole event and couldn’t stop thanking us — very humbling.

Then we found out we were doing almost all of the teaching for the two day youth conference which started on the Monday morning at 5 am plus running tabloid games as they had no volley ball or soccer ball.  Lawrence the youth leader we brought with us from Misima came down with a bad dose of malaria and couldn’t be involved.  Some of you must have been praying hard for me as I found ideas flowing freely.  It’s hard to describe to you how greatful the people are for our contribution.  I was walking on the beach one morning early and a group of young people joined me.  One girl said, “We saw you walking and we said, ‘We love that Dim Dim (white person).  Let’s go and walk with her and bless her.'”

At the close they sang a song they had written themselves thanking us.  Phil has it on video.  There were about 80 at the youth conference and about 150 at the church opening.  When the numbers grew they removed the front walls of the building to extend the space — an innovative design by Peter the local church leader.

We returned by dinghy to the boat and are preparing for the music conference.  Everywhere we go people are talking about it.  They’re saying, “This is the first time for Rossel — an International Music Seminar, we’re coming.”  (Yes, we’re the international side of it!!!!).  We could easily get 100 or more attending.  The expectations are high.  Keep praying.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

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