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Archive for the ‘Panaeati’ Category

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,

Just an update on the situation in the Louisiades following cyclone Ita’s damage. The placed marked ** are where we have been working and have friends.

The following is the official government report as of two days ago:-

“The preliminary assessment report from the outstation confirms massive destruction to food gardens as well as dwelling units and local water supplies. No loss of lives was reported from the cyclone. However communication through Digicel mobile had been a problem with HF radio forming the bulk of communication throughout some parts. A report from Bwanabwana LLG also noted a missing boat MV Saga carrying 23 people on board still at large.

Table 1: showing number of homes destroyed by TC Ita. These figures are preliminary and the estimated number of houses destroyed is about 1160 and destroyed gardens about 5390.

  • ** Panaumala – Population affected 501, 18 houses destroyed,all food gardens destroyed
  • Bagaman – Population affected 335, 12 houses destroyed, all food gardens destroyed, VSAT communication affected
  • Motorina south – Population affected 295, 28 houses destroyed, all food gardens destroyed
  • Motorina North – Population affected 416, 7 houses destroyed, all food gardens destroyed
  • ** Brooker Island – Population affected 556, 25 houses destroyed, all food gardens destroyed
  • Panapompom – Population affected 675, 11 houses destroyed, all food gardens destroyed
  • ** East Panarati – Population affected 1024, 9 houses destroyed, all food gardens destroyed
  • ** West Panaeati – Population affected 843, 10 houses destroyed, all food gardens destroyed
  • ** Kimuta – Population affected 695, 15 houses destroyed, all food gardens destroyed, aid post building destroyed
  • Sabra – Population affected 1183, 39 houses destroyed, all food gardens destroyed
  • Grass Island – Population affected 970, 5 houses destroyed, all food garden destroyed
  • ** Western Point – Population affected 548, 23 houses destroyed, all food garden destroyed
  • Tagula station – Population affected 69, 4 houses destroyed
  • Nimoa – Population affected 789, 15 houses destroyed, all food gardens destroyed
  • ** Rambuso – Population affected 783, 2 houses destroyed, food garden destroyed
  • ** Rehuwo – Population affected 721, 23 houses destroyed, food gardens destroyed
  • Jinjo – Population affected 1084, 1 house destroyed, food garden destroyed
  • Njaru – Population affected 645, 2 houses destroyed, food garden destroyed
  • Pwambwa/** Saman – Population affected 744, 4 houses destroyed, 10 gardens destroyed
  • Ware – Population affected 955, 57 homes destroyed, all food gardens and classrooms partly destroyed
  • Kwaraiwa – Population affected 575, 7 homes destroyed,  all food gardens destroyed

There was no report from the south side of Sudest Island at that time but the latest information is that Jelewaga has been totally flattened. Nor has there been a report from Damunu on Rossel Island

The most critical problem is the fact that all the food gardens have been destroyed. These people are subsistence farmer and have virtually no access to alternative food supplies if their gardens fail or are destroyed. The pastor at Kimuta Island reported that the people were eating the coconuts that had fallen from the trees during the cyclone and when they are gone there is nothing else.

God bless,

Phil and Pam

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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,

You never know what to expect here.  In Panaeati the original leader of the church has moved to another island leaving a very healthy church and two joint leaders, Peter and Steven.  Peter is as impulsive as his namesake and Steven is quite and thoughtful.  We paid for them both to go to Bible College some years back.

When we arrived they picked us up in a sailing canoe and we slept overnight in the village showing videos in the evening.  They told us they wanted us to take them 20 miles to Brooker Island to help them start a new outreach there.  We were really excited about this move as it will be the first CRC church planted in the Calvados Chain — a large lagoon with a dozen or more inhabited islands.  Steve and Caroline came on Maranatha with us.

We showed videos at night and spent the daytime encouraging the new leaders and equipping them with a guitar and some pastoral and Sunday School materials.  The Panaeati people are committed to supporting the new work.  They plan to build a house there and send a leader to live with them until they are established.  We all returned rejoicing.

Back in Panaeati last weekend we showed some more films and I preached on Sunday challenging them to adopt a three year plan to read the Bible right through.  This is the fourth place I have given this message with good results each time.  Many tell me they wanted to do this but lacked a plan and had given up.

Now we are planning to return to Australia probably early next week.  Steve came down with malaria at Brooker and is recovering but still feeling weak.  Pray for him and Caroline and for some of their boat instruments that are playing up, including their autopilot and for all of us for the right weather and a safe passage.

See you soon.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

We’ve had a WILD time.  THe weather has been AWFUL!  We anchored in Liak with an on-shore wind and the boat rolled so violently from side to side that it cracked the dinghy by bashing against it and we couldn’t sleep a wink.  We moved to another anchorage prepared to endure the 10 kms walk each way each day rather than the incessant rolling and the unneeded excitement of timing the violent shore break to get ashore.

Then it rained, torrentially every day and flooded the roads so that we had to wade through the various culverts to get back to Liak.

BUT the results here were WILD too.  I had set out this year to teach Isikel, an illiterate young man with a great heart for God, to learn to speak and read English so he could go to Bible College.  I expected to only get him started but to the amazement of both of us he progressed at an incredible rate and is now reading the Bible — slowly but getting almost every word and speaking again slowly but communicating well.  He is ecstatic and I’ve left him materials to continue on with the help of his friend, including a KYB study on the book of Mark.  We are both praising God and looking forward to great things in his life.

As well as this, we’ve visited three churches to encourage them and Phil and I are doing a tag-team preaching today at Liak — our last trek there before sailing on to Panaeati Island tomorrow.

God bless you all,

Pam and Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

The conference was a resounding success!!  It was a first for the men.  Usually they run Youth, Ladies or Sunday School conferences.  Some of he comments were:-

Pastor Kingsford – “Usually conferences are inspirational — be filled with the Spirit, etc.  This one was foundational — integrity of character, the husband’s and father’s role — we need these things in order to be men and leaders.”

Jerome – “I learnt a lot of new things.  I want to think about them some more.  It has really helped my ministry.”

Simon (on forgiveness) – “It took me seven years to forgive the policeman who ill-treated me.  It was like a weight coming off me.”

Esau (refering to Hebrews 4:12) – “I never new the word of God had the power to heal — to go right inside you and cut out bad things (referring to emotional problems resulting from childhood mistreatment) like a surgeons knife.”

The worship time with all the deep voices harmonising together was tremendous and the men really enjoyed the times of sharing — the early morning prayer time (4.30-5.30am), the discussion groups and free time to sit and chat in the afternoon.  There was a good mix of ages from our age to quite a lot in late teens, early twenties.  Phil spoke really well and runs a big risk of being asked to do it again.

On Monday we are sailing (probably motoring in the still conditions) to the north coast where I want to spend a week attempting to teach Isikel, a young man with no education, to read English — at least to get him started.  We will spend about a week there and then go to Panaeati Island to do some work before heading back to Australia around the 7th of November.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

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They HONOURED me.  I had four days living at Panaeati while I did a marriage/ parenting seminar and then a one day Sunday School teaching.  They provided me with a mattress, pillow, sheets and mosquito net, dug a pit toilet so I didn’t have to use the horrible ones built on stilts over the sea (if you don’t fall off the narrow round log gangplank about thirty feet long getting out to it you can easily fall through the floor into the water) and had ladies assigned to cook especially for me and to see to my every need.

And they LISTENED.  Again, the response to the teaching was overwhelming.  On the last night they had a time to testify what the seminar had meant to each of them.  The people just kept on coming.  Two comments in particular really touched my heart.  One was from Neil, who spoke hardly any English.  Someone told me early in the piece that he had said, “I’m not going to speak to that Dim Dim.  I don’t know what she’s saying.”  I went to him and said in Misima, “Come here Neil.  We’re going to talk in Misima.”  So we became friends.  On the last night Neil got up and said how much the teaching had meant to him and them he said in Misima, “That lady shouldn’t go home to Australia.  She should live with us.  She’s our mother.”

The other was from Livinai and referred to teaching I gave on the needs of adopted children to be assured of love and treated the same as natural children.  Livinai and his wife had one natural son and four adopted after the death of close relatives.  He said, “You haven’t seen so much of me the last few days.  I’ve been spending more time with my family.  I want my adopted sons to know I love them as I love my own son.”

Now I’m back on the boat with Phil happy to have me cooking again.  Food gets “interesting” at this stage of the game.  We are studying weather faxes and determining the best time to depart for Australia — hopefully the end of this week but reports are not looking good as yet.  We will send a short e-mail to let you know when we have a date and would appreciate prayer for fair winds and smooth seas.

God bless you all,

Pam and Phil

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