SOVEREIGN GRACE BAPTIST MISSION
Int. – Malawi / Papua New Guinea
P.O. Box 60150 Ndirande Bt. 6 Blantyre Malawi Africa/
P.O.Box 1261 - Mt Hagen (WHP) Papua New Guinea
Missionary / Evangelist: Peter A. Halliman
Email: panagioite04@gmail.com
Website: sgbm-malawi-africa.com

6-SGBM-IN TRANSIT TRIP -PNG – Trip - 6-25-2015

(2 Co 2:12) ¶“ Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ's gospel, and a door was opened unto me of the Lord,” (2Co 2:13)” I had no rest in my spirit, because I found not Titus my brother: but taking my leave of them, I went from thence into Macedonia.”

3rd June (Wednesday) 

0400 hrs. Started day, made coffee, prepared, and packed departed property at 0600 hrs. Drove to Airport, checked in, sorted out the boys (payment) and then we said our good-byes and went to the boarding lounge.

Departed Blantyre – at 0900 for Johannesburg, flight two hrs.  

Had five hours layover in Joburg, then onto Doha (7 hrs. flight) two hrs. Layover and then (8 hrs.) flight to Singapore.  Five hrs. Layover and onward to PNG – (6 hrs.) flight.

5th June 2015  (Fri)

Arrived at Jackson’s Int. Airport POM at 0600 hrs. On the 5th of June 2015.  Had two hours to make transition to Domestic flight.  Bought sim cards and got some airtime.

Our baggage was already checked through so we only had to collect baggage clear customs (no issues).  Immigration, we were given visitors visa’s (free).   We passed through with no problems and then onto domestic terminal.  After rechecking our baggage we went into the boarding lounge and waited for our flight.

Time to board came and off we went to Mt. Hagen (.45 min) flight to Mt. Hagen, arrived and met up with Hepe, he was the only one to meet up with us so we came straight to Ekere’s place.

We arrived here at 9:30 am and were met with a very emotional welcome.  All the children and his wife, in-laws and others were crying as they came to meet us.  We put our baggage and then we all sat outside and I addressed all of them concerning the trip, the arrival, our coming, and the passing of Ekere.  We were honoured by a traditional meal called (Mumu), in which the food is cooked in the ground with hot rocks and covered with banana leaves.  The food was pork with sweet potatoes, greens, pumpkin, corn, and ginger.

The passing of the late Pastor Ekere Ibago has left a huge gap not only in the mission work, but also in Tribal relations, as he was a Tribal leader, (Chief) thousands who would willingly do his bidding.  It is GOD alone who rises up men and sets them in position.  Only by His Sovereign will, Kingdoms rise and fall, Nations come and go.  Though he wasn’t educated in the “white-man’s ways” or calibrated for the Western world, he had godly wisdom, and was used in a great way by our LORD.

(1 Samuel 20:18) “Then Jonathan said to David, To morrow is the new moon: and thou shalt be missed, because thy seat will be empty.”

The rest of the day was spent in exchanging news, reports and catching up on family, and work relations.  Having travelled for two and a half days with little sleep I could feel the natural process of fatigue taking over.  This day had been long, tiring and filled with emotion.  By early evening we had taken our bucket baths and settled in for the night.  

6th June 2015  (Sat)

We woke early, as our body clock was eight hours behind PNG, (Malawi) so after the exhaustion had worn off, I was awake by four a.m. and couldn’t resume my rest so I started my day.  By day break (05:30) hrs. People were stirring and soon we had some coffee and some sweet potatoes for breakfast.  The day unfolded and we went to town to take care of some business.  Being Saturday, shops in town were only open half a day.  

We took public transport to town and picked up a few personal items, then returned back where we were staying, which we will now call home.

The rest of the day went by quickly, as there were others who came in to greet more discussions and us.

I spent the last remaining hours of the daylight studying for church tomorrow.  Night set in and when GOD switches off the lights in PNG, it gets dark.  Papua New Guinea being three degrees South of the equator there is exactly twelve hours of daylight, and twelve hours of darkness. 

7th June 2015  (Sun)

The day started early, I had my morning bucket bath and dressed for church, had some coffee and prepared for church services.  Soon people started gathering and before long it was time to start.  I would guess there were close to one hundred people in attendance.  It was a bit difficult for me to get going, as there is a language change for me.  Having spent most near twenty years in Malawi, the language there (Chichewa) has become as natural as English, so when I would come back to PNG, it would take me a few days to work through the language switch.  

The song services here are filled with vigour and exhilaration, most of them do not have songbooks but know the songs and are right on key.  I have learned from Tribal people that GOD has given them a gift with their voices, rhythm, and memory.  Like the Malawians, no one is off key and no one misses a beat.  

I preached and had great liberty and a good audience, I believe GOD met with us on this day and blessed our fellowship.  The balance of the day was spent in fellowship, discussions, and visiting.

At the end of the day we felt we were the ones who had been blessed and been served.  Our LORD is good, and of great compassion.  

8th June 2015 – (Mon)

We had some business to take care of in town (Mt. Hagen) therefore, after breakfast we made our way into town to various offices in order to do our business.  I must at this point detail (business) here in PNG.  I have spent near twenty years in Malawi / Mozambique Africa and as underdeveloped they are, they are still far ahead of PNG and development.  The LORD has used those years to mould me and season some character that otherwise would only be textbook Theology.  All the book learning goes right out the window unless one can apply that to field work, (hands on) as it were.

That being said, from one office to the next the trial of wait continued.  You will often hear “we are fresh out” of whatever one is wanting or trying to get.  Many times it is a simple answer to something ‘They’ don’t know about, or are not privy to.  Most government offices will not open until nine a.m. and close at three p.m. with an hour and half lunch break and tea breaks in-between this does not leave much time for work, but then again where and how did they learn this.  After all, business as we know it in our ‘world’ is taught to those who don’t know it.

Most people do not own vehicles and walking in PNG is natural and common, Natives will walk far and wide, rain or no rain, it is a way of life here.  No one complains, or thinks otherwise.  Unlike Malawi where the rainy season is only for three months, and the Malawians will NOT walk, or work in the rain if there is any way out.  A Malawian will wait for hours for the rain to halt before carrying on, however in PNG, sometimes the rain will last for a month with just a few hours break in-between the rains.  If you want to work in PNG then you must learn to work in the rains.

9th June 2015  (Tue)

I spent the biggest part of the day working with some of the young men on a water tank, which was collecting drinking water for the household.  In the late afternoon we had Bible Study.  Our menu has changed to eating once a day and that in the late afternoon with mostly local foods.  

10th June 2015 (Wed)

I do not have a bank account set up yet here in PNG with the mission work, so our monthly support had to be sent via Western Union.  We managed to collect our funds and conducted some business, and acquired some personal items.  Local markets here are abounding in fresh garden produce.  Due to the volume of rainfall, veggies grow very quickly and are tender, fresh and abundant.  Unlike Malawi, where the rainfall comes only for three months, here it is year around.  There are two monsoons; someone asked me once, ‘what does that mean’… I replied…’that means one rains more than the other’.

11th June 2015 (Thurs)

After our morning coffee and some sweet-potato breakfast, there was a Bible class for Women that I would teach.  I spent about an hour and half teaching on (Titus 2:3) “The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;”

(Titus 2:4) “That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,”

(Titus 2:5) “To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

This lesson is not just for the churches in PNG, but Malawi, the USA, and elsewhere around the world.  The generation we live in today has all but re-wrote their own bible.  Everyone has a story, all sorts of excuses and stories are offered today, in place of GOD’S Word.  The young women think they know it all, and don’t want to listen to the older women.  Every country (bar none) all have their own customs, habits, mannerisms etc.  However GOD’S Word does not entertain customs or habits.  I don’t recall reading in the Bible where GOD has communed with any one person and consulted with them regarding what they think, how they want to live, and what the dress code should be.  May you the reader consider these words and the LORD give you understanding.

There were many questions, and a lot of interest from the women, as this new generation now faces many family issues that they never faced before.  In time I will deliberate on some of these issues.

I do want to make a distinction here, after our bible study, which lasted for an hour and a half, we closed with prayer and dismissed, however the women continued to congregate outside the church building, wanting to talk, ask questions, and re-digest what had been taught and talked about.  For another half hour I continued to entertain questions, and discussions.  This is somewhat different from the ‘African’s’, in as much as when church is over, they will disappear about as quickly as they came.

The rest of the day was taken up in domestic duties, clothes washing, cleaning etc.

12th June 2015 (Fri)

Pastor Andy had come in from the Nogoli mission station, as I had sent a message to him prior to my coming into PNG along with a couple other men that are key figures in the mission work here.  However, due to Tribal fighting the other two men were unable to travel from Tanggi mission station to Mt. Hagen.  Therefore, I would sit with Pastor Andy and discuss with him what I needed to talk about.  

There was the possibility that he would be able to talk to some of the oil companies who have been doing drilling around the Nogoli mission station for several years now and with royalty pay outs he (Pastor Andy) thought he might be able to talk to them regarding the transportation of our shipping container from Port Lae, to Nogoli mission station, which is 750 Kilometres (468 miles).

The road conditions are a two-lane road, tarred for the first 278 miles, but broken up in multiple places, with pot holes circuited through out the road.  After reaching Mt. Hagen the Western Highlands Province the road looses its tarmac about thirty

miles out of town.  From there it is gravel / dirt road all the way out to the mission station.  There are several mountain passes which must be crossed between Lae and the mission station which is located in the Southern Highlands Province, ranging from 8000 ft. to 12,000 ft. elevation.

I had received a firm quotation whilst still in Malawi from the people who cleared the container, and have been operating in PNG as a transport company for the past forty years, but are no longer operating within the highlands, therefore they could only suggest who to use, and how much it would cost, which came to Fifteen thousand US dollars.

This I knew, I did not have and was not sure how I would ever work through this end.  However, as in many years gone by and many other ‘tough’ situations in Africa, our LORD is able and with me what is impossible, with GOD all things are possible.  I will cut a long story short for you (the reader), as I know many do not relish any longer in detailed mission reports, (perhaps this too we need to question where our people are today?).

In past years, when my father started this work, and through the years, when I came in to labour here, there have been many people whom were taught both in church as well as secular school, which was strongly influenced by our labours and ministry.  The people we have laboured amongst, and in the end have not forgot this it is GOD who turns the heart of the Kings.

I was summoned to a meeting by several Huli’s (land owners) where the oil companies have been drilling for the past several years, they all know me and many of them who have education have been put into place with some authority and connection between the government and oil companies.  In the evening hours of Friday we received a notice that there would be a meeting in Mt. Hagen by Sat morning and we should be prepared to attend.

13th June 2015 (Sat)

0700 hrs. We arrived at the venue for the meeting and had some coffee and breakfast over the meeting.  Within an hour’s time, I had explained my dilemma regarding the shipping container, the cost to move it etc. after much toing and froing the chairman of the land owners association called their transport company, which has a depot in Lae and spoke with the operations manager.  He informed him to organize a transporter to load my container and dispatch the truck either on Sun morning or Mon to arrive at Nogoli mission station.  The Huli’s who have known my father and myself for years would absorb the cost.

Therefore, we would prepare immediately and come down to Lae.  Since we did not have any transport we went back to the house started packing (lightly) and were ready to catch public transport to Lae.  By 11:30 hrs. We were boarded and ready to depart Mt. Hagen.  

For the next eleven hours we would endure the bus ride to Lae, winding through the mountainous roads, hairpin curves, dodging potholes big enough swallow a Volkswagen.  

Mile after mile passed by from one bus stage to another bus stage, some getting off at different points and others boarding.  The thirty –seat bus roared along the roads as though a computer programmed it.  The driver seemed to be oblivious to the hairpin curves, and mountain cliffs.  Much of the roadway is broken up partly tarred, then all of a sudden a broken up section, no warning or road signs; the only measure of warning is that of a good working knowledge of the road itself.  Everything the Papua New Guineans do, they do it aggressively and driving is not any different.  If one is not used to two-lane mountain roads, with conditions I have outlined, then it will become an unforgettable experience.

We arrived in Lae at 22:30 hrs.  I had communicated with a man by the name of Simon, he being the Logistics manager of the trucking company (owned by the Huli’s) of which I have spoken about, they (whom) would be assisting us with the transportation of the container as I have already indicated.  Simon had warned that if we were to arrive late in Lae, then all the lodging places of business close their offices at 22:00 hrs. Due to security issues here in PNG.  That being said, I had him (Simon) make a booking for us so we would have a place to stay when arriving.

We were dropped off at a bus stage and Simon came to collect us, within a short drive we were dropped off at this (Value Inn).  Unless one has travelled Internationally then what I am about to explain will simply be a story to most and at best most will not believe the accounting.

In the US, I think most of my readers (especially if you are married), do NOT or would NOT, stay in a motel 6, some may stay in a Super 8 and so on and so on.  Allow me to put you where I am, the room had no hot water for bathing, the toilet seat was missing, one bath towel, which reeked with mildew, the bed sheeting was dirty, and the pillows had covers but were soiled and blackened with filthiness.  I did take a shower, as I conclude that cold water and soap is better then road dirt, dust, and sweat from a near twelve-hour ride.   I needed some sleep so I simply dressed in clean clothes and put my rain-jacket on to cover my head and called it a night.  My wife was not so willing to do so and spent the night in a chair.

 14th June 2015 (Sun)

The next day being Sunday, the transporter was due to depart with our container; therefore we went to the holding yard where it was loaded.  I wanted to remove my vehicle so we could do some business in Lae and then go from there.  They had to off load the container on the ground, the doors were opened and the vehicle had two flat tyres on the front, and the two batteries were also flat.  We removed the vehicle and after some doing got the front tyres pumped up.  Attempted to start the vehicle but no success.   I used two other batteries but still nothing; I removed all the fuses and relays as they were corroded from all the humidity and heat build up in the container over the past twelve months.

I did not have my electrical tester therefore I was not able to carry out a confirmed test.  The container was reloaded on the transporter and secured for travel, at 10: 30 hrs. the transporter departed for Nogoli mission station with Pastor Andy.  The route measures out over seven hundred kilometres (just over 430 miles) and negotiates some of the most rugged roads I have travelled.

I carried on the rest of the day trying to go through step by step what I have learned about auto electrics.  By the end of the day I felt it was somewhere in the computer generated immobilizer, which is responsible for shutting down the engine and or allowing it to start.

We were forced to resign and secure a place of lodging for the evening.  I was not surprised, but disappointed.  I had packed the container in March of 2014, it sat in Blantyre, Malawi under triple digit heat for near two months.  It was then loaded and transported to a Port city in Mozambique where it again waited for the vessel to sail.  Upon completion of its journey it was off loaded in Port Lae, where the temp’s reach near 100, and the humidity stays near that most of the time.  After the container was cleared it was taken to a holding yard and stored until June 2015 when we arrived to take care of business.

As my pastor has indicated several times, if Satan could hinder an Apostle, then what can he do today in hindering us. 

15th June 2015 (Mon)

16th June 2015 (Tue)

I first purchased two new batteries, refitted and started all over on the fuses, relays, and switches cleaning again this time with sand paper.  After which, we tried starting, I was making some progress as I was able to get some instrumentation lights to illuminate on the panel.  However, it would not even crank the engine when the key was turned.  All day Monday and Tuesday it rained and so by mid-day Tuesday I figured it was time to get it to the Land Rover workshop.    Allow me to fast forward in the story….

17th June (Wed)  – thru -  23rd  June (Tue)

The vehicle was worked on by two auto electricians, in which faults were discovered with most of the wiring connections, they had corroded, rusted, and were not making contact.  One by one the wires were repaired, fuses were retested as well as relays, some were faulty and replaced.  By the end of last week they had the engine  running, and some of the accessories such as lights, indicators, hazards wipers, etc.

By the time Tue afternoon came around, I knew that it would still be a few days before they could get the rest sorted out and I had to make a decision to vacate the accommodations we were lodged in.  The only answer was for us to return to Mt. Hagen and communicate via telephone.  When they would complete their work we will return to collect the vehicle.

Therefore, I went over all details between the service manager and myself, went back to the room and packed our few things, called it a night and went to bed.

===============================================

July 17, 2015

Fuquay-Varnia, NC


Dear Brethren & Supporters of SGBM:

Greetings to each and all of you; may this find you well and prospering in the blessings of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

As you can see in the heading above, I am not now in Texas, but on a trip to NC. Since I have been "out of pocket" for the last two weeks, it seemed good that I should try to update you somewhat on Bro. Halliman's trip to PNG. There is some good news in that he has the shipping container from Malawi now moved to the mission station. However, his vehicle has corrosion in the electronics and they are having a difficult time getting it back to normal. Peter has had some uncalled for extra trips as he was told to pick up the "finished vehicle" on two separate dates, but when he got there the vehicle was not repaired. He will have to give you the details, so I will wait for him to give you the correct details.

Their living conditions since they have been in PNG are not good. Peter can tell you what he wants to describe for you.

Pray for them and for the Lord to provide protection and support as it is needed.

Since I am not at home, I will have to wait until about July 27, to get the hard copies of this mailed to the other supporters.


Yours by His Mercy,

Steve Fulton, Pastor

Providence Baptist Church,

204 Crosby Dr.

Henderson, TX 75652

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