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Missionary / Evangelist: Peter A. Halliman
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Date: 10th Nov 2011

Dear Pastor, Church & all Supporters;

Continued… Part 7

(Col 3:14) “And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.”

(Col 3:15) “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.”

15th, 16th, 17th Aug 2011

These last three days we were on standby whilst Yawas (this friend of mine who had purchased a new vehicle) he had some business in Mt. Hagen and he needed to have his vehicle serviced as per the ‘new vehicle’ break in service at 1000 kilometers. During these three days, we went over several times what we had and if we had missed anything. It’s a bit late to check things once in the bush and being ten to twelve hour’s drive from Mt. Hagen it is wise to make sure of everything before departing.

The morning of the 18th Aug 2011 (Thursday) we were up at 0300 hrs and had the vehicle packed up by 0400 hrs and were ready to pull out of Mt. Hagen. With it still dark outside, we set off in the early morning hours. With us in the back were eight men who would go with us on patrol.

At 0600 hrs it broke daylight, we were quite a ways out of Mt. Hagen, however due to the conditions of the road driving speed was limited to second and third gear. The first fifty kilometers are driven on Tarmac, which is broken up in places and sometimes gone altogether. It becomes evident that you are indeed in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea, on both sides of the road, and in front of you there are mountains which rise to ten, twelve thousand feet, the road by now has turned to all gravel. Though it is the main road from Mt. Hagen to Tari, it has deteriorated over the last couple years due to the heavy trucks, lories, and transporters which, are transporting equipment, supplies, machinery etc… to the oil companies which, have set up rig sites in the Southern Highlands.

Having reduced speed to twenty miles an hour and even at that without a seat belt would become a real challenge to stay seated. As we continue to drive the road winds through the mountain ranges, giving way to white-water rivers. There are signs of untamed wilderness and a three-tier canopy rain forest unequaled anywhere in the world except the Amazon.

PNG does not boast for its animals as Africa has; however the bird life is unparalleled anywhere in the world, along with its fauna and flora.

There are open markets along the way and though there are people always at these markets, it is quite different then Africa, in PNG, the markets do NOT consume the road, nor do the people take up or block the road as they do in Africa. At most of these markets fresh produce can be found, and fruit ranging from pineapples, sugarcane, papayas, passion-fruit, citrus fruit, and of course bananas, (PNG being the banana capitol of the world in terms of variety, at four hundred).

As the kilometers clicked by and mountain after mountain passed so too did the time. We finally came to a place called Mendi, which has been the seat of the Southern Highlands Provincial Government for many years; this town is about four hours from Mt. Hagen but seems a lot further then this due to the road conditions. It is six hours from the Tanggi Mission Station if the right person drives. We drove into Mendi, refueled, and started off again for Tari. The further one gets out, the more tore up the roads become and soon the vehicle is travelling between first and third gear. As we topped a nine thousand foot pass called Ambua Mt. we started descending into the Tari basin where the infamous Huli Tribesman are from. They are the second largest Tribe in PNG and some of the fiercest warriors.

We arrived in Tari and filled up one more time with fuel and then off we drove for the Tanggi Mission Station. This was all common to me, but for my wife it was all new and exciting. We arrived at the Tanggi Mission Station that afternoon by 1500 hrs. As we unpacked the vehicle and started carrying our cargo and gear up to the house it was not long after we reached the house that the rains started to set in. There were folks there that had been waiting for days to meet and welcome us.

We took some time to greet different ones and then I instructed them that I needed some time to settle in and we would talk more tomorrow.

There are a lot of ‘first’s’ that have occurred on this trip of which, some I will point out simply because of the impact which, it had or made on the work, people, or us.

As we unpacked and kind of set up house, it became evident that our lives would take a turn back in time, there was no electric, no T.V., no radios, or any entertainment as the ‘developed world’ knows. Our lighting was by candlelight, and our headlamps. The cooking was by a wood stove, and our bathing was by buckets. The house which, dad built some forty-nine years ago has aged, and weathered, some of the post have rotted out and in places the house has sunk some two or three inches. I had replaced some of the post about seven years ago and they have held the house from sinking more but to this day I have never had the tools or opportunity to set things right. It had been a long day, and we were ready for it to end, however we still had dinner to prepare on the wood stove, water to heat for bathing and so the chores began. Hepe, who became our right hand man, assisted us in many chores and one of them was making sure the wood stove was fired and ready for cooking. That night we had rice, greens, onions, and sweet potatoes mixed up with corned beef. Our bath water was heated and though it was only a bucket bath, it felt like we had checked into the Hilton.

Amazing how we creatures are so easily satisfied when conditions are right. I find the older I become, the less it takes for me to be content. Perhaps it has to do with living among and around Tribal people.

At 20:00 hrs we called it a day, blew out the candles, thanked the LORD for a wonderful day, with the drumming of the rain upon the corrugated roofing, and at six thousand feet elevation the coolness of the night air was enough to sink into the sleeping bag and surrender all to the LORD for sleep which we both needed.

To be continued…

Missionary Peter A. Halliman