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Greetings Wayne and Josene,

I’m glad you got some help from our webpage.  That’s what it is there for!!

We have just returned to Bundaberg from the Louisiades – it was a short season for us this year as we have to go to a conference in Adelaide at the end of September.  Also, our three year visa has to be renewed.

Regarding distributing goods – it is a difficult thing to do it fairly as many of the councillors/leaders/ elders/ pastors are not always impartial in their distributing.  Most yachts only go as far east as Nimoa so the islands west of there, especially around Bagaman, Motorina, etc get the majority of the largess.  Sudest and Rossel usually miss out.

The south coast of Sudest, which has few decent anchorages, is very isolated.  Last year we took, among other things, some small soaps that you get at motels, etc.  The response was. “Soap.  We haven’t seen that for years.”  There is no-one on the north coast of Sudest that we could recommend.

Also, Rossel, especially the east point and south coast receive very little.  However, at Tryon Bay there is a Pastor Sigi (everyone knows him) who is probably the most generous, humble and giving man you would ever meet.  If you leave stuff with him he will see that it goes to those in need.  He never keeps anything for himself or his family.  He even takes it on the three day walk to the east end of the island to give to the people there who are very poor.  We have been there with him and have seen just how bad things are at that end.  An example of what he is like – last year he built shelters (houses) for 17 students from other parts of the island who were schooling at Damunu.  Then he fed them, sometimes clothed them and generally fathered them for the year.  None of them was related to him.

At Yonga Bay on Rossel the principal of the small Bible College, Pastor Sai loa is honest.

At Pana Pom Pom I would recommend  Pastor Mila and wife Julie on the Nivani side.  If you get to Panaeati then either Pastors Pete Joe or Steven are honest men.

At Misima Pastor Kingsford at Bwagaoia or on the north coast elder Ganta at Siagara or Councillor /elder Arnold at Liak.  At Kimuta Pastor Palaimo is honest.

These are all people that we are happy to leave goods with to see that they are distributed fairly and not just to their “onetok”.  Some have lived on board with us for  several months at a time and we know their integrity.

However, if you go to Rossel and Sudest I suggest you keep most of the goods for them as they need them most.

Unfortunately many of the yacht get totally conned by many of the leader and pastors and the gear doesn’t go any further than their onetok.

Regarding school books etc.  If you give them to the school direct they usually get distributed fairly.  Again, the school at Damunu on Rossel is “the end of the line” as far as resources from the government goes.

I trust this has been of some use to you.  Have a great time over there.  It certainly is a top spot.  Rossel is our favourite island – we usually spend 6-8 weeks there each year.  Sorry we won’t see you there as we could have shown you some of the lesser seen places.

God bless,

Phil and Pam

This email published for the benefit of other yachties if they want to do something similar .. Administrator

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Greetings Everyone,

These people floor me constantly with the depth of love and extent of generosity they show us.  Today we had a visit from Ludi, a young woman we had on board the first year we came.  To get here she had to paddle down a long river and walk over a rugged mountain.  We climbed it last year — a 1 1/2 hour trek in dry weather and extremely slippery in wet.  Ludi made the journey in the rain with some relatives to assist her carrying her two lively twin boys, Nathan and Nathaniel, not yet two years old.  Not only that, she brought me some presents — 5 limes, 5 sweet potatoes and two large brush turkey eggs, still raw so I could “do some baking”.

We enjoyed about three hours sharing together then she left to make the long journey home.

Phil’s foot is still not properly healed and needs careful watching lest it flare up again.  He’s put lights and a generator in the small Bible College lecture room here and a solar panel, lights and a tape player with speakers in the Principal’s house.  There are 19 students and they love sitting on his verandah listening to the Bible on tape or to Christian music.  It’s a joy to see their pleasure.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

It seems we’ve hardly had time to scratch ourselves since we’ve arrived — typical of our time here.  Phil put in another radio at Sudest Island while I taught the Sunday School leaders to use flannel graph materials.  He also put in an LED light in the pastor’s house.  When we left Sudest we took two young men to the small Bible College at Rossel.  They wanted to go but had no transport or money for fees.  It was good to solve those problems.

At Damunu in Rossel Island Phil installed ten fluoro lights and a generator.  The church lit up like a Christmas tree.  He also put in a battery powered LED light in the pastor’s house.  The pastor’s son made a commitment while we were there — a time of great rejoicing.

Now we are at the Bible College at Yonga Bay.  I’m wearing far too many hats — teaching in the Bible College; teaching four illiterate students to read Misima; teaching guitar and teaching the local Sunday School teacher.  Phil is flat out typing notes for me and resting where possible as he has a tropical ulcer on his foot.  When he can get ashore he will be installing lights and generator in the Bible College and a solar panel, battery, LED lights and a tape player in the principal’s house.  All run off the solar power.  We will leave them tapes of Christian music and Bible teaching.

From the 23rd-25th we are running a leader’s seminar using John Maxwell material.  This is the first of a series for the year so pray for wisdom for me as I fine-tune it; and for healing for Phil.

Thank you for your care and prayers.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

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They are keeping us busy — since we left Misima, apart from putting in a radio and solar panels and repairing six Coleman pressure lamps we have had the following:-

5/8 I preached at a church service at Jelewanga and Pam did a day teaching Sunday School teachers
12/8 Pam did a day teaching of Sunday School teachers at Damunu
16/8 We did an evening forum with the youth encouraging them to live a Godly life
18-25/8 Pam teaching at the Bible College at Yonga Bay
19/8 We both preached at the mid-week service at the Bible College
23/8 I’m to take the whole service (preach and whatever) at the church service at Yonga Bay
25/8-3/9 They haven’t finalised yet but —–
4/9 Meeting at Pambwa where we have to speak
5/9 Official opening of the new Pambwa church building.  I have to give the dedication address?? and preach the sermon and dedication prayer.
14-17/9 Music seminar at Damunu.  Pam’s involved each day; thankfully I’m no muso.
21-25/9 Leader’s conference at Kimuta.  We have a number of teaching sessions on subjects yet to be advised.

In between times we are travelling from place to place and doing other odd jobs.

I keep telling them I’m only an electrician and not a very bright one at that but it is not doing me any good.

God bless,

Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

Do you remember back in August I asked for prayer for a Leaders’ Meeting in Rossel Island re control of the Bible College land? It’s been an ongoing saga but we believe we have a breakthrough. The original meeting went well but some of the key people involved weren’t able to get there because of the continual bad weather.

We went to Yonga Bay where the Bible College is, held a second leaders’ meeting there, also inviting the landowners who had originally donated the land for the Bible College in 1995. They re-affirmed that decision and Phil surveyed the land and drew up a document to be signed by the clan leaders. Today we heard that the final signature required, that of the rebel former pastor who had caused the leadership confusion, had been obtained — a major breakthrough and hopefully a solving of the problem.

Phil did an excellent job combining firmness and diplomacy. I know some of you find that hard to believe — but it’s true.

Land ownership is becoming a major problem, especially as regards church land. In the past, word of mouth was sufficient but now documentation is required and many churches are facing the threat of losing their land. Therefore, wherever we go, Phil is doing a land survey using a hand-held GPS and drawing up clan agreement documents, having them signed and laminated and providing copies for all parties. The church leaders are very grateful for this service and the security it brings.

On the lighter side, we took the Rossel youth group .. a new record of 36 on board .. for a sail around to West Point for a picnic PNG style. I’ve got a charming set of photos which we are busy putting together to show you on our return. You will certainly notice some differences in style but it’s the same sky-larking and sense of fun as young people anywhere and we had a good time in spite of the occasional downpours.

We left Rossel on Friday with many tears of farewell and the rain still pouring down.

God bless you all,

Pam and Phil

PS Phil’s original sore has healed. He has another small one and is watching it like a hawk and doing incredible hopping antics to get from the dinghy to the shore without getting it wet .. much to the delight of the locals. He has also got a “Granny-stick”. Hmm!!

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Admiral’s Update 2007 No 8

Greetings All,

Your prayers make such a difference. The first day of the Relationship Conference at Buo was wild weather and the numbers were down but days two and three, the sun came out and dried out all the mud and many more people came from the more distant villages. Again the response was overwhelming.

One man who came with his family was Esau Paul. I’d heard about him when I wrote “The History of the CRC in the Louisiades”. He had started a church on the island of Ole in 1993 and then left to get his teeth fixed in Alotau and never came back. Another man, Matthew, reluctantly took over the leadership and kept praying for this man to return. I asked Esau how his teeth were and why he hadn’t returned. He laughed and said, “I was running away from God.” A modern day Jonah! He and his wife were very challenged by the Conference and he recommitted his life. He has real leadership qualities and I think, will now fulfil the call God put upon him all those years back.

We have now finished the third Relationship Conference at Yonga Bay, another deep bay along the west coast of Rossel Island where the wind whistles down in bullets over 35 knots and our wind generator screams it response. We must be anchored over a very large bombie (coral outcrop) as when we swing the depth sounder goes from 12.5 metres to 5.0 metres. The water is too dirty to see what is there. We are praying that the chain is not caught and the anchor will come up cleanly.

I wrote a letter to a couple I had met a couple of years ago. I had heard that George, the husband, had back-slidden so wrote inviting them to attend the teaching. They came and George asked many questions and was obviously reconsidering his stand with God. One of the questions he asked me was why couples as they grew older separated and lived in separate houses on Rossel and was it Biblical. I told him it wasn’t and I hadn’t been aware of this custom. One of our team members said it was a new thing since the ’90’s and becoming more common but no-one seemed to know why. George said it was an inspiration to them to see us still happy to be married after 38 years.

Please pray for the long term effects of my teaching. These people are challenged to rethink some of there cultural ways especially in regard to bringing up children but their habits are deeply ingrained. Immediately after hearing my teaching on lovingly disciplining your child, I saw one mother throwing rocks at a small child to hurry him along and then a father twisting the ears of his very young son who was embarrassing him by disrupting the meeting. We continue to hear horror stories from the past of children being burnt, being held under water (one girl with her uncle’s foot on her neck to keep her there),being tied up to a tree and made to watch the family eat their meals but not being given any themselves. Jokingly I said a “rod” was a small stick not a post, pointing to a support in the building, only to find out later that that was what was sometimes used. No wonder children are frightened of their parents and good communications so rare.

But things are changing and they are soaking up the teaching like blotting paper and already taking steps to heal past hurts and open up lines of communication. God is at work here!!

God bless you all,

Pam and Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

We’ve had a challenging time at Rossel Island. After the Sunday School teachers’ conference ended we returned eight girls to Buwo and picked up our team from there. The forecast was fairly savage and unlikely to change in the near future so we went ahead. For the nautically minded, we had up a triple-reefed main, the staysail and a reefed yankee in winds gusting to 36 knots. We would have flown across apart for the two knot current against us. For the non-nautical, we had pocket handkerchief sails up and gave the girls a thrill. They’re not used to a boat heeling and were sure we were going to tip over, especially when the wind generator screamed in the stronger gusts. Still “Maranatha” is built for heavy weather and it was a good trip.

When we anchored we were getting bullets of wind off the mountain. The strongest was 42 knots and flipped one of the outrigger canoes coming to meet us completely upside-down. Phil rescued him in our inflatable and then transported the team, their luggage and the usual mountain of food back to the yacht.

We returned the same day to Damunu for a two day ladies prayer and fasting conference. An issue that had been bothering me was the lack of men in the congregations on Rossel Island (not so on other islands). I challenged the ladies to pray by name for their menfolk and then to ask them to come to hear Phil talk the next day on the role of men in the church and the family. They poured their hearts out to God in prayer. About twelve men came and Phil did an excellent job of explaining how God holds them accountable for leadership in the church and in the home (Eph 5:22-33). The pastor was impressed and called a meeting of his church elders the following Monday for a repeat of his talk. I also spoke to a meeting of former graduates from the Yonga Bay Bible College and challenged them to put their knowledge into practice evangelizing their island.

Phil had also addressed the Bible College at Yonga Bay on the history of the nation of Israel from the fall of Jerusalem in AD70, the dispersion, WWII, the holocaust, the return to their land in 1948 up to the current war in Lebanon. They were extremely interested and had no knowledge of these things. He was asked to repeat it at Damunu before we left Rossel and again last night at the main church at Misima with quite a number from the United and UCM churches attending. We continually find instances where we have access to information these people here don’t have and they have a hunger to know.

Our plans changed and we made a quick trip directly back to Misima as one of the team members, Joe, was notified that his daughter had given birth prematurely (6 months) to twins, one of which died but the other is doing well. They don’t have any humidi-cribs or other equipment usually found in Australian hospitals for such cases. We are now planning to return to Sudest Island and meet up with some of the leaders from Rossel to help start a CRC fellowship on that island, something we have been praying for since the first year we came here as there is virtually no effective Christian activity on the island.

God bless you all,

Pam and Phil

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