Continued from Report (#24)
Report No. (25)
Date: 20th March 2012
Dear Pastor, Church, and Supporters;
(Eze 33:6) “But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand.
(Eze 33:7) “So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.”
6th October 2011 (Thursday)
0500 hrs the day started, being in Port Moresby the weather is similar to that of parts of Africa, meaning, there is a dry season for six months, and monsoon for six months. The humidity and heat factor is considerably greater than what it is in the Highlands. At Sea level there is not much reprieve from the heat unless you are in some area of climate control devices. We had some coffee in the room and finished packing our things, went to check out and take the shuttle bus to the airport. I had pre-booked the tickets but had not paid for them at that time; therefore we needed to procure the tickets. As we cleared security clearance I went to the counter to purchase our tickets but was told that this service had been transferred to another building. We took our baggage and went to where we were instructed; there was already a queue of folks so we simply fell into the queue. Time passed and we were served, we returned to the check in lobby, cleared customs again and when we were served, we were told that the flight we were booked on had already closed the gate. We were then booked on the next flight, on [standby]. This can mean anything in PNG.
After waiting for a few hours, we boarded the flight and departed POM for Mt. Hagen, when touching down we were met by Bro. Ekere’s, we unpacked and spent the rest of the day with Bro. Ekere and his family. That evening we had a Bible study with several folks, discussed the schedule of the work and called it a day at 2200 hrs.
07th October 2011 (Friday)
08th October 2011 (Saturday)
For the next two days, I made a list of supplies, which we would need to restock when returning to the bush. We spent time securing these supplies in Mt. Hagen and also we were trying to secure a vehicle whereby we could use to transport the supplies and us back to the Tanggi Mission Station.
Over the years there has been a growing interest in new areas for our mission work to reach and be planted amongst the people of that particular area. One of this area’s I have mentioned a few times over the years as I have been making short mission trips to and fro. I was gearing up for this mission trip now, and preparing the supplies, as I did not know what I would face in the bush. I remember years ago, when my father made a patrol into an area where the cannibals lived, they ran out of food, and were lost for eleven days. Only the LORD knows the prayers, and faith, which were exercised at that time. PNG is unlike Africa in as much that it is NOT over populated; it is common to hike for miles in the jungles of PNG and not see a soul, though you may be seen and followed. The Natives of PNG, will be seen when they want to and that is that.
The medic bag was checked, replenished, and rechecked, there are enough problems hiking in the jungles of PNG, without adding to the problems. The last time in 2009 I was three days hike into the jungles and sustained a broken arm with the larger bone protruding out of the skin. Gangrene and infection are a real concern in the rainforests of PNG, during that time I had ran out of some of my medication and one of those were pain killers (a real need at that time). I didn’t want to end up with a similar problem this time.
09th October 2011 (Sunday)
Bro. Ekere had asked me to preach and so I was up early preparing for the service. I preached to a full house of folks, some who had hiked for three hours coming to worship with us. The song service was wonderful and then I preached on “Where is God’s Glory”
The service ended and then we enjoyed some sweet fellowship with the church folks for some time, before going on to Bro. Ekere’s house and spending the rest of the day with him and his family.
Later that evening, a friend of mine, Christian and church member of Kim Bap Church, who is the Police Commander in Koroba, he came as he had some Police business to attend to in Mt. Hagen and also we visited. I spoke with him about some security issues, which I felt we needed to enforce in the near future around the mission station; we called it a day and retired for the evening.
10th October 2011 (Monday)
The day started early for me at 0500 hrs, I had my coffee, sat in conference with Bro Ekere about the details of our journey, when my expected return would be etc… we departed Mt. Hagen with our cargo and seven other men in the vehicle, by 0700 hrs we were on the road. For the next eight hours I would negotiate through the mountains, across bridges, which seemed to ache bearing the load, which crossed over them. The clouds and fog began to lift slowly and lazily as though some mystical magic were hidden within the mountains.
The vehicle (a Toyota Land Cruiser pickup 4 X4) which was locally owned and was on hire, showed signs of heavy abuse in the clutch, the gear shift had a lot of play in it, but the engine was strong and pulled under the load, as the miles passed away, so too the time. A couple times we stopped along the way to allow different ones to relieve themselves and stretch our legs. I made a short detour once we arrived in Tari and drove to Nogoli to see Bro Andi (Pastor of Nogoli Bap Church); I needed to council with him regarding some of the mission work in that area. We didn’t tarry long, and continued onward to Tanggi.
11th October 2011 (Tuesday)
The rest of the day was spent in unpacking and repacking our supplies, as tomorrow we would set off for our hike to the regions beyond. Lunch was made and we took our midday meal, after which we continued sorting through the packing effort. Weight has to be distributed evenly, besides certain items must be packed where they are easily accessible. The medic pack has to be carefully packed, all bottles, and containers which contain liquid [MUST] be checked, tops taped and put in plastic bags, or Ziplocs. All this takes considerable time and effort, which is both important and necessary whilst living in the bush.
Our Tents were examined and packed, the daylight hours turned into night, and soon we finished our task of packing for our journey. We did not know when we would return home again, only that we had set an itinerary. I treated our hiking boots with axle grease as I have found this to be about the best waterproofing system in the bush. All the shelf items which are supposed to seal, waterproof boots, keep your feet dry etc… are nothing more then a whole lot of hype that bears pretty names, tags, and colours but has no substance. Just simple axle grease will do, it too in the end will be worn off and the process will have to be repeated again.
We had our dinner and thanked the LORD for our time of refreshing away from the bush, but we were ready to get back to searching for GOD’S sheep. The candles were extinguished and once again the drumming of the rain seemed to carry my thoughts into the unseen world of sleep.
As always with me, before a journey I sleep little the night before and many times am restless through the night. I woke several times in the night, and with the rains still pouring down, I knew that it would be a wet, muddy hike in the morning.
12th October 2011 (Wednesday)
0500 hrs the day started, we had some coffee and some sweet potatoes, which had been cooked in the night but were still warm in the wood stove’s oven. The backpacks were assigned to the carriers and with our prayer for the LORD’S blessings we set off. This hike was much the same as others before us, the first hour usually is the hardest (at least for me) as this is the time when the bodies muscles and cardio-system is trying to synchronise with the load put upon it. The air gets thinner; temperature is cooler, as we climb higher in altitude. The Natives have adapted to this over the years of their lives but for us who make seasonal trips to places like this have to bear the burden to adjust as quickly as we can in order to keep up.
Over a period of seven hours we hiked and after crossing two mountain ridges we came to the same church we had preached at where the membership is mostly women. We set up camp, as we would spend the night before going onward. The usual routine was carried out, bath water was heated, food was prepared for dinner and though this always gets told in a sentence, it takes [a lot of time] to do these domestic chores without electric or running water. Where we were camped, we would depart the next day on our journey into an area where our work had been invited for several years, but I always ran out of time before reaching there. The last time (2009) I had visited the border of this new area but had not ventured into the heartland of this new area among the (Hewa people).
The rains began to set in but not hard; a slow rain, which, I have experienced, will not end soon. Through the evening and night the rains continued and was not until daybreak when the rains ceased.
13th October 2011 (Thursday)
0500 hrs the day started, this would be a long day and we needed to get an early start. The hike was new to me as well, I had been into the area where we were going but went in a different way. There was a young Duna man (Akibe) who would become point man and lead us into this area. I should also state that in years past I have written much about a Duna woman named (Yokome) who was the wife of a young Duna pastor who passed away back in 1998. She has never remarried and has kept the spirit alive to take the Gospel to this area among the Hewa people, she is along with us on the patrol, in fact her and another woman who have made their own patrols to these people witnessing for the LORD, it is my belief that GOD will use a woman to do HIS work, when the men [DO NOT] step up to the plate. HE used Deborah, Esther many women of the Bible days have been used in a great way for the LORD’S work.
We departed at 0600 hrs from camp and walked a short ways along the main road, then diverted into the bush going in a downward direction. It was not long until I heard the roaring of a river, most of the rivers in PNG are white-water rapids and many of them would fall into a class IV or class V river, that is information for those who might think they would enjoy negotiating the rivers as a way of travel.
Several hours passed and we came to a crossing of this [Pori River], there was a wire swinging bridge, which had replaced the old bamboo brides of days gone by. It was very easy to see how it would take a great deal of faith to cross the old bamboo / cane bridges of days gone by, knowing that if one did fall into these rivers, it would only be by GOD’S grace that you would ever come out alive.
We crossed the river, had some lunch and then carried on hiking, after a short ways along the mountainside, we then began to turn and hike up the mountain. A couple hours passed and we came to a spot where fresh mountain water was running off. We stopped to refresh ourselves with this water, beautiful, uncontaminated, no chemicals, no drugs, and no treatment, just GOD’S own natural provision for life.
We carried on and after another hour of hiking we came to the place where we would set up camp, there was a church building which had been erected back in 2009 after I had failed to reach this place due to my falling and breaking my arm.
After twelve hours of hiking that day we were tired, hungry, and ready to bath. Some of the men took some buckets with them to a near by river and filled up the buckets with mountain water carrying back to our camp for us to have water to cook and bath with.
The water was put on for cooking and bathing. We bathed, and then ate a meal of rice, corned beef, onions, leeks, cabbage, and ginger. It was as though we had been fed Angels food as the Children of Israel long ago in the wilderness.
We were ready to call it an evening and did so; it did not take long for either one of us to fall asleep.
To be continued…
Missionary Peter Halliman