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Archive for the ‘Misima’ Category

Greetings Everyone,

Sorry to be so long in updating but we haven’t stopped. We had several days on the north coast of Misima catching up with three fellowships. The anchorages are really bad and we roll a lot which doesn’t do good things to my stomach. It was also very hot and steamy and after walking all day to reach one village I almost collapsed with heat exhaustion. Then another dinghy ride to Bwanieawa — the most difficult place on earth to get to — for Phil to repair their radio.

In each place they were really encouraged by our presence as no-one had touched base with them for almost three years except for our visit last year and they were very despondent.

Our last call for the year was to Panaeati. You never know what you will be asked to do. Phil did a cargo-run for them to Misima to pick up half a ton of cement for building their church stage. Meanwhile I stayed in the village doing a teaching on inner healing to the ladies. Some of them have a rough time and are carrying many hurts inside.

Now we are doing some hasty minor repairs and packing up, hopefully to set off in a day or two for Townsville as the weather seems favourable at the moment. One yacht just returned to Cairns and said he’d had the best run ever with a six knot average and smooth seas. We’ve had one trip like that in twenty six crossings.

Please pray we have the same.

God bless you all,

Pam and Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

We arrived in Misima bearing gifts. On our travels around Sudest we caught firstly two Spanish mackerel then three more, a large pike a trevally and finally another Spanish mackerel. Even feeding five passengers for several days my fridge was overflowing and I was pleased to unload the excess fish and accumulated heads at Misima. They promptly invited us to share a meal — an excellent way to catch up with some old friends.

In Jelewanga the whole community had been saddened by the death of their leader, Ken. I had spent a lot of time last year teaching him English. Fortunately we still had Pastor Sigi with us. He is such quality and spent a lot of time with some of the young men there encouraging them to step up into leadership and promising to send a support team. Phil fixed their radio.

We left one afternoon after heavy rain. The tide was up which means the access to the dinghy was via logs through the mangrove mud. The catch was the logs were underwater. One of three young men walked in thigh deep oozy mud holding on to me and guiding my feet onto the logs — otherwise I’d probably still be there.

By the way, Phil’s foot is better — thanks for the prayers.

God bless you all,

Pam and Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

Transport and communications are the two biggest problems here. Local trading boats are no longer allowed to carry passengers if they are bringing fuel. It effectively makes it twice as hard for people to get around, often taking 3 to 4 months for mum’s with new bubs to return from hospital in Alotau. And fuel is always in short supply (apart from being over 8 kina a litre at Rossel, that’s over $4). We’ve been waiting a week for some zoom to get to our next venue.

Meanwhile Phil has installed one new radio at Morpa and relocated an existing one here at Damunu. The bush houses only last 7 to 8 years and have to be rebuilt.

The locals are SO pleased to have them. Misima now has mobile phones (if the sun has been shining and the phone tower has power) but the people in Rossel don’t get a signal. They climb a high mountain early in the morning but usually are unsuccessful in getting a connection so they really count on the radios and the whole community uses them. Phil is very popular and is constantly getting messages of thanks from the OIC of the local government area here. I think as well as sending people to Bible College, it’s one of the best services we have been able to provide.

Lack of medical facilities are also a problem. I was asked to dress a little girl’s leg. She had put a coconut on her knee and got a bush knife (machete) to open it and she missed the coconut and cut her knee. The aid post nurse was away and all she had on it was a lump of cotton wool. It was deep and gaping and really needed stitching. She was in a lot of pain and was only six years old. I disinfected it, applies butterfly clips, dressed it and gave her a panadol. She didn’t cry — just looked at me with big eyes. You need to be a Jack of all trades here.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

Today is my birthday. We spent it bashing into winds on our way to Rossel island — not an unusual occurrence. We should get there in a couple more days (only day sailing and anchoring on islands on the way).

We had a short stay in Misima, firstly on the north coast where we dropped off several hundred MP3 players for the SIL Bible translators and had lunch with them; we spoke in a small church in Liak encouraging them not to give up and spent an afternoon with a young man telling him what it meant to be 100% for Christ. He said he wanted time to think about all we had said and came back later that evening with his wife to say he really wanted to commit himself and his wife said she wanted too as well. The pastor there is going to do a Bible study course with them and another young man in the evenings.

We bashed our way against the wind and waves to the main town of Bwagaoia and greeted many old friends, staying for church on Sunday. We set off for Rossel with the daughter of our friend Pastor Sigi, who is returning from completing her grade twelve.

Rossel and Sudest were the two areas hardest hit by the cyclone in 2014 and where we will unload most of our goods.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

I was about to write you a very boring e-mail to let you know we had arrived with no further dramas when we were whisked away in a dinghy (what they call banana boats) to spend three days ashore at Panaeati Island. We have to anchor five miles from the island because of the shallow water and never know if they are aware we have arrived — but they have good eyes!!

Phil has been busy as Mr Fixit, repairing hand sewing machines, generators and the HF radio antenna. Meanwhile I spoke at the Wednesday Ladies Meeting and taught some new songs to the Sunday School teachers.

We were delighted to hear that a young couple we know here had recently married and were to launch a youth group next Wednesday. God is so good, some years back I had picked the brains of a young youth leader at Bundaberg and had shared the info with Lawrence when he began his youth work at Misima Island nine years ago. When I looked at the teaching notes I had thrown in to come to this island, there they were. Please pray for them to be effective in their ministry — there is such a huge need for good guidance for the youth over here as so many get into trouble.

Today we sailed to the north coast of Misima — probably one of the hardest areas here for evangelism. There are three villages with over 1000 people in each of them but the outreaches are struggling.

God bless you all,

Pam and Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

Again we are holed up waiting for the weather — this time in Pearl Bay, a small bay forty miles or so north of Great Keppel Island. The wind is gusting 25+ knots coming all the way from the north east to the south west. We are swinging crazily around our anchor but we watched another poor yacht drag almost into the rocks. He didn’t answer his radio and Phil got out an old bugle and blew it and the skipper finally popped his head up just in time.

We cleared customs in Bundaberg and the plan is to sail to Scawfell Island tomorrow (weather permitting) and head out through Hydrographers Passage on Wednesday. But it all depends on the WEATHER. It has been a very strange weather year. Please pray for the right conditions for us and the wisdom to know when they are right,

We are loaded up as usual with a couple of hundred Bibles, 500 special designed MP3 players for the SIL Bible translators in Misima, stacks of clothing including six bags of school uniforms, three large boxes of school library book, and two large boxes of medicines, three HF radios and antennas (in case the cyclone damaged any that we had put in), a couple of guitars and sundry other things. As usual the waterline has risen!!

God bless,

Pam and Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

A yachties nightmare!! — a dark night, storm and pouring rain, a gale in excess of 37 knots blowing, a lee shore, the anchor starts to drag and the engine won’t start. Phil disappeared below, prised up the floorboards and discovered the starter solenoid wasn’t working (turns out a micro-switch in the solenoid circuit which prevents the engine starting if the propeller shaft brake is on had failed) and shorted out its terminals with a piece of wire to get the engine started — all in less than a minute. It gets worse; between us and the shore was a roped off swimming enclosure with small floating buoys every metre or so. We went over top of them into less than a metre of water under the keel. The dinghy was down and the enclosure rope got wrapped around the dinghy outboard. All this in the anchorage highly recommended for the prevailing conditions at Bodrum.

I backed the engine off and Phil got in the dinghy and worked it free. You can imagine how much fun that was in the dark. We re-anchored — five times. Each time the anchor dug in and held for an hour or so until the wind went over 37 knots then off we would go again. The bottom was mud, weed and kelp and after it dug in it would lift out whole chunks of the kelp then drag.

About 1am a Turkish man from another boat came over in his dinghy and led us closer to the shore near his boat where the holding was slightly better. He stayed talking for over an hour. Needless to say neither of us slept all night.

Early the next morning we took off for another bay a few miles away and dropped anchor in SAND. Thankyou for those who pray constantly for our safety.

Regarding the Louisiades — the HF radios I installed at Misima and Rossel are working. Bruce and Dianne Bentley who used to do similar work with us over there have been keeping in contact with Misima. Dianne has organised to raise funds to send to two of the pastors we trust so they can buy food and other necessities to distribute to the more remote islands of Sudest and Rossel where the worst of the damage was. It is very important over there to make sure funds go to people who will distribute it to the really needy and not just to their own “one-tok” (family). If anyone is interested Dianne’s number is 0409693171.

We are waiting on Warren and Jan Jolly (friends from NSW Central Coast) to arrive on Monday to spend a few weeks with us sailing around the area.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

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