SOVEREIGN GRACE BAPTIST
MISSION OF MALAWI
PO BOX 60150 BT. 6 BLANTYRE MALAWI AFRICA
TEL. 265-9-741-007/ or 265-8-751140 (mobile)
Missionary / Evangelist: Peter A. Halliman
Date: 26 / 01 / 2010
S.G.B.M. Report on recent trip to PNG continued…
Before I start the final chapter of this report, I just want to make a note as to why there seemed to be a span of time in between the last report and this one. I am now on the recovering side of a bad spell with Malaria, I fell ill on Saturday the 16th and was admitted to the hospital on Tuesday the 19th, after five days and four nights in the hospital, God deemed necessary to raise me up again for the work was not yet completed. I am doing well, and improving every day, therefore I want to thank each of you who may have known about this and had been praying for me. Thank you indeed.
The house Bro accommodated us in. John was built upon posts so they could keep their pigs under the house at night, and this night was no different. The room where we were seated was no more then an eight ft by six wide, there was a place in the middle of the room for a fire and eight people to be fitted. I tried to find some comfortable position but all escaped my findings, therefore I spent the several hours trying to combat the fleas, and pain from a broken hand that now had swollen terribly so.
Daylight broke and we made preparations for departure, walked the half hour to the main gravel road and waited for public transport. In half an hours time a vehicle came by going to Tari and we boarded. In another hours time we arrived in Tari, it was still quite early six-thirty am so we made our way to the hospital. At seven am we were granted entry and escorted to a section that was operating independently known as (Sans Frontier) This is International Organization which operates all over the world mostly in “Third-World” countries, and is a Non-profit –Organization, meaning they don’t charge for their medical services. I said all that to say this, there had a been a Tribal fight and many of the staff working at the Tari Hospital were not able to report for duties, therefore the main part of the hospital was simply shut down.
I was seen by a German doctor and I explained to him what happened, he said he would have to do a physical setting of the bones due to there was no film for the X-Ray machine. The injection he used to localize the pain was supposed to be fifteen ccs but due to a shortage of stock he only had eight to administer which means it simply would knock off the sting of the procedure.
The experience was not pleasant but necessary, and besides he was a good doctor and I could tell that he had plenty of field experience. One of those is worth ten of a classroom of “Theory Doctors”! He put a top brace on the arm/hand and taped up with support tape. Due to the swelling he was not able to put a complete plaster (cast). He told me that I would need to come back the next day for him to hopefully get an X-Ray. I knew the nurse (who is a Duna woman), and we were given accommodation with her and her mother that night. The next day I was able to acquire an X-Ray and yes, it showed both bones right above the wrist broken.
We soon set off for with public Transport for Koroba, heading for the Tanggi Mission Station, after an hour a half of being jolted around in the vehicle due to road conditions we finally arrived. Then the long hike home of twelve miles, the sun was already up and was quite warm, with the humidity it seemed warmer, we carried on and bye and bye we arrived home. It was around midday when we got to the mission station, I had not been able to bath in over a week so this was first priority. I cannot speak for others but I know even with a lot of problems, and physical difficulties a good bath, and a good meal will set the mind on a level that many things cannot achieve. The day was spent mostly indoors and I did manage to get some rest.
For a week, I spent time mostly indoors studying and meditating on God’s Word, of which, always proves to be profitable not only Spiritually but physically as well. There is a sense of overall well being that governs the mind, spirit, and body that comes with this application. The reason (I believe) that many Christians suffer from physiological, mental, and or otherwise stress, is simply because in our age of living, there is that “urgency of NEED” that everyone seems to have or want. In my little life time as a Christian, I have found that GOD does not get in a hurry about many things, and the “purging of the world from God’s Children” usually does not come quick. The night before I was to go back and see the doctor it rained hard, since I did not have any artificial lighting in the house, by eight pm I was in my sleeping bag and managed to get a few hours of sleep as I needed to rise at one-thirty am in order to get dressed and prepare for the long hike, this time in the night and whilst it was raining. I had Bro Ekere’s son, Hepe with me, we had the only torch (flashlight), which had good batteries (a AA maglight). We set off by two am and being mindful of the slippery rocks as well as mud it made a very challenging hike. With heavy rains the hike seemed to be longer then it was, and the darkness seemed to swallow up every step we took without giving way to progress. At times I felt I was going backwards, simply because there was not much visible evidence of our moving forward. When the rains slowed, and after two hours of hard hiking we took a short ten minutes to rest and off we went into heavy cloud cover, the shrouded and dim glow of the torch gave off an ominous feeling. At times it would become almost difficult to make out the outline of Hepe’s bodily figure due to the thickness of the fog (cloud cover).
After three hours from the Tanggi Mission Station we arrived at Koroba (a government station) where public vehicles (mostly lorries) pick up those trying to get to Tari. As we waited, for another hour the rains had stopped, the temperature had dropped just as the last moments of darkness gave way to the dawn of day. What a beautiful message God preaches to us every day, its no wonder why Paul said in the first chapter of Romans that even the very things of Nature will preach the Gospel.
By six am a lorry came, we boarded paid our fare and endured the two hours of jolting and bouncing until we arrived in Tari. Being around eight pm we made our way straight to the hospital and I was able to see the doctor quickly. He checked me arm and said he would go ahead and put the full plaster (cast). This didn’t take long and within an hour we were out again. I was given instructions and he wanted me to see him again in two weeks. Seeing I had no other business in Tari, we looked around for transport to go back to Koroba. Problem is that early in the day no one is trying to go back, the Natives are finding ways to get into Tari to sell their daily wares, buy and trade etc… so we had to wait for some time until we found a vehicle going back. We boarded again and repeated the same trip back to Koroba, where we would once again set off on the twelve-mile hike to the mission station. The way back seemed longer, it was midday and hotter, little relief from the sun, and I now had a full arm of plaster in a sling to carry around. We arrived without any ado; the first thing I wanted was a cold bath, and something to eat…, which was sweet potato. The day had been long, tiresome, challenging, but necessary and somewhere in it all there was some good for me in it (Rom.8: 28).
For the next few days I spent around the mission station trying to recoup some from the pain in my arm and the twenty-four mile hike, but the beauty of it was there were folks who were still hungry for the Word and were inviting me to come preach. I thought much about all this and decided that a broken arm had nothing to do with me legs and or voice. I asked God for the strength and energy to hike to some of the nearby churches in order to preach His Word.
Another week passed and it became near the time for me to start my preparations to end this leg of the journey and start the long journey back to Malawi. There would be several stops along the way yet as I had several more engagements to preach. The last day around the Mission Station we had a big mumu (pig feast) to dedicate our offerings to the LORD. There was a service scheduled at the Tanggi Baptist Church and many came that day to join us in the worship service. After wards we feasted on pig and sweet potatoes, fern leaves, Taro, cooked banana. I spent the rest of the day packing my backpack and having a men’s meeting with those who would take responsibility for the security of the Tanggi Mission Station and house.
By seven am we were ready to set off, and with a few carriers we set off saying good bye to those we had laboured among for the past ten weeks. Once again we hiked the twelve miles and set up camp as we would conduct services that afternoon with the Tola Baptist Church / pastor Alyabe. We had great fellowship with the people and spent the evening answering Biblical questions.
The following morning we caught public transport to Tari, I seen the doctor one last time and all being well, we set off aboard another public vehicle to a place called Magarima, this is a new field for our work, its on the border line of the Huli Tribe and Wabeg Tribe, though they share each others languages. We arrived pitched camp and would spend the weekend at this place preaching to a group that would range from twenty people to over a hundred. I preached twice on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and the people didn’t want us to depart, and were not satisfied until we would promise them that again another day we would come back and go further into their area. According to the Chief of that area, he told me that the Catholics had come there some thirty years ago and all they wanted from the people was money for the church tax. He asked if we were the same way, it didn’t take him long to see, and or hear the preaching to know that we were different. He also told me that further back into the bush there were many of his people who had never heard the Gospel as he had now heard it preached.
Monday came and we packed up, boarded a lorry and off we traveled to Mt. Hagen, arriving by lunchtime. I would stay with Bro Esker for a few days as I was scheduled to fly back to Port Moresby on Monday the following week. After seven hours of hard driving we arrived in Mt. Hagen, and found our way to Bro Ekere’s residence where those awaiting, his family and other church members greeted us. For the next several days, I was busy with administrative work for the Mission as well as assisting Bro Ekere in some business there in Mt. Hagen. The church that has been organized there by Bro. Ekere Ibago has not only been grounded properly (as he was taught) but the church is flourishing and such a joy to see when they meet together. It has often been said that a church will reflect the personality of the pastor, I believe this to be true; if a man of God is filled with happiness, joy, compassion and love it will be reflected on the sheep of that fold. Bro. Ekere is a man of such qualities and the people follow him because not that he has commanded them so, but because of their love, and respect for him. I had the honour to preach three times to the church whilst there, one on Wednesday, once on Saturday and then on Sunday as well. The package was not complete until the church had a sending away party for myself with the “fatted calf” (only its pig in PNG), for some reason they thought I should be the honoured guest so to honour their sacrifice I played the roll.
Monday the 12th of October 2009 I departed Mt. Hagen with Bro. Ekere Ibago for the Capitol city Port Moresby for business concerning the mission work there. The departure was with mixed emotions, some walked to the airport because they had no transport, others hired a mini-bus and packed it full, others borrowed etc. I am trying to figure out what went wrong with Africa – why is it that every man and his dog goes through life begging and expects you (the White-man) to not only fill their pocket but take their life’s problems, their families, church, and village as though it were and if you would let it be; however here in PNG are virtually the same race of people, yet they ask nothing and instead give you what little they have so you can buy some soap or a drink of water along your journey back to where ever you came from, (I would like for someone to explain that)!
The flight was only an hour, *(there are no roads from the Capitol City to the Highlands) and as we arrived there was a vehicle waiting for us I tried to acquire accommodation at a Missionary Guest House, however due to some functions in PNG with most of the World Alliance churches, this was fully booked and so were most of the hotels. Port Moresby is not a town you want to just sleep anywhere, or be found anywhere. As I have noted many times over in my reports these people, as much as they are loving and giving, they can and are as much Warriors, and aggressive. Not everyone is a Believer in Christ so there is the rough side to consider.
I was able to secure a place of lodging and straight away we set out to conduct our business. For many years our Mission has not been able to source the income needed to purchase land in Port Moresby, real estate being very dear has eluded us all these years. I told Bro. Ekere Ibago that it was time we needed to explore the possibilities of this venture, i.e. to at least make an application to acquire land for our mission work. For the next two days we would explore many areas, and blocks that were available but apart from a miracle from God it was simply a dream. Land was going for around ten thousand an acre. I told Bro. Ekere that we would have to commit it into the hands of the LORD and give it prayer to see what our God would do for us.
Due to many of the younger generation seeking employment they are migrating to where the work is; many of our Baptist people are in Port Moresby without a proper church, or place of worship. Since they have been taught from day one, they don’t just want to sit at home, but want to be submissive to Heb.10: 25 – isn’t it wonderful when you have God’s people who “want” to Worship? We spoke with many families and they have literally begged us to please find some place where they can come together and worship as Baptist, like their fathers did in the mountains of the Southern Highlands Province in the days of Elder Fred T. Halliman.
Time passed, and now its Thursday the 15th, I am ready to board my flight onward to Africa. I find it hard to leave my brother, but I must carry on. We embrace and with strong words of consolation to each other we bid farewell. For the next two days I would travel across two oceans back to Africa, returning to the other home that I know, and the other work which I have now laboured for Thirteen years.
In the three months that I laboured in PNG I had many challenges, I faced great obstacles both Spiritually as well as physically. At times I knew not how it would all come out, or how I would manage but GOD did. Though it had been tough, it was rewarding and like a breath of fresh air and a drink of sweet water.
I am convinced that if Satan has a seat here in this world it’s within the Continent of Africa. In some ways the Missionary journey to PNG was short, in other was it was a long trip. I did not go with false hopes nor deceived into thinking that the power belongeth unto me to sort out all the Spiritual problems, I am simply a tool in the hand of God. It’s HIS Work, and I am simply His servant saved by His Grace.
I feel confident that after nearly thirty years of deception, lies, false foundations, and infiltrations from those who are the enemy; finally, there has been a purging and the work is ready to move on. The brethren are ready to move on, the churches have had enough of politicking and campaigning and they too are ready to move on. There are some who have went by the way side, and some who want only to fill their bellies, some who want to be a “Diotrephes” and who [loveth to have the preeminence among the brethren] they are not satisfied with their own transgression but want to [forbiddeth them that would receive the brethren].
God will reward those according to their works.
I trust these series of reports will have been in some way a blessing to you (whom ever you are) and that our LORD will have received the honour and glory due His Name.
A sinner saved by His Grace,
Missionary Peter A. Halliman