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

Email: phalliman@africa-online.net

 

Date:  31st December 2009

 

Dear Church, Pastor and Supporters;

 

I greet each of you in Jesus’ Name, the same yesterday, today, and forever Amen!

 

I want to pick up from the last mission report where I was speaking about my mission trip to PNG.

 

Once I had arrived in Port Moresby I was met at Jackson’s Int. Airport by an old friend of mine by the name of Yawale Kulu whom I have known for many years both as a mate as well as a politician.  Just a note about him as it will come out later in the report, he was kind of hand picked by my father to attend the school which my father was responsible to implement near the Tanggi Mission Station there in PNG.  In so doing, bye and bye he (Yawale Kulu) did well, and went on to further his education and eventually college and into politics where he was serving as governor of the Southern Highlands Province when I arrived in PNG to do mission work.  Through the years, he never forgot about dad and what he was able to do for him, therefore as it goes in PNG (he, Yawale Kulu) undertook a mission to assist me in any kind of legal matter that I might have or did face, either personally or with the mission work.

 

We greeted after five years of absence, there was a vehicle organized to transport Bro. Bob Cowan, Alex Little, and myself to the lodge where we would be staying for the next two days.   This was on a Friday that we entered PNG and I had checked at the airport for a flight onward to Mt. Hagen which is located in the Western Highlands, (there are no roads into the Highlands of PNG, therefore one has to take a flight); since all the flights were booked we would have to overnight in the capitol city of Port Moresby.  The PNG people are not tall people like a lot of Africans, however they are muscular and strong from living in the mountains of PNG.  We were escorted to our lodge, checked in and soon we all were engaged in different tasks.  All of us wanted to call different ones, send emails etc… basic communications.  It was really nice (for me) to stay in public lodging and have a working telephone in the room and more so a “hotspot” in the hotel.

 

I would spend the next two days with Yawale Kulu, sometimes in the conference room of the lodge, sometimes in the room, sometimes in an office talking about the business of the mission work in PNG as well as legal and official rulings that have developed and changed over the years of my absence.  As I had stated in my last report that there had been, were still these “renegade preachers” who were after nothing more then “money, power, and position” they had no interest in God’s work, but to fill their own bellies, as though it were. 

I had communicated with Mr. Yawale Kulu whilst still in Malawi before arriving in PNG; his testimony was one, with that of Bro. Ekere Ibago in the sense that there was a plot set in place by these three renegades to take over the mission work and oust Bro. Ekere, furthermore they wanted to legally hinder, or stop my entry into PNG by fabricating false charges.  However in all this, there is one main ingredient that they (and all enemies of the Gospel) forgot, (forget) i.e., God is the one in control, and HE alone moves governments, sets up Kingdoms and removes them.  HE alone turns the Kings heart, He alone sends His messengers to His people.

 

The business was sorted out and I had my direction and my vision, the two days passed and on Sunday morning we were able to board a flight out of Port Moresby to Mt. Hagen where Bro. Ekere Ibago resides, and pastors the Kim Baptist Church.  After two days in Mt. Hagen we set off for the Tanggi Mission Station by road.  Things are expensive in Africa, however that takes a whole new meaning here in PNG, a flight for the three of us would run fifteen hundred one way, by road a four by four was going for nearly one thousand without fuel.  The LORD provided us with a near-like new Toyota Land Cruiser, and a road trip by public transport usually takes anywhere from twelve hrs onward.  I have sat in the back of a lorry for thirty-two hrs with a many more natives all going in the same direction to Tari from Mt. Hagen. 

 

The drive was completed in nine hrs. we arrived at the Tanggi mission station and it was here that the real work began.  After a couple days of renewing old acquaintances and a debriefing on the problems within the Mission work, needs, and requests I had a fair understanding of what I needed to do and where I might be of service to the people, work, and our LORD.  I conferred with pastors, Chiefs, and laymen before setting off on our patrols that would take me into the bush for the next three months.

 

Our first patrol was from the Tanggi Mission Station to the Levini valley where we have three Baptist churches.  The hike is right at twelve’s miles to the nearest church, the peak of the pass tops twelve thousand ft elv. But is a gradual climb from the Mission station which sits at five thousand six hundred fifty feet elv.   The hardest thing for most folks who do not do mountain hiking is the acclimatizing to altitude.  Our hike went a bit slower then normal, as Bro Bob Cowan was suffering from pneumonia, which he was not aware of.   Fortunately I had some penicillin pills with me this kept it under check but didn’t speed up the hike.  We arrived at Gwali Baptist Church nine hrs later.  The rains were all around descending into the Levini Valley – one of the most beautiful valleys that I have had the privilege of viewing.   The valley floor is some fifteen miles wide almost in any direction one may want to walk, however due to the height of the mountains towering above it all around, create a sense of a small basin until one embarks on a journey across the valley floor.

 

We had departed at seven am that morning and it was three pm by the time we arrived.  We were greeted royally as though it were, in their humble way and with their limited resources of fresh water, sugar cane, and the staple diet of sweet potatoes.  We were escorted into a small bush house in order to rest and talk business.

 

Allow me to explain a bit about the PNG culture, among the Tribes that I grew up with and where our work is concentrated the Duna and Huli Tribesmen; PNG is a man’s world (that term may be used in other parts of the developed world, however it becomes “abridged” by comparison) The men will have what they call a “man’s house” which is what it is just that!  No children, young lads, or women are allowed in that house.  It’s designed for the men to sit and discuss business.  They will always have a fire burning in the house, and food of some sort is always available.  The houses are constructed low to the ground usually for heat reasons, as the Natives (most of them) do not have or sleep with blankets, but by the heat of the fire.  At twelve thousand feet elevation it becomes quite chilly in the night hours.

 

Bro. Harry is pastor of Gwali Baptist Church where we arrived and there was a crowd of people that had gathered for services, but due to the late hour we had to cancel the appointment and renew it for the morning.  Water was prepared for bathing and I organized for our tents to be pitched. 

 

In PNG which is located three degree’s south of the equator means two things, one at low elevation it gets hot, the strength of the sun is very strong, secondly, the time table is almost twelve hours exactly by the sun; Six in the morning its light and six in the evening its dark, one can almost set their watch by this.  Therefore we did not have much time to work until God would switch off the lights.  The rains come almost every night (all night) and at least once a day.  PNG has two monsoon seasons, (someone asked me what does that mean) I replied, just means that one rains more then the other).  That evening the rains came hard, we cooked our meals in the bush house whilst I conducted business with Pastor Harry and other men regarding the time -table that we had available to us.  Bro. Bob and Alex not being able to communicate with the folks had to go through me as a interpreter, with that fact as well as it had been a hard day for them they called it a day after bathing and eating.  I remained with the men and continued in the night discussing church business, problems, challenges, and needs of the work.

 

At 2300 hrs I was ready to call it a day myself and get some sleep.  The night was short and the morning came all to early, however work was to be engaged in and people had already started arriving in the early morning hrs to come greet us and wait for the services.  Many of these folks do not live in the valley floor as its not much more then a marsh, therefore they over time have settled in the surrounding mountains to build their houses, make their gardens and hunt in the jungles for food.

 

0900 hrs we started church services, the building (as most in PNG) do not have seats or pews, the people sit cross legged on the ground and a building that would normally seat fifty people as we know it to be, they can seat one hundred plus.  These Baptist people are a different kind, they are not late, but early (very early) and rush into the building to find a seating place, as there may not be any within a matter of moments, therefore they don’t want to have to sit on the outside of the building for the church services.  That morning somewhere near one hundred fifty people had attended, many had walked for several miles to attend.  I felt great liberty with God’s H.S and preached to a church full of Baptist people who were eagerly receiving the WORD!

A wonderful service, after nearly two hrs the people continued to stand around as if to say that was only an introduction.  We fellowshipped with the people for some time and then made our way down to the camp area.  The mid-day meal was prepared which in PNG we have what we call a (mumu) which is simply the food being cooked in the ground with hot rocks covered in banana leaves.  I was at home so the menu of food was not a problem, but for those who grow up in developed countries often times find it difficult to eat only sweet potatoes.  The N.G. people are not restricted to just sweet potatoes but eat a varied diet of greens, veggies and meat (pork).

 

We were scheduled to have church services again in the early afternoon and it was so.  The rains come early in this valley so its imperative that we have early afternoon services.  Again the house was packed and the services had a wonderful spirit.  The people wanted to know if it was possible to have services again in the morning before we had to depart to go to another church.  That is what I went for and could not say no to a people who were willing to walk for miles just to come and hear a Baptist missionary preach, nothing to give away, nothing for the pocket, no clothes, or hardware was being given away to pull people, no empty promises were being made, no roofing sheets for their buildings, no salaries for the pastors, no promise of school fees for their children etc… as is being done here in Africa.  The joy of working among the NG Baptist people is that, they were taught right, from day one, by a man called Elder Fred T. Halliman.

 

That evening we sat in the men’s house and talked long about another pastor in the valley (a young man) called James Kai, he had been a strong pastor to a large group of people for several years, but now the tale was being told that he had been persuaded to join these three renegade preachers to break off from our work and go their own way.  The church (not the pastor) several of the men from Nanabi Baptist church came in the night to talk to me about coming there for services tomorrow.  Their pastor was away meeting with these renegade preachers in a plot to physically stop our mission patrol (one has to bear in mind that these people are born warriors) that nature is not destroyed when one is born again; it simply has to be modified and rechanneled.  It is my persuasion that when one is born again, the character of that person does not become null and void; each person has a different character, and the doctrine of “progressive sanctification” as I understand it, simply means we (progressively mature as Christians) or should.  The old man, nature is crucified daily as Paul said and in the end we learn how to control, and subdue that nature, giving way to the new nature, new creature which is in Christ Jesus.  Elijah was not a Daniel, and Joseph was not a Caleb.  I said all that to say this, unless we are totally drunken (under the total influence) of the H.S. then our old nature and (character) will come out and take over, and so it is with the NG Natives.

 

In the next report I will continue with our patrol.  Until then may the LORD continue to bless each of you and keep you in the center of HIS will.

 

By His Grace,

Missionary Peter A. Halliman

 

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