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Missionary / Evangelist: Peter A. Halliman
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Date: 06th Jan 2012

Dear Pastor, Church & all Supporters;

(Php 1:9) ¶ And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;

(Php 1:10) That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;

Friday 2nd Sept 2011

We rose early – at daybreak to start the packing – our coffee had already been started around 0500 hrs. The contents of the tent were removed, sleeping bags rolled and packed, pads, along with our backpacks and once again the organization began. After an hour and half we had the camp all packed up and the bags assigned. Today would be a very long day and a trying day – I have made this hike several times over the years and I have never seen a easy way to get to where we would be going, except if you were to be air lifted out by a helicopter.

After we had our prayer and checked our packs again we set off for a journey, which would endure fifteen miles to the next church.

First thing up front we found ourselves negotiating the Levini Valley’s renowned swamps. Once again the Natives, different ones were surveying the best possible route for us. To them it is as long as it is short, one is going to get wet and muddy so they always take the path of least resistance, which is as straight as possible. We were jumping from one clump of swamp grass sodden with some soil to another in order to keep from sinking past our knees. This becomes tiresome real quick, but is the method of choice (at least for now). The valley began to unfold as we meandered through our maize of weaving back and forth. Looking back, we could view the Arape Bap church, which, seemed like we had gone nowhere, but to view the time it was nearly 0900 hrs. There was a river, which we had to cross, but no bridges so we were carted across on the shoulders of some of the men. The time passed and we continued till we came to a knoll three hours from where we had started. We took a break, and then continued I knew at the pace, which we were hiking, we would never make it before nightfall. I spoke with my wife and explained this issue to her, she again never complained and could make the hike to where we were going, however as I have stated the length of the hike and the terrain is not something someone wants to be caught with in the dark. I made the decision again and we made a carrier, for some time we progressed in this way, the men taking turns and others assisting with the backpacks.

The pace was quickened and after another three hours we arrived just over half way on the top of Kewane Mountain. We stopped for something to eat and refresh ourselves with the pure mountain water of the PNG Mountains. There were several men who had hiked up this mountain from the valley below in order to assist our men in the carrying of the loads. As we preceded it was all down hill from where we sat. Sometimes the angle was so sharp that when carrying a backpack, the rear of the pack would hit the rocks and tree roots as one descended.

Bye and bye we arrived at the bottom of this ten thousand foot mountain. We crossed the last river and then for another hour we hiked to the campsite. There was a small crowd of folks who had anxiously been waiting for our coming. I wrote about this church and special place in 2009. Perhaps some or all of you may, or may not remember therefore, I will only briefly comment again on this church and area.

The pastor (Bro. Kundu) is an older man perhaps in his early 80’s – he was a young man when my father came the first time to PNG. He was one of the early Christians and he with his wife was the first couple, which my father married in the church. He was called to preach late in life and when so the LORD called him back to his own place and among the people of this valley (Kewane Valley) it would appear as a small Levini Valley, however the floor of this valley sits at 8000 ft. whilst Levini floor sits at 7800 ft. There are several families, which live in this valley, and they (most of them) make up the local church found here.

They had been a mission point for a number of years, however in 2004 I advised them to be organized into a local church. They followed my advice and I had the honour to organize that church in 2004. As I went back in 2009 and visited with them, they were still faithful and had even grown in number. I am now here again in 2011 and they have grown even some more. I will now make my comments regarding this church.

Bro. Kundu is as faithful as a man can be – I am reminded of his steadfastness as that of Noah, in the face of all odds he continues, he receives little encouragement even from his own people. The time it takes to hike there even by their pace it still takes six hours from the Tanggi mission station. When arriving there, in retrospect there is nothing there except a small valley and a few people. There are no main roads, there are no vehicles coming or going, there is no development and furthermore, apart from flying over the valley in a helicopter and or hiking in, one would never know that this valley existed, much less any people there.

Bro. Kundu faithfully shepherds the people there, not often does he come out, and not often do others hike into that valley, but he simply carries on what the LORD has entrusted into his care. Bro Kundu doesn’t receive much as far as cash is concerned, however the members were taught the biblical lesson on (Tithes and Offerings) they pay their pastor with foods grown out of the gardens. This practice has been followed for hundreds of years, God ordained that HIS men, servants, shepherds should be cared for by the people whom they minister unto.

When we arrived, we were greeted with hearty handshakes, and smiles, which told the tale of genuine excitement. It was not difficult to see the joy and appreciation, which they felt for having received visitors.

I too fondly remember the joy and excitement I experienced when as a young man growing up, whilst dad would be absent from the family on the field, and when the time came for him to come home for a visit with his family. Those fond memories I will cherish till the next life, so too I could relate to the joy and excitement that these folks had when we arrived.

It did not take us long until we were shown where to pitch our tent, there was a bush house for the men and without delay we set up camp. The day had been long, hard and muddy, we needed to bath and so Bro Kundu showed us our bathhouse – I need to comment a bit on the difference between a man and a boy, firstly never send a boy to do a man’s job, and secondly, a man (real man) doesn’t have to be told but once!

I will now insert this comment here, whilst at the Nogoli Bap church Bible Conference I made an announcement to all the pastors that in my patrols around to the churches, I expected them to have a bathhouse sorted out for my wife and I, and a toilet (new) for us – reason being just that – I now had a wife and I was not prepared to subject her to some of what I had put up with for many years in the bush. I said all that to say this, Bro Kundu had prepared the (best) bathhouse, and toilet for us, of all the places we went to visit. I was both impressed and satisfied that he truly had the heart of a (shepherd); he knew how to keep a family. He had water on the fire heating prior to our coming so this was the icing on the cake as though it were, especially for my wife.

The bathing was simply wonderful, after hiking fifteen miles in the Jungles and Mountains of PNG – After a good warm bath, change of clothes, and a solid place to rest oneself, that somehow this makes it all better, and the aching and struggling, the challenge to stay upright is all but forgotten for the moment. After we had camp all sorted out, we were summoned to a Mumu – where we were officially welcomed and made the honour of guests. Bro Kundu and two older men, more so then Bro Kundu stated that my wife was the first (white woman) to enter their valley and physically arrive there.

We had our meal and soon the rains settled in, being this high elevation the clouds dropped within a hundred feet above us. This picture reminded me of how the LORD baptized the children of Israel in the Red Sea, meaning, the water stood on both sides, before them and behind them they were blocked in by water sides and overhead the cloud covered the top – this by definition is [batizo] – immersion].

Mountains towering above to twelve thousand feet surrounded us and the clouds covering the sky above us, before us and after us, we too were immersed. It became as though God said… [I will show you what it looks like from the inside when you are baptized], I will never forget that sight, or the message.

We retired for the evening, it was good to lie down and feel something soft [my sleeping bag]. I can assure you the best sleeping pill is a good hike in the mountains.

03rd Sept 2011 Sat

At 0500 hrs I woke and needed to rise, I had all the sleeping bag that I wanted for one night. I exited the tent and went out to sit and enjoy the beautiful and wonderful creation, which our LORD had put before my eyes. The clouds had not lifted, but were starting to move, the transformation is incredible and as the cloud cover starts to break up, different forms and sizes appear as if this giant blanket which our LORD covered us for the night now was being removed. At one end of the valley light rays were filtering in through pocket holes of this thick cloud. The LORD preached to me a great message that morning that no matter how one covers himself, the all seeing eye of God will pierce our cover and reveal the innermost sins.

Soon there were other folks moving around in the early morning hours, there were young girls and women, which I viewed from a distance in route to fetch water to start the day. I wondered how many of these trips would they make in their lifetime doing the same thing over and over.

We had some peanut butter and crackers for breakfast and prepared for services at 0930 hrs. I preached on the second coming of our LORD (1st phase) the Rapture – I hold to the Pre-Trib Rapture position, but know that some of my readers hold a different position, that is ok, I will still see you in heaven when its all over.

After the first service, we let out for a break about an hour and then resumed and held another service, this time I preached on Satan’s work among God’s people. We concluded for the day as the rains set in and rained hard till 1600 hrs. We had our dinner, which consisted of rice, cabbage, corned beef, and onions, this was my first good meal in two days, and so I loaded up.

The rains started again at 1800 hrs and rained through the night.

04th Sept 2011 Sunday

Having rained all night, it was wet, very wet outside – at 8000 ft it takes a bit more time for the sun to dry up things, and at this altitude with mountains all around us, the valley develops its own weather pattern. I always enjoyed the early morning hours as it would afford me time to read and mediate upon God’s WORD. Some of the best messages I have ever listened to have simply been to sit quietly in nature and be still. God can preach far better messages then any human tongue.

The birds were all singing that morning, the clouds had lifted early, therefore the valley was clear, the storm had passed through the night, and as I thought about those birds, how fragile but still God had hid them in HIS hand whilst the fierce winds and dashing rains beat through the night, HE protected them and here they were singing praises to HIS NAME, on HIS day – what a message to me! How much more were we, HIS people, HIS sheep, and HIS children whom HE had elected, and died for, whom HE has secured and given life eternal. I thought about how there is no election for the birds, but there is for HIS people.

As I listened to the choir of these tropical birds, their voices were crisp, and clear I was inspired by this message again and felt like breaking forth in songs and hymns to join their choir.

I had my coffee and breakfast then prepared for church, that day seemed special as I witnessed God’s creation praising HIM.

I preached for what we would call S.S. and then we took a short break and then I preached again. It was midday when we let out, and at first we were going to pack up and start the hike back, however Bro Kundu said if we were to do so we would get caught in heavy rains. Therefore I decided it was better to stay where we could keep dry and already had camp set up. We would depart in the morning.

The rest of the day, I spent some time talking to the older men and writing some history down from the early days of the mission work and the days of my father and the older generation who are all falling asleep.

Our day passed, the evening set in and so did the rains again, the temp dropped to 52 dg’s in the night – this may sound good for some folks who like it cold, but for me this is [cold].

To be continued…

Missionary Peter A. Halliman