Archive for August, 2012

Greetings Everyone,

We set off for Sudest Island after the last e-mail but could only make 2 knotts against the heavy winds and sea even with the motor flat chat so decided to head for the North Coast of Misima instead.

We spent a week at Siagara, preaching on the Sunday and showing films on four evenings. I also taught four people English; two who could read a bit but had no ideas on spelling and two starting completely from scratch. Abraham, one of the beginners, preaches in the church at times but had to get someone to read the Bible to him. He was excited about learning and the pastor there promised to keep the teaching going for all four. I left some of my long shorts with the pastor as he had none and mine fitted him perfectly. He would have fitted twice in Phil’s.

We then moved to Liak, spent two nights showing films and in the daytime I continued teaching English to Isikel, my original pupil from last year.

Phil planned a trip to Bwaniyewa to install an HF radio. This would have to be THE hardest place to get to. Even locals have died falling off the cliffs along the track and going by dinghy (the local dinghies are about 20ft long with 40 HP motors) is only marginally better — maybe. They took us, solar panels, battery, HF radio, wire, aerial and all the tools, etc, in a dinghy and landed us between two rocky outcrops against a cliff face with waves pounding in. Jump when you are told to!! Phil took some interesting video going back down to board the dinghy on the return trip and also of the trip back where he was really concerned the skipper would flip the boat. The swells were over three metres and we were airborne often. I was looking the other way and was blissfully unaware but hanging on like crazy.

In the end we ran out of fuel, thankfully just past the rocky cliff-face (which is most of the coast there) and we had to paddle the dinghy to the nearest village and walk the rest of the way. I think we needed danger money for that trip!! Anyway the locals were ecstatic. The radio will be used not only by the church but also the whole community for medical emergencies and to pass messages. This village is a five hour walk or one hour dinghy ride from the nearest first aid post. (Dinghy travel is expensive — outboard fuel on this side of the island is K6.30/ litre; thats about $3.15 and we used 20 litres for the trip).

Next stop hopefully will be Sudest. We came about half way yesterday. It was rough and the staysail got a tear in it so we are spending a lay-day today cooking, washing and repairing the sail.

Please pray we get calm weather for the next few days as the anchorage at Sudest is not good.

God bless,

Pam and Phil


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Greetings Everyone,

There’s always a few dramas. The night Phil flew out I came down with an infection in a tooth Ronald had filled and couldn’t sleep for the pain. I was to preach in a village an hour’s walk away the next day and finally prayed, “Lord, if you want me to preach, let me sleep.” And He did!!

The weather has been consistently wild and it’s been an “exercise” for me to dinghy back and forth ashore through the swells in the harbour. The locals are always helpful and grab the dinghy and steady it for me while I scramble up the rocks. One day I was coming back from the creek carrying two bucketfuls of washing, an extra bucket and a bag over my shoulder and one of the men walked by and said, “I’ll carry your buckets” and took them down the track and loaded them into the dinghy. I asked th local ladies (who carry huge loads on their heads) if this ever happened to them and they said, “No! Never!” It helps to be a Dim Dim (white person).

While Phil was away I coached two boys grade ten maths. It was a major re-learning for me as I haven’t done any formal maths since 1965 and couldn’t remember a thing about quadratic equations or sines and cosines. They had missed a lot of basics and I started with teaching them tables and long division.

Phil enjoyed catching up with old school mates. Now he’s back we are trying to plan a trip back to Sudest Island but the weather is still wild so we may go around to the north coast of Misima for him to install an HF radio instead.

Tomorrow we are farewelling Lawrence, a young man we sent to Bible College in 2004-5 who is going to the Solomons as the first full time missionary from the Louisiades. The locals are really excited and threw a big feast last Sunday for his launching.

Our friends Steve and Caroline have also finally arrived in their yacht from Australia, and are also waiting for the weather to ease to go down to Rossel Island to build the mud-brick church.

God bless you all,

Pam and Phil

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