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Archive for the ‘Misima’ Category

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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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,

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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