Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Bethel Bible College’ Category

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

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

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

Read Full Post »

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

Read Full Post »

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

Read Full Post »

Admiral’s Update 2007 N0. 4

Greetings Everyone,We have had some sad news since arriving in the Louisiades. Luke, a young man we were sponsoring through the Bethel Bible College thanks to Brian and Tracy Fisk, died from a severe dose of malaria last week. Four of the other candidates for Bible college have had to defer for various reasons until next year and only one, Jeremiah, is presently at Bethel. Please pray for him and the other students there. It is a tough course and requires many adjustments for those from isolated rural villages.

We will really miss Luke. We got to know him well the first year we came here at the small Bible College on Rossel Island where he was teaching. I always remember him politely but persistently requesting resources and teaching materials for the college. Phil and I decided to donate twenty book we had with us to the Bethel Bible College in his memory. I know he would have approved. Bethel lost almost all their library in a flood a few years back. We sent the books back with Pastor Pupaik who accompanied Luke’s body back to Misima. He is one of the lecturers at Bethel. We were very impressed with the calibre of this man and his concern for the students. He spoke to the youth here on Friday night and to the congregation on Sunday. We spent all day at the airport today farewelling him as the ten o’clock plane arrived at five PM.

Phil spoke at the gaol on Sunday morning before church. It is good to see the church maintaining the gaol ministry that started last year when one of our members was wrongfully accused and sent to gaol and saw it as God’s plan for him to start Bible studies in the goal. It is a very low security goal and the prisoners are young men and very responsive.

We were pleased to see the main church on Misima going well under Kingsford’s leadership and especially to see Lawrence doing an excellent job of heading up a youth group of about thirty. I have been sharing with him ideas I gleaned from Lincoln, the youth pastor at the church in Bundaberg. We arranged for both Kingsford and Lawrence attended Bethel Bible College some years ago and it so satisfying to see the fruitfulness of their ministry.

Our big news this week is that we are proud grandparents again (our sixth). Michelle had a baby boy, Marco. No details as yet but I’m sure he is beautiful.

Next week we are off to Rossel with a team. Keep praying — we feel the benefits.

God bless you all,

Pam and Phil

Read Full Post »

Greetings All,

I’m reminded of that song, “I’m going to be a history maker …….”. This is a very significant moment in the history of these islands. We have just seen the planting of the first CRC Church on Sudest Island, the largest island of the Louisiade Archipelago and certainly the most spiritually needy.

The village where the new fellowship is, is called Jelewanga. THe people there were spiritually open and hungry for the Gospel. Normally when a new church starts it is only one or two families but here eight families had banded together and asked for teaching and guidance in getting started. Our team ministered in the evenings, led six new people to the Lord and baptized seventeen in the creek. We were not able to be very involved in the evening meetings as the anchorage is in a big shallow bay which dries out at low tide. We were about 3/4 mile from land and could only dinghy in at high tide as there are rocks scattered throughout and miles of mud to wade through at low tide. However, they paddled out in their dingy to get us for the baptisms, poled it up the creek for some way and led us on very precarious tracks through the mangroves to a waterhole (certainly not the Jordan River!) where Phil joined Pastor Joel and Mark in doing the baptisms. Afterwards we traversed some more mud tracks, had lunch with the locals and were able to put some names and faces together. There are twenty-seven adults in the new fellowship.

The leader, Ken, has little education and doesn’t speak much English but seems to have a real heart for God and for his people. One man, Daniel has done a short Bible college course at Alotau and is planning to go to the two year Bethel Bible course at Port Moresby in 2008. Several others are planning to go to the Yonga Bay Bible College on Rossel Island next year. There is a real hunger to know the truth in this place. Just as well, as the world around them is a spiritually dark area.

We had to cut our trip short as a young man from this village died the day before we arrived. He had been gambling with a lot of men and won all their money. He died suddenly. They believe he was poisoned and there is a major investigation with the police and local councillors involved and twenty men detained in their local gaol. Our team felt it was not appropriate for us to continue during the investigations and so we left when the police arrived. The Rossel pastors are planning a follow-up visit in the near future and more to come. We left a blackboard, a box of Bibles, some study books for the leaders, some children’s clothing and a very encouraged fellowship. Pray for their spiritual growth and protection and for a spirit of perseverance as they are bound to face opposition and a certain amount of persecution from those around them.

The Christian videos that Bruce and Dianne showed last year on Rossel Island have really made follow-up evangelism much easier and the pastors hope to do the same on Sudest Island next year. We need to pray that Bruce and Dianne get their three year visas soon and with no more hold-ups.

God bless you all,

Pam and Phil

Read Full Post »