SOVEREIGN GRACE BAPTIST MISSION

International – Papua New Guinea / Malawi Africa

P.O. Box 60150 Ndirande Bt. 6 Blantyre Malawi /
P.O. Box 233 - Mt Hagen (WHP) Papua New Guinea

Tanggi Mission Station – North Koroba, Hela Province, PNG

Missionary / Evangelist:  Peter A. Halliman

Email: panagioite042gmail.com

Website:  sgbm-malawi-africa.com

 

Date:   26th May 2020

Dear Pastor, Church, Supporters;

Sovereign Grace Baptist Mission - Mission report for April 2020

Dear Pastor, Church, and supporters;

Matthew 18:12 How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? Matthew 18:13 And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.

This mission report will be a special report in view of the content and amount of detail.  I will break up the reports in sections so that I do not wear you out in the reading.

Report No, 1

Firstly, I started my preparations here in Mt. Hagen, due to the State of Emergency Nation-wide, all travel was locked down and prohibited.  I did not know if I would be able to travel and keep the schedule, we had for the Bible Conference.  Towards the ending of the first week of April, restrictions were lifted with ‘conditions.  Meaning - if one wanted to travel, prior approval had to be granted and submission had to be given in writing to the Police Commander for that town, city or Province.  This I did in advance and permission was granted with passage for nine people.  I had a vehicle load with not only the passengers but also cargo and the vehicle was heavy laden.

It was on the 16th of April which, I set off early morning hours for the mission station.  Later that day we arrived all in one piece and dropped off some to various villages near the mission station.  I spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning and airing out my house after several weeks of not being home.  I expect I am not much (unlike) others, in that I sleep better in my own bed and home, however, living the life that I do (a missionary) always on the go and in different places, I don’t have the pleasure of staying long in my home.

The next couple of days, I was busy packing and preparing for the long hike that we would encounter on this mission patrol.  It was in a completely new area and our mission work had only reached this point within the last three years.

It had been some months since I had made any hikes in the mountains and I realised this would be a difficult hike for me, but none the less, there was only one way to get there and that was to hike in.

Sunday, I conducted services at the Uyamu Bap church, they had broken off from our work some years ago, and after some discourse and agreements they invited me to come and preach for them in view of them returning to our fellowship.

I did so and the church voted to return full fellowship and follow my leadership as the missionary of this mission work.

Sunday was a busy day for me, after the preaching and services, I was in meetings with pastors and discussing church business that the pastors were seeking biblical advice on.

It was up in the evening that I was preparing for my trip tomorrow.  Amongst the domestic duties and clean up, the final packing was completed during the late evening hours.  Bags were packed, checked and re-checked.  I laid down for a few hours rest and at 0300 hrs I was up and preparing for the day.  I cooked some breakfast and made my coffee.

20th April 2020 - At 0600 hrs. There was a party of fifty-four people that would be accompany me along the hike to the Bible Conference.  It is one thing to drive on these roads, that is challenging enough, however the hiking becomes a challenge even for those who have great athletic skills.

I assembled those who would be the porters, fitted their backpacks, I had mine, we had prayer, as I have said before I believe in specific prayer.  There is always a point man, and I usually bring up the rear, not always because I lag behind, but many times there are those hiking through the bush from point A to point B and have been involved in tribal wars, thus they will often join in any party going in their direction as there is safety in numbers.  This poses a threat to our party and for these reasons I often bring up the rear, safeguarding our group.

Just after a mile, we left the main road and started up a mountain, already at 5700 ft above sea level the air starts getting thin and with the rainfall every night, the pathway is very muddy and slippery.  We crossed our first river, on a (wire-slung bridge) V- shaped and suspended between two trees across the river.  These bridges when I was growing up here in PNG were made out of cane back then, they (most) have since been replaced by gall-wire.

The mountains here in PNG are not gradual rather rise quickly in altitude and due to heavy rainfall, the hiking is treacherous.  I have often tried to capture the hiking on video, and to some degree I can and have, however the task of staying upright and maintaining stability it becomes almost too much and therefore I simply let it go.  There have been some who have come here from the US, to visit the work, and on our easy hikes, they found it most difficult and challenging.  This is not to belittle anyone; it just speaks much about the terrain and life here.

Even in high altitude and the coolness of the morning hours, it is not difficult to break a sweat and before long, you wonder if it is the moisture from the clouds that are still hovering around the mountains or indeed you have lost that much water from the body?  In the tropics and hiking high altitude, the danger of dehydration and muscle cramps become all too real, and even a health-threat.

I normally carry (kitchen salt) for the younger generation most will not know what I am talking about, for the older generation you will know.  I wear a backpack with an interior water bladder, called a (camel-Pac).  I mix a solution of water, lemon juice, apple-cider vinegar and salt this solution I have found will keep the bacteria out, and keep the liver and kidneys flushed (important) when hiking in the bush.

I had near thirty pounds in my pack and as the hours passed, and the mountains passed behind us, the pack seemed a lot heavier than what I thought in the early morning hours.  There are two large mountain passes which we cross getting to our first point, of course there are some smaller mountains in-between, but as I told one chap who came here to visit the work some years ago, when he complained about how far it was and thought I lied to him about how many mountains we had to cross, I told him….here in PNG, we don’t count the small ones, only the big ones!  He didn't see the humour in this.

Seven hours later, we arrived at our first point (Eganda Bap Church) this is in the Duna area and this church has been without a pastor for some years now, all members but one are women, the men have died out, left or been excluded.  After arrival, they had the usual customary (mumu) PNG food/ hog, sweet-potato and other veggies with fern leaves etc... cooked in a earth oven. 

I set up my quarters and soon we would be served the meal and then announcements made for the program following tomorrow morning.

To be continued… End of Part One.

 

 

Part Two - SGBM - Mission report for April - (special series)

 

2 Corinthians 10:16  To preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man's line of things made ready to our hand.

 

The hike from the Tanggi mission station to this point A (Ekanda Bap Church)  was seven hours hike and one of the hardest I have made in the past years.  I am not as old as some of you reading, but older than some, and at the end of the day I am not nineteen any longer and my recovery time is longer.

 

I have often laid awake at night in different parts of the world for various reasons, however even the mind becomes fatigued here in the hiking, it is a continuous strain on the entire body, the mind must stay focused and eye, hand, leg coordination is vital in this part of the world, any small mistake could cost you much bodily harm, and even death.

That night, I had taken my bucket bath, the water was not as clean as I would have wished, but cleaner than I was, so choose between the lesser of the two evils!

 

Day No. 2 (17th April 2020)

 

The morning started early, there isn’t any T.V., no radio’s no movies, no town square, or places of amusement, no outside distractions, the men sit in the men’s house and talk until they fall asleep, the women sit in the women’s house (s) and do likewise, I am the only one who has somewhat of a different lifestyle, pattern, habits, and or customs.  Therefore, for me after enough talk has been given, I call it a day and go to my tent and spend the night in quietness.

 

0600 hrs, it normally breaks daylight, and for me its coffee time, one thing PNG can boast about is the quality of their coffee, its dark, robust, rich and smooth even it its strength. 

Breakfast most often is restricted to sweet potatoes cooked in the ashes of the fires.  I do carry some food for myself in the bush, but his is restricted to non-perishable items like rice, tin fish, nuts, peanut-butter, crackers, salt, coffee, tea etc…

 

Most of the diet I just rely on local cuisine, pig, sweet-potatoes, greens of all types, pumpkin, taro, (a root) full of fluoride, etc. etc.  One can become filled and satisfy even with the basics of life.

 

The morning was under way, I had my bush-bath and prepared for church.  The schedule was to include preaching, and then the church wanted me to assist them in a business meeting to vote for a pastor.

 

A group of over one hundred people gathered, (not all members) but some whom came in my party (58) others who were members of nearby Bap churches and then some of the members of Ekanda Bap church.

 

The message was preached and then business conducted, they had already one man (a man whom has been more of a Missionary) whom they wanted to nominate.  I assisted the church in their business and as stated they asked this man (Anago) if he would accept the position as pastor, he did accept and by unanimous vote was appointed pastor.

 

The church service lasted just over two hours, so the afternoon was still early enough for us to pack up and hike up the next mountain to where we would overnight and have church services with the Hengenapu Bap church, it was organised back in the early 80’s and mostly through the years, has struggled to keep a pastor, simply because of the isolation and deep within the Duna area. 

 

They have had a pastor off and on through the years, but the man whom was responsible for the long term pastorship, died back in the mid-80’ when I was here before.  The church being a strong church, but mostly the women folk have looked to it and kept it going. 

We broke camp, packed and ready to depart Ekanda, the time was around 1500 hrs (3 pm) it would take us nearly three hours to reach point B. 

 

To be continued….

Missionary Peter A. Halliman