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Archive for September, 2012

greetings Catnap Crew,

Re customs in PNG:- there are no customs in Misima although you can get Pratique clearance there from John in the health department. Cost is 50 kina.

There used to be customs at the Conflict Group but they closed down on 25th September. The nearest is Samarai which is 30 miles closer to the Louisiades than Alotau. Most yachts just cruise the Louisiades without clearing. Some stop in at Misima for Pratique. We have been trying to get customs back at Misima and I think if enough boats do the Misima clearance and not the customs clearance then they might get the message that they are needed there.

It is a very hard slog back from Alotau/ Samarai to the Louisiades as both the current and the wind are against you. We are currently anchored at the Conflict Group and it has been blowing 25+ knots for the past week – not good weather for going east!! Some have taken up to three weeks to do the trip. If you are going to Australia after the Louisiades the Australian customs are aware of the problem of getting clearance in PNG.

Trust this has been of some help to you.

God bless,

Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

Phil’s sailing canoe race was the highlight of his trip. He really enjoyed it and came in with a flying finish for second place, just pipped at the post. Their canoe was made to race in the large canoe category even though it is a medium size one and the large canoe that beat them didn’t go around the final marker. However, the owner of that canoe is a friend of the rally organiser and the usual PNG integrity level prevailed.

We’ve had a frustrating time trying to clear customs. The rally people refused to allow outside yachts to clear and the PNG customs boss told us to clear at the Conflict Group, almost fifty miles further west. When we arrived there today we found that the customs have ceased to operate there and left two days ago. We went ashore looking for them and explored an incredible tourist resort set up there by a millionaire businessman from Australia to entertain his friends.

Anyway we are preparing to leave either Saturday or Sunday and should arrive in Cairns Thursday or Friday. Please pray for smooth seas and favourable winds.

See you all soon.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

The reason you haven’t heard from me for a while is because I’ve just had ten days ashore at Panaeati Island, my longest stay in a village so far.

Firstly I did literacy teaching with seventeen students, six of whom could read no English at all and also taught one man to read Misima. They progressed well and loved reading “Hop on Pop” by Dr. Seuss. Phil stayed on board to do repairs on the boat then joined me to preach on Sunday. I then did a three day Leadership seminar using John Maxwell material while Phil fixed everything in sight and showed films to large crowds at night.

It was a challenge staying so long in the village with food and toileting always the biggest challenge. I had a steady diet of yams, pumpkin and sweet potatoes boiled in coconut cream for breakfast , lunch and dinner with an interesting addition of cus cus (cous cous?) which tasted somewhat like rabbit. I miss fruit, veges and just variety.

On the upside it’s a great way to really get to know the people and sow into their lives.

On Monday there is a yacht rally from Australia and New Zealand arriving at Pana Pom Pom and the locals are staging a sailing canoe race and Phil is going to join the Panaeati crew as ballast, if the wind is strong, to keep the outrigger down. That’s not a joke — it’s true!!

We are looking to return to Australia in a week or so.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

We’ve had a very productive time in Sudest, first at the established church at Jelewaga then at their new outreach at Rehuwo. The anchorage at Jelewaga Village is no good so we sheltered behind an island two miles away and slept ashore in the village for almost a week, showing films in the evening. It is a 1 1/2 trip in a paddling canoe and can only be done at near high tide. Phil fixed their HF radio, half a dozen sewing machines and other items while I taught three people to read the Misima Bible and three others to read English, including the pastor.

We left there Sunday afternoon after a tag team preaching and then Phil doing a dedication ceremony for their new church stage — a real work of art built with a bush knife, blunt saw and a hammer. They are hosting a youth camp in December and are very busy digging toilets, building shelters and collecting food with the expectation of 400 or more attending. Their church here is growing rapidly and is a real witness to this isolated and witchcraft-effected island.

They have planted an outreach about 25 Nautical miles further down the south coast. The leader there, Watson, is a quiet fellow but very innovative. His church land was on a slight slope so he built a wheelbarrow out of an old drum, a large fishing float for a wheel and some saplings and shifted “Oh 50 or 60 — I don’t know” barrow loads of dirt to level it. We held the first service in that new church and showed films in the evening. I did three days of Sunday School teaching with the ladies. Phil spent time trying to repair sewing machines and other items, most of which were past it. (The local member gave out several hundred hand-cranked Singer sewing machines just before the elections (a typical vote buying trick) and of over 90 that we have come across so far only one was in working order when taken out of the box. Most are so badly made that they are beyond fixing without suitable tools. Phil has taken photos and is going to write to the CEO of Singer when we return to Australia.) They have a sizable congregation here already and are planning a further outreach.

At the extreme eastern end of Sudest is another new house fellowship. Samuel, the leader paddled his dugout canoe all day (25 miles) bringing his wife and small child to come and meet us. He has a solar panel and battery which he brought with him for Phil to check (the battery was DEAD). He will get another battery and Phil gave him a VHF radio so he can communicate with Rossel Island which is only ten miles across the ocean from him.

Sudest has been a very dark place for so long. (It is the biggest island in the Louisiades but has a very small population due to deaths by sorcery.) It is great to see these churches springing up. They really value our input both in materials to get started and in teaching and encouragement.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

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