Date: 21st Nov 2011
Dear Pastor, Church & all Supporters;
(1Th 1:3) “Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;”
(1Th 1:4) “Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.”
PNG report continued… (Part 12)
26th Aug 2011 (Friday)
Our Morning started at 0500 hrs, at this hour it is still dark, but in forty-five min time will be light enough to see. I had a meeting scheduled with Bro Ekere and some of the pastors around Tanggi; therefore, I wanted to have breakfast and some of the domestic chores behind me at such time the men would start congregating.
Our breakfast was served up with shredded sweet potato fried in a ‘hash-brown’ style with green onions, fresh ginger root, and some stout coffee. Breakfast finished and going over some topics, which, I knew, would be discussed so as to save time. One thing about Tribal people is that those who are present in meetings, often times will all say much of the same thing but from a different angle and perspective. This habit stems from the background, of language, and stories, customs, taboos, and counsel being handed down from person to person. Most Tribal people do not read as such, they have no set form of learning (except personal, and by example) most building blocks in life are those learned in practical exercises. They hear, see, and then do! A simply way, but effect, whilst the developed world we target (or try to) learning through books, other men’s writings, we read about history, whilst the Tribal people tell it, and repeat it. Generations of ancestry are memorized and handed down; many of them even today can name their forefathers as far back as fourteen generations, can you?
The key to working with Tribal people is simply being patient and endure the task, the next time in a discussion or work exercise and you are among some of your countrymen which, you feel you have had enough and its time to move on, just remember how patient God has been with you!
The men began to gather around 0900 hrs, as we met in the ‘men’s house, the pastors who gathered were from around the Tanggi area and wanted to discuss our problem with the Bible School, as well as my timetable and future plans. Some of the men who came to the meeting, were Tribal leaders and ‘unsaved’, there is a point I want to make here, the strong Biblical teaching that has been given over the years, has affected even the lost, and when we meet for meetings, even if it’s a ‘generic meeting’ they will ask that we open with prayer. There are different methods of teaching; especially with different peoples, and with the people here in Africa as well as PNG, I sometimes will ‘try’ the preacher brethren to see if anyone will pick up on ‘that which is about to go wrong’. Sometimes the best way to teach is to simply take the opposing position and see who is awake.
I started the meeting, and one of the men, (Kenawa – the Tribal Chief from Levini who has not made a profession of faith in Christ, said, Mr. Missionary we have to start the meeting with prayer! I was both impressed and pleased that the preaching of God’s Word has had such an effect on people over the years. We did have prayer, and we continued in our meeting. We talked about such things as what would we do about a Bible School teacher, for this is a real need in the work. Over the past years there have been teachers, but they have went by the wayside, thus leaving the building to be just that, a house with no students. I took suggestions, of which, one was for me to find someone in the US who would be interested in this position, and lest we forget – they would need to be QUALIFIED! Secondly, they asked me to consider coming for a few months to teach each year. After several years of running into problems with the bible schoolteachers, the pastors and churches are a bit gun shy!
I have run into this in the past, and do not want to repeat the same issue again. If anyone who reads this report, and would think that the LORD would have you to come to PNG to assist with the mission work as a Bible School teacher, then you and I would need to meet, firstly with my Pastor and church for discussions, and then I would further recommend that you be given a doctrinal exam by me.
I have found that in my short life as a Christian and ministry as a preacher of God’s Word, preaching with the persuasion of our Landmark Baptistic doctrines, that Satan will try to destroy the LORD’S work from the outside, and when this fails, he (Satan) will then work from within. More churches and mission works have suffered from some junior teacher, pastor, assistant coming into a work where the pastor, or missionary has laboured for years building up the church, mission work, and then underhanded divisions start, some doctrine contrary to what the people have been taught starts filtering in.
I believe, that every young preacher who wants to get his feet wet, should be harnessed with an older preacher, and every lesson that the younger preacher wants to preach or teach should pass before the senior pastor/missionary! Some may disagree with me, and that is fine but it sure would stop a lot of nonsense.
We spoke about setting up a ‘pastors seminar’ apart from the bible school, just for preachers – of which they insisted that I do the teaching for this field.
The meeting lasted several hours; suggestions were given talked about and re-discussed. No real answer was submitted except that of (Ps 127:1) ¶ “Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.”
(Mt 9:38) “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.”
The meeting was concluded with prayer and we committed these things unto our LORD. Afterward the men went their own way and I returned to the house, it was in the mid afternoon so we had something to eat.
The rest of the day was spent around the house, which gave me time to do some more study for the upcoming days when I would be on patrol and in the bush.
Around 1600 hrs it started raining and continued into the night, with the solar panel that I had purchased and a small battery, and one fifteen watt light, it was enough light to give us lighting within the house and made us feel like we were lodged within a five star hotel. Some of the most content and happiest times are those spent with the simple things in life.
I can understand completely why we are living in a generation of people who are never satisfied, and many have a void in their life, trying to fill it up with everything from A to Z! There is no more ‘family life’, no quite time, no bible reading together, no prayer time together. Always the TV’s, radio’s, movies, personal music –devices etc… you look around you in most developed places and find most children to young folks with their ears –plugged with music devices. We are living in a generation of individuals and everyone has become an entity to themselves -noun
A thing with distinct and independent existence
It had been a good day, many concerns were put on the table, and only the LORD knows how and when they shall be addressed. It bears heavy on my heart that there are so many needs for God’s people, and many have a genuine request to be helped.
Another day has passed, its 2300 hrs as we call it a night listening to the constant beating of rain upon the roof.
To be continued…
Missionary Peter A. Halliman
RETURN TO PNG REPORTS