PNG Mission Report (part No.20)
Date: 19th January 2012
Dear Pastor, Church & all Supporters;
(Heb 2:9) “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.”
(Heb 2:10) ¶ “For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.”
I should back up to (04/Sept/2011) which was a Sunday from my last report (No.19) where I was camped at a place called Kewane Valley. After Church services on that day there was a young lad somewhere about the age of fourteen, which, had been born again and wanted baptism to join the church there. The church voted for him to be baptized and also for me to perform the baptism in their behalf. We walked a short distance to the water (which had been dammed up in a hole) and after a short examination of his salvation experience, we both went down into the water and I baptized him there, afterwards coming up straight way out of the water he was received with the right hand of fellowship of the church.
05th September 2011 (Mon)
At 0500 hrs I woke and started the process of packing for our day of departure, the coffee was put on, whilst we organized our packing. This duty follows a procedure as I have explained many times, and for many reasons. Whilst in the bush, I have learned what not to do and what to do, it is imperative that one follows strictly a code and becomes familiar with this code of conduct, otherwise there is mayhem, confusion, items which may be broken, lost, and or damaged. In the bush there is no hardware to go to in order to replace a broken item, there are no shops to replace what you lost, or need, there are no [drop it off, and I be back tomorrow] to collect it – sort of thing. Sweet Potatoes were on the menu for breakfast with a strong cup of coffee, I have learned long ago, that picky eating habits have no place in the bush, and will be short lived. Most of my life as I travel around the world and find myself among different kinds of people I have learned that those who grow up in Third World Countries will eat most anything and NOT complain, it is just the opposite with those who have come from a developed society.
0630 hrs we were packed and ready to set off however we waited a bit before setting off, as there were morning showers, which seemed to be tapering off. By 0700 hrs the rains had stopped, we assembled in formation and started off. Saying good byes are never easy, neither this time as we departed. The pastor and several of the members seen us off, and it was not long until we had hiked out of sight. We came to the river, crossed the bridge and then we started immediately up. For the next three thousand feet we would ascend at times the angle would rise to almost a right angle making it almost impossible to climb without some type of artificial assistance, or having one of the Natives help by pulling.
We made good time in the morning hours, being cool and ascending almost as fast as the clouds. About half way up we stopped for a short break, which at this point the clouds were on one side and rising fast. When the view came clear we were standing on the side of a rock mountain with a drop around fifteen feet to the river below. The view was simply breath taking and a moment to behold, after we had taken our short break we continued up, without any mishaps we reached the top in three and a half hours. We did not tarry as our destination this day was quite far, going down does not always mean easier, or faster. One must take into account that most every night the heavens open and the earth is watered generously by our LORD, therefore it becomes compulsory that you place your step exactly where the Native in front of you places his. They have been hiking these mountains almost from the day that they can walk and learn where to and where not to, place they’re feet.
We descended the first mountain, and with the valley floor in front of us for some time we made good time. The miles slowly passed behind us, and the hours as well until we came to a halfway point. We took another break about half an hour. After resting we were ready to set off again, the terrain changed from rolling hills of grasslands, to swamps back to the mountains. We were back in the jungles and sight of the sky passed for the time being. With no view of any landmark in the distance it becomes a moot point to try and see how far yet one must travel. We continued until we came to a clearing where we had now entered the Levini Valley, a short break and then we were off again. I knew we were near and this encouraged us, we were tired, muddy, and hungry, we arrived at Nanabi Baptist Church at 1700 hrs. The hike had taken us ten hours and the distance covered that day was twenty miles, some of the most rugged hiking, which we would do on this trip.
Being late in the day, we set up camp, pitched our tent and had bath water put on to heat for our bathing. The pastor of this church (Bro. James Kai) *) I have written much about him in this report and so by now you may know who he is and the history which makes him a interesting character in these reports. He had organized a traditional Mumu and we were summoned to the area. As the food was removed, cut up and served we received our portion, and then we went back to camp where we prepared for our bathing. Nightfall had arrived and after our bathing it did not take us long to settle in for the evening. The hike took most of our energy for that day and with our bellies full, and a warm bath it was sooo nice to simply lie down and rest. Only the LORD can know the effort and energy that it has taken to go where we did and accomplish what we were able to simply because HE allowed it, and gave us the health, energy, and strength to do this.
Here is a short story that touched my heart that night as I lay down this night ready to retire and as I contemplated the day’s hike, and where we had just come from and why! My LORD impressed upon my heart that night and encouraged me; I had flown half way around the world, driven for miles, and hiked through some of the most rugged country to a small village, lost in time and preached the Gospel to a small but faithful Church for three days. The LORD had one of HIS sheep there and HE brought HIS messenger to find one of HIS lost sheep. I thought about the joy that heaven engages in when one of GOD’S children has been saved, when a lost sheep has been found. As I mediated upon this thought, the pains somehow faded away and the aches subsided, I thanked the LORD in prayer that night and fell asleep.
06th September 2011 (Tuesday)
0600 hrs I started my day, I spent time studying, as I would be preaching this morning. I took some time to tidy up and become presentable for church services, and by 0930 hrs the church had assembled with many visitors. The house was packed with many sitting outside. I preached on ‘Forgiveness’ (a subject) which many of us have great difficulty when we are the ones in the story.
After the preaching the pastor let out for a small break for half an hour and we resumed for another service. I preached on ‘Where is Jesus now, and what is HE doing?” The services were wonderful and the Spirit of God dwelled among us that day. Several church issues were resolved and the spirit of fellowship was some of the best that I have seen in a long time.
I spent some time in the afternoon talking with the men about the mission work and different problems, which they had been facing.
I had dinner with my wife in the tent and afterwards we took our baths and called it a day. We felt rested and thanked the LORD for this day as it truly was much needed after yesterday.
07th September 2011 (Wednesday)
I woke at 0600 hrs, it had rained hard all night and as I went outside the tent I noticed that our tent was actually sitting in a stand of water. This day would be our departure day out of the Levini Valley, working our way back towards the Tanggi mission station with a couple churches in the way, which we would visit.
After we had packed up and had some coffee and sweet potatoes we set off at o730 hrs. The valley floor was simply like a marsh with all the rains last night and had not had time to run off. All the streams and rivers in the valley were over their banks, and to say the least it was muddy. We said our farewells to the people of Nanabi Bap Church until the next time and set off across the valley floor, winding our way through this maize of mud, swamps and waterways until we came to the foot of the mountain, which we had crossed in coming here. The hike up was slow due to the mud and slippery conditions. By 1030 hrs we arrived at the top of the mountain, had our water break and some sweet potatoes, then we carried on down the mountain working our way to Muli Baptist Church. We arrived there by 1230 hrs and were greeted by Pastor Kuni, he being one of the few pastors in PNG, at least of his generation who speaks a little English, so he had an opportunity to practice his English with my wife since she does not speak any of the languages in PNG. We were welcomed, then given a house where we would put our camping gear. After a short while of resting and sorting through things, we were summoned to the Mumu site where we were honoured as the guests and served the (fatted calf) only its pork in PNG. We had our meal, took some time to clean up and change clothes for Church Service.
The building was a bit bigger then the others and could hold about 300 people the way PNG Natives seat folks, the building was not full but we had at least 200 folks that day. I preached on [Election], the services last for about two hours; we dismissed for a short break about half an hour and then we resumed for another afternoon service. I preached on [Who is Melchizedek]. After services we started our domestic duties of heating water for bathing, preparing the food to be heated of which we had, had for our mid-day meal.
The rain set in for the evening, having a bush house to put up was quite a step up for us, if for no other reason then to be able to stand up.
It had been a good day, not as long as some had been, with the rain and no lighting but torchlight, (flashlight) there isn’t much to do in the night. I spent some time with my headlamp studying as I knew tomorrow would also be a busy day and the H.S. will not bring to your remembrance things which you (have NOT) studied.
We called it a day, thanked the LORD for our provisions and mercy to us, switched off the headlamp.
To be continued…
Missionary Peter Halliman