Date: 24th Dec 2011
PNG mission report continued [Part 18]
Dear Pastor, Church & all Supporters;
(1Th 5:25) “Brethren, pray for us.”
(2Th 1:2) “Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
1st September 2011 (Thursday)
Day light broke at 0545 hrs and at 0600 hrs I was out of the tent enjoying God’s creation and once again admiring the majesty of the mountains rising to twelve thousand feet behind our tent. These mountains seemed to have raised their heads above the clouds and posed as giant guards surrounding this valley. As I sat musing over the beauty of God’s creation, the colours and their saturation, a Native man came over to where I was sitting and quietly sat down, looking towards a mountain ridge pointing with his finger, and slowly began to reveal to me how as a young man, he had for the first time seen this (White-man) my father) appear over out of no where. He stated, his people thought that the ‘gods’ had sent a messenger to come visit them. In fact not the ‘gods’, but the God of gods, and the LORD of lords did indeed send Missionary Fred T. Halliman to visit them. He revealed how he as a young man had fled in fear to the mountains and in the night he became confused as to where he was and how to get home. Thus he spent the night sitting in a tree, which he had climbed in fear of being attacked by the wild hogs. He had waited till morning hours and then he had returned to his village where he seen this same ‘White man’ preaching to the people. He related to me that in time the LORD had saved him, and he realized that he had not run away in fear of Missionary Halliman as a man, but the message he had heard had condemned his sins, thus he believed that this ‘white-man’ had the powers of the gods in order to know about his sins.
Ro 1:19 ¶ Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
Ro 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
We were scheduled to stay at this area (Arape Bap church) for a couple days, therefore today would simply be a worship day with the folks. We had our morning coffee and some sweet potatoes for breakfast, I was informed that we would have a morning service as the folks wanted to honour our coming with a traditional Mumu.
The men are the ones who are engaged in this exercise, and the work had already started early. There were different ones who had been hiking in the very early morning hours to carry their hogs which, they would either tie onto a pole and two men carry it, or else they would cart the animal on their shoulder. Several men had already assembled and were busy with the preparations. When I read in the O.T. how the children of Israel were to bring their sacrifices and then the priests would prepare the animal for slaughter and sacrifice, I have a real good vision of what took place and the work involved in this exercise. It is both time consuming as well as hard work, thus it becomes a cooperative effort for this task to be completed in a timely fashion.
We were ready to assemble for our first service around 0900 hrs, folks were eager to be fed God’s Word and it is a great joy to any Christian who has prepared at home with great anticipation to be fed by God’s Word and when arriving at Church that is what is expected. As we assembled the church house was filled at once and many folks would find their seating place on the outside of the building in various places in order to hear the preaching. I have always believed that the music (this does not only mean instruments, but the human voice becomes the greatest musical instrument made) – prepares the hearers for the preaching of the WORD! I am of the persuasion that if the song service is conducted in such a way that the folks are half asleep, or simply hum along, well that is a good idea of how they also will receive the WORD of GOD, they will know that after the [third song, and prayer its time to sleep for thirty minutes, after which, they will wake for the final song and prayer]
I was given time to preach, and did so, I don’t take this task lightly nor do I believe it should be. I believe that God has given us preachers a certain amount of time with folks once they are assembled, and we can use the time wisely and simply preach God’s WORD, or else we can waste it on joke telling, stories, drama, humour, but this will never save anyone, and we will give an account (I believe) how we handled the WORD of God.
After a long morning service, we were dismissed, this allowed the men who had been engaged in the preparation of the food to now take the time to uncover it and proceed with the serving. We were summoned to the place of the Mumu and after several men worked for almost an hour, removing, cutting up the meat, distributing according to protocol as I have previously explained in other reports, we were served our share.
The afternoon hours wore on and mid afternoon the folks wanted another service, of which we conducted one. Then we rested about an hour and resumed for another service, as the folks needed time to hike back to their homes before dark and the rains.
It had been a full day, I was physically tired, but the LORD had given me the strength to manage the schedule through out the day.
We begin to settle in for the evening, the domestic chores stole our attention; water was carried from a nearby mountain stream, put on the fire and heated for bathing. Our evening meal consisted of the left over Mumu food, therefore it was simply a matter of following the next course of action, after bathing, eating, following was sitting in the tent as the rains had sent in and trying to settle in for the evening.
As I have mentioned in previous reports, whilst in the bush camped in a tent, the nights are long and days are short – simply because we are confined to the tent until morning hours.
To be continued…
Missionary Peter A. Halliman