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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,

It has been some time since the last short update requesting prayer for the Island of Kimuta as things seem to be happening so quickly lately that I can’t keep up. Sorry if this is a bit long.

Phil and I were very impressed with the size of the facilities at the Bethel Centre in Port Moresby. Firstly the sheer size of the complex is impressive. The church has a seating for 1000 set out in rows of different coloured chairs and was more than 3/4 full on both Sunday services. It is the largest free standing wooden beamed structure in the Southern Hemisphere. It has high ceilings and is open-sided to allow airflow and enclosed at one end with extensive meeting rooms and accommodation for delegates to conventions.

The Bible College is a 15 minutes walk away and has numerous buildings of mixed bush materials and permanent housing and can caterer for about 80 students. The grounds are well kept with lots of greenery and big shady trees — a strong contrast to the dry, dusty littered look of the surrounding area. We were housed in a motel type room, a pleasant change from the Starship.

We were impressed with the calibre of the staff, virtually all nationals apart from a gentle New Zealand lady, Auntie Jean, involved in children’s ministry who has been at Bethel for 31 years and Jeremy Steel and his family involved in administration and maintenance.

Phil was impressed to see Pastor Fuwe, the head of the CRC Church in all PNG, up at 5am in his old clothes chopping fire wood with the students. He’s a real leader with servanthood.

The third thing that impressed us was the commitment of the students. It was good to catch up with those we knew — Jeremiah — whose fees had been paid by one of our friends in Australia, Mark who did his commitment at Rossel and Gabriel, ditto at Alotau and Rame, a young lady from Alotau who flew to the Philippines last Saturday to continue missionary work in Muslim areas there. Many of these young men and women have a burning desire to serve overseas — no money or idea where it will come frombut strong faith in God to provide. We would like to help some of them find the team support and funding necessary for overseas missionary service.

At the Children Workers’ Conference there were about 50 delegates most from the area around Port Moresby but also from the five other southern provinces, a good mix of older people with experience to share and new ones eager to learn, including ten men. There were three of us teaching, me, Jean and Allen Steel, a pastor working with aboriginal people in Alice Springs. We were a good team and fitted in well together.

However, the thing that came home to me was that all those who could afford to come to the conference had access to some materials and teaching and really brought home to me the value of our yacht ministry which enables us to take materials and teaching to the isolated areas where they have nothing. That’s where our heart is.

An update on the Kimuta tragedy. It turns out that the mother was bathing her baby, about two years old, when a fellow came up and grabbed the child. The mother said please don’t hurt my baby and the fellow then cut off his head and dismembered him in front of the mother, shoved the pieces in his bag and went bush leaving behind one hand. The mother fainted and when she came around was, naturally, uncontrollable. Last we heard they have not found the remains. The island only has 600 population
and many are related. The child was the nephew of our friend that was minding our boat while we were at Port Moresby and he was keen to get back to his family. The fellow had been to Lae and got involved with Satan worship. He was arrested and put in the jail at Misima but we heard yesterday that he had escaped.

Since the time at Bethel we have completed a Relationship Conference at Alotau and then bashed our way back to Panaeati. That trip took three days of hard motoring and almost $300 of fuel (at PNG prices). The trip the other way only took 28 hours and no motoring. Going to Alotau is not our favorite pastime!!!!

At Panaeati Phil installed another solar panel and lights in the pastor’s house. When we return later this year he will put lights in the church. We hope to add a radio at this island next year.

We showed the leaders the video “How Great is Your God” and it really impacted on them. The head pastor preached from it on Sunday emphasizing the bigness of our God and outlining the immediate plans they have for evangelism of their nearest island and then further afield using the large sailing canoe called “El Shaddai” which they completed last year.

Tomorrow we are heading back to Misima to regroup and then head for Rossel Island.

God bless you all,

Pam and Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

So much to tell you, and I am afraid words will be inadequate. Firstly the trip. Thanks for your prayers. Both ways the weather was fine and calm. But the Starships were definitely minus five star! We went to Port Moresby on the Alotau Queen — about the size of the Manly ferry, top speed 8.5 knots with wind and tide assisting and it took 32 hours. You have to take all your own food and water for the trip, sleep on the bench seats and share the one toilet for each sex. We didn’t shower as the space was only big enough to fit the toilet (about one meter by 800mm and no where to put clothes or towel. The floor was always awash. They played loud, awful movies in the seated areas from 9am to after midnight each day. However we did manage to get some sleep, spent some time on the bridge looking at charts and talking with the captain and a small trading boat skipper about good anchorages in case we ever sail that way and had some fruitful discussions with people we met on board.

Coming home was decidedly worse. The Kula Queen was smaller and faster (10.5 knots) and a 26 hour trip but minus 10 star accommodation — upstairs where we sat, were two rows of three unpadded seats (24 in all) which were drenched in spray when the wind came up. Downstairs were two shut in spaces with no seating — only bare floor and no room to move. I tried to sleep on our bags on the floor and Phil gave up and spent quite a bit of time downstairs witnessing to a couple of fellows. The boat rolled heavily and most of the children were sick. The one toilet per sex was smaller (800mm x 800mm) with no shower, the hand basin in the ladies was full of vomit and threatened to overflow into your lap every time the boat rolled. Neither toilet flushed. We had two very long days arriving at the Port Moresby dock at 8.30am Tuesday for a 10am departure but standing around (no where to sit) outside until we eventually boarded and departed at 1pm. Arrived at Alotau at 3pm Wednesday and waited 3 hours for a dinghy ride to Waga Waga where the yacht was. All our bags and clothes were soaked from spray and we had to wash everything. Both of us have vowed never to travel by Starship again. We can only imagine what it would be like in bad weather. We have a new appreciation of how the people live — and endure.

We had a GREAT time at Bethel, meeting the leaders there and admiring the excellent facilities and quality of training. It was good to catch up with Pastor Barry Silverback who we hadn’t seen for six years and who was the person who steered us towards the Louisiades at a conference in 2000. My conference went really well and Phil made productive use of his time by doing repairs on 12 washing machines, one fridge/ freezer, one freezer, 2 TVs, 1 iron, 1 jug, 1 electric welding machine.

We’ve many stories to tell but remind me when we meet to tell you about Moses — an incredible story which I can’t condense into an e-mail. Phil actually videoed him telling his testimony.

We are happy to be back on the boat which was well cared for by John in our absence and we are sailing back to Alotau today (Friday) for a three day Relationship Conference there starting this evening.

Bye for now. God bless you all,

Pam and Phil

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Greeting Everyone,

The prayer team amongst you are doing a great job!! The Youth Conference was a huge success. It rained on and off all the time but really didn’t spoil anything — just gave the kids time to cement some relationships.

Seteleki turned up wearing some of the clothes I’d sent him. He was so shy but really grateful that someone cared for him and kept thanking me for inviting him. He lives near Ganta,one of the Church leaders and is going to join him and sit under his teaching. Ganta is the one who a few years ago was wrongfully accused and jailed and had all the prisoners doing Bible study each evening.

The final day of the conference we had fifteen baptisms — in the creek as the tide was too low in the harbour. (“Just as well”, said Phil as the beach is just downstream of the toilets built out over the water to service the village markets.) We’ve got some good video footage of that and also the drama we’d missed videoing as they repeated it for us. One of the senior pastors had tears in his eyes on the closing session as he said he felt confident he would be able to safely leave the church
in the hands of the next generation.

We had a dream trip from Misima to Alotau; the only hic-up being nearly run down by a small ship which altered course straight for us in the middle of the night. Phil took evasive action (not easy when you are under sail) and it missed us by about a boat length. We brought John Cameron with us, a good friend from Kimuta who will stay at Waga Waga and mind the boat for us. He is the ideal person as he has family there; is familiar with the running of generators etc and is totally trustworthy.

We are booked on the Starship (no it’s not a rocket but an inter-island ferry) leaving Alotau for Port Moresby on Sunday 6th — pray we get there without delays and in one piece! I feel like an explorer setting out on new territory!

More later.

God bless you all,

Pam and Phil

PS Phil is recovering from another bout of malaria. We were only here a couple of weeks and he got it. He has had it enough times now to be able to recognize the symptoms early and start the treatment which meant that he didn’t get as sick as other times. Even with mosquito repellant on they still seem to love him!!!!

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Greetings All,

I can’t believe it’s May already!! We are in the chaotic throes of last minute repairs and provisioning for slipping and antifouling. May the 5th and 6th are our dates on the slip. Please pray for fine weather, sufficient tide height and a trouble-free lift-out and back.

It’s always a bit stressful using a new slip as no matter how much the owners assure you, “We can handle the weight” and “There’s plenty of water”, there is always the element of doubt until you’ve actually done it.

After the slipping, we’ll sail back down the river to Bundaberg for final provisioning and head off for Townsville when the weather is right — probably about mid May. We may have a passenger part of the trip up the coast as Laurie Mackeson, an old friend from way back may come with us.

I’ve been asked to teach at a Sunday School Conference at Port Moresby 9th-12th July so we will leave the boat at Alotau and fly there together. We are looking forward to finally seeing the famous Bethel Bible College that turns out such well equipped pastors.

Our thanks to those of you who support us in goods, finance and prayer. We value every contribution and could not operate without you.

God bless you all,

Pam and Phil

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Admiral’ Update 2007 No 18

Greetings Everyone,

The conference at Waga Waga was Fantastic! I’m running out of adjectives and Phil tells me not to use “incredible” ever again. It poured raining the first day and has drizzled on and off ever since but it didn’t stop us. We just waded ankle deep up muddy bush tracks every day — 20 minutes each way — and changed when we got there. The people were very responsive.

I was talking to a man called John. This is what he said, “Mother and father died young and I didn’t have much education. At school the teachers used big words and if we didn’t understand they hit us with sticks. Your teaching is not like that. It’s easy to understand. We have never had teaching like this. It touches my heart and I drop tears.”

We are now at Alotau, only to find that our passports are still in Port Moresby. One of the local doctors went to retrieve them for us but couldn’t do so as the person who had charge of them was away. Typical PNG frustration. We are in a quandary as to what to do — we don’t have the finance for one of us to go to Port Moresby as we spent it all on fuel this year and we don’t know whether we can trust the PNG mail (all the locals say “NO”).

Phil has e-mail Kevin Hughes from the Adelaide CRC Centre who will be at Bethel from the 25th onwards to see what he can do for us. Would appreciate your prayers on this matter. We can’t leave PNG until we get them back and the cyclone season is approaching. There has already been one alert earlier this month to the east of us. (And Phil is out of chocolate).

Pray also for healing for me of a badly infected elbow. We are really looking forward to seeing you all; seeing some sunshine and seeing Sizzelers.

God bless you all,

Pam and Phil

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Admirals Update No.3

Greetings Everyone,We are settling into island life! Oh well, there is always tomorrow! Since leaving Alotau we’ve been making our way slowly east against the wind and the current and the unpredictable weather patterns — no wind to 40 knots in ten minutes!– and exploring some new anchorages on the way.

Some of them are definitely God appointments and we really must learn not to run ahead of Him. At a beautiful STILL bay called Kana Kopi we met a team of men campaigning for the government elections to be held at the end of the month. Two of them came on board, the older Mesigai (said Messy Guy)strong in his faith and Douglas,the younger disillusioned and backslidden. We went through a lot of Scriptures together and really challenged that young man especially as to the eternal significance of his decision.

At our next anchorage on Basilaki Island, my heart went out to a young man called Sai who had completed grade 11 at school but was unable to do grade 12 as his stepfather said he couldn’t afford the school fees. Sai wanted to study to make something of his life and help his people and was bitterly disappointed. We told him God made each person unique and had a purpose in life for each which is worth while and fulfilling and left him with a Bible of his own to read and a fresh spring in his step.

We are now at Pana Pom Pom, an island in the Louisiades and are having a constant stream of visitors. Rob, the 23yr old brother of the COC pastor on this island brought a message to us and stayed all morning talking. I discovered he wasn’t a Christian, challenged him and asked him if he wanted more time to think or if he wanted to commit his life to Jesus and to “walk the narrow road” (Mat. 7:13-14). He said he was ready now and went home rejoicing. These people are hungry! Wherever we go they come out to talk about God, to ask for a Bible and to open their hearts. Keep praying, the doors are wide open!

We have arranged to go to church with our friends on Panaeati Island (five miles away by sailing canoe or dinghy) on Sunday. It is difficult to get there as the water is too shallow for us and there are not many vessels going that way. They could see the yacht from their island and came across on Tuesday to see us. It costs them about $25 in fuel to do the round trip.

Since we got to this anchorage the weather has been very hot and humid and not a breath of wind — a little different to what you seem to be getting on the east coast of Australia.

God bless you all,

Pam and Phil

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