We Finally Moved In!! June Update

We Finally Moved In!! June Update

We Finally Moved In!!!

Greetings to all our friends and support team. This report is full of good news and bad news. Let’s start with some good news. We are finally in our new home! It is not finished but that shouldn’t surprise anyone who knows us. Once the shell was basically mosquito and rat proof we decided we could put up with the occasional dust storm as we finished the inside. As you can see from the pictures there is a basic and functional kitchen but the sink is not yet hooked up. There is one sink in the house that has a temporary drain connected so we bring in water from the tank in buckets and use that sink for everything. The shower is waiting for the wall panels so I put a sealer on the plywood and caulked the corners and edges and we use the pour bath method. 

To get pressurized water to the fixtures I need to put in the head tank tower and get the plumbing connected to pump the water up there. I picked up the needed fittings and other items to make that happen in the next week or so. It will be harder without Corrie but we will make it happen. Why without Corrie??? Well she is on her way to Michigan to meet up with Joella and Sean to attend Michigan camp meeting this weekend and then travel back to Idaho with them to be part of their wedding on July 11. She plans to spend a weekend in the Walla Walla Valley so watch for her at Stateline Church. Since she has a layover in Hong Kong for 16 hours I am guessing we will see some pictures on the Facebook page soon. 

One of the best features of the new house is the office/classroom.We made a 10 foot table and will soon have a 9 foot desk where I will be able to do my studying and writing and teaching. The printer will be in a small room on the other side of the wall where the desk is and this little room will be air conditioned as soon as I get the door made and installed. Sitting at my table I have a panoramic view out the room length screened window that is just above the table height. In the early morning hours before it starts to get light I enjoy listening to the first bird sounds as they start to wake up. What a place to receive inspiration for the materials I plan to write and translate.

Here is a bit of the bad news… my 75 hp 2 stroke Yamaha outboard motor has given up on me. A friend used it to bring some of the Logging Company’s managers down to Tipas from up where the road comes out to the Sepik and apparently the fuel the company provided was not mixed properly with 2 stroke oil and the engine started destroying itself internally. The parts needed to repair it are more than half the cost of the motor and when labor is added it gets awfully close. We are still praying about what we should do. The company sent word with the news of the mishap that they would pay to get it fixed but we will see if that comes through when they see the costs. This just reinforces the fact that travel in this environment is costly and there are so many ways things can go wrong.

And now some more good news… Pastor Leonard Sumitau, PNG Union Secretary will be coming out to visit us in two weeks! He will be brought to the river by Pastor Gideon Kend, our Regional Supervisor and 2 or three others will come as well. One is our District Director, Pastor Campbell and it looks like our friend, Elder Phillip Kairu will come as well. So I have to get in gear and finish those guest rooms! While Pastor Sumitau is with us, I hope to be able to take him to visit the Edwaki High School. The idea of taking over this High School under the management of the Seventhday Adventists had gone all the way to the Union level and produced some excitement. Continue to pray for the potential project.

We have said goodbye to our Isuzu. I sold it today to an Adventist business man here in Vanimo who will put it to good use. He is a solid supporter of the church and can make the truck pay for itself while using it to help the church as well. We had planned to go down to May River on June 6 to meet with AFM workers but their timing changed and we needed to get Corrie to town to get her tickets to fly to Chicago so we came out to Vanimo Sunday. This is just one of the ways God works to keep us on track. Right up to the weekend we planned to make a quick trip to May River on Sunday and Corrie was going to ride down with them to Pagwi and out to Wewak on Tuesday. Instead due to a strong feeling I had and also the fact my big motor was not available making the trip twice as long, we decided to go to town on Sunday instead of waiting. It was incredible because as soon as Corrie was able to get on the Internet as we came in to town she found a ticket from Port Moresby to Chicago for half the price of any other carrier to fly out of Port Moresby on Wednesday! So she purchased those and also the local airline tickets to get from Vanimo to Port Moresby and began to pray there would not be any cancellations which are so common here. Today she told me she had met up with all the AFM visitors in Port Moresby and found out that they had quite the experience on their way out. The road to Wewak was closed due to tribal fighting and they had to travel many more miles down the Sepik to another road that comes out from Wewak and the mission sent a car out for them. Corrie was so thankful that she missed all that excitement. It’s hard to believe we are coming up on the one year anniversary of our arrival in Tipas. It has been an amazing year in a little thatched roof house. One of our least favorite things was the little mud dauber wasps and bees that made large apartment complexes in the thatch above us. Then the rats would come and break them up to get at the goodies in them and the dried mud would come raining down on the tents we had pitched in the rooms to give us a mosquito and rat proof place to sleep.

A big thanks to all of you who inquired about our safety after hearing about the land slide up in the Enga Province. We are nowhere near this tragedy. It is located up in the high elevations near where our Sopas Hospital used to be. It is a terrible tragedy with thousands buried. Our only concerns in the Sepik River plain are wind and flooding. No chance of any land slide in this flat plain that is only about 150 feet above sea level even though it is nearly
700 miles to the mouth of the river where it empties into the Pacific.

Its past my bedtime and we take off at 5am in the morning to go back to Tipas so I better shower and head to bed. It’s a long day ahead. Feel free to send me an email if you would like to get this newsletter in living color.

May News

May News

Still playing catch up 🙂 Here is the newsletter from May 8, 2024.

Corrie with the 5 health team members from our parent church

SDA Health Team Visits Tipas
We were blessed to have a team of SDA health workers from the Vanimo Hospital come out for a couple of weeks to hold a clinic. Their hospital supervisors didn’t think they would serve even 100 patients out there in the bush but it turned out that over 1000 came from all around. Some walked for a couple of days to get here from surrounding villages. 5 of the 7 members of the team were members of our parent church, Waraston SDA Church. They are the first visitors from our parent church and our little flock are finally getting the idea that they are part of a much larger church family.None of the team had ever seen the Sepik River, let alone traveled on it by boat. I had fun being their tour guide and boat driver.

Is God giving us a High School?
The local high school in Edwaki, about 5 miles from us, has been in operation for about 3 years and at least one year had to be repeated due to many issues such as staff not staying and other difficulties due to management, etc. I suggested to the people here that they might explore the idea of having the management of the high school taken over by the Adventist church as they have a reputation in the country for top schools. Several individuals really took this seriously and did some polling and talking among the locals and found there is a high percent of interest. Currently the school is supposed to be managed by the Evangelical Alliance but it doesn’t seem to have any evidence of a Christian management. There are a couple of SDA teachers and the principal is a backslidden Adventist but there is no religious instruction at all. The long and short of it is that there has been a letter from community leaders put in my hands and delivered to the mission president requesting that the mission initiate the process of seeking to take over management. These community leaders also met with the Provincial Education board leaders and contacted our district education manager and all seem to be in favor. Please pray for God’s will to be done in this matter. It would really be a tremendous opportunity to make a difference in the lives of hundreds of young people and could mean many souls for God’s Kingdom!

Angels On Duty
We have been letting one of the Waraston church elders drive our Isuzu for church work in Vanimo and occasionally people will pay to have him take them out to the Sepik or come and get them. The health team was brought out this way and also brought back to Vanimo. This journey is very taxing for the driver especially during the rainier times when the road deteriorates and makes for a 7 hour one-way trip. Since he has to go out and drive back in the same day, he basically is out there on that rugged track bouncing along for about 14 hours. This, along with demands from passengers that can add a few hours to his trip, makes for an exhausting task. The last trip out with a group of passengers from Tipas our driver fell asleep on the return trip on a steep incline in the mountainous section and the end result was what you see in this picture. Since he and his 3 boys that were squeezed into the cab with him were all dozing nobody actually knows what exactly took place but they were rudely awakened when the truck stopped and dropped onto the rear differential and the right tire was hanging over the edge of a drop off. It happened about 5 am on his return trip to Vanimo after dropping off the passengers and load. We came along on our trip out with our Land Cruiser about 9am and waited with him till the dozer came and pulled the truck back onto the road. Our best guess is that the truck was going quite slowly due to the grade and got over on the unstable side due to the sleeping driver. The front tire managed to get onto the stable ground just before the ground gave way under the rear tire and the truck just sat down on the differential. So many aspects of this just shout that God’s hand of protection through His mighty angels was at work here. A roll down that drop would have likely been fatal. Nobody hurt and truck unscathed!

Upcoming Events
In early June, Dale Goodson, former PNG missionary with Adventist Frontier Missions will be visiting May River and we have
been invited down to meet with them and the Lawrence’s. Dale is going to be writing discipleship materials in Tok Pisin as well as other types of needed materials. This is also something I will be working on so we want to collaborate so we can avoid duplication. There is much need for materials in Tok Pisin. Also in June or July we are expecting a visit from our Union secretary, Leonard Sumitau. He played a key role in opening the way for us to be able to get visas to PNG. He will be coming out for a visit to the region of the border with Indonesia. The border region is a division target area for evangelism currently. I
hope to be able to take him up to the high school for a visit while he is here. We hope to be moved in to our home by
the early part of June and I am really looking forward to getting started with our print and media ministry.

Saying Good bye
Sadly, Peter and Ruth Oli came out to town this trip so they could fly back to their home and catch up on the work they are doing there among the neighboring churches. What a blessing it has been to have them here. Peter helped us organize our company church and also helped us with the very first communion service that has been celebrated in Tipas.

We are looking forward to welcoming Sean Brizendine who is planning to come to work in Ama, our neighboring language group to the South. Ama is about 12 miles from us, 3 by water and 9 by road. The latest news is that Sean is officially courting a dear friend of Corrie’s, Joella Meyer, who spent some of her childhood years in Nepal with AFM missionary parents.

There are so many pictures with great captions that Corrie has put on our Facebook page. Don’t miss them. You can view them without having an account.

Email me at jsample81@gmail.com if you would like to get this newsletter in full color to your inbox.

April News

April News

Yes, I know we are way behind!!! Without internet in the village, we have found it challenging to keep this website updated! As with everything else here in PNG, timelines don’t mean much. And so we continue to wait for Starlink to launch here in PNG. According to their website, they are going live in PNG sometime during the 3rd quarter of this year . . . so that means anytime right? Maybe . . . Anyhow, I am putting all the recent newsletters up here and hopefully I’ll be able to continue to do so as we go along. The following is the newsletter for April, 2024.

We have finally had a week of dry weather after the rains brought the water up to the ground level and a tiny bit more.  The road out to Vanimo has been impassible until this week and we have been praying for a break so the health team could make it out on schedule.  Yesterday we drove out and though we almost got stuck in the first 100 feet or so, the road got better as we went along and we made it to town in good time.

In my opinion the most exciting news for this time is the growth of our newly started Sabbath School for the kids.  Our first Sabbath there were 9 children and on March 30 we had 47 children attending!  We are starting to hear them sing in church as well.  What a difference it makes to have active children in the audience!  Total attendance was 82 so more than half were children.  Sometimes I see the parents of some of these children even giving offerings for them to give, even though they themselves are not yet attending.  I believe it is only a matter of time and many of these non member’s children will be bringing their parents to church!

The health team that were supposed to come out this Monday were delayed due to inability to get the funds they needed.  And this was due to power outages and they were due to who knows what… lol.  So Corrie and I made the trip to town to get fuel, gas for the stove, and other needed items.  Our plan is to come out with the health team in our larger truck and leave the Landcruiser for some much needed maintenance work.  (Brakes!)

In the mean time the village has been preparing for their arrival by building a canvas covered shelter for their clinic and meetings.  During the 2 weeks the health team, led by Julianne Pomat, are with us, in addition to the work they will do in Tipas, we will be taking them down for a short visit to May River and also over to Ama.  There is such a terrific need for health work and education in this area.  My next newsletter should be mostly about this 2 week program and how it was received.  Many of the team are part of a Seventh-day Adventist association of health workers that like to go out on these visits and they plan to include a spiritual talk each evening in addition to their health education talks.  They have asked Pastor Peter Oli to do the evening worships.  Please lift us up in your prayers.  When this newsletter is printed out for the Stateline Church this Sabbath, we will already be in the middle of our two week program.

Last Sabbath Pastor Oli led out in the afternoon as our little company church began the process of organizing.  In the 20 plus years, the church has mainly been led by David Tapi and it was past time to spread out the leadership and get more members involved.  The core group of leaders, (treasurer, clerk and leading elder) were chosen and then work was done to choose deacons, deaconesses, and other essential leaders.  It went very well and we are excited to see this progress.

Even with no clinic in the village and very limited supplies, the people still come to our home to see if they can get help for various issues.  Basically Corrie only has malaria test kits and medicine but she does have a few doses of antibiotics we were given as a standby for our own family if needed.  This last week a small boy had a run in with a pig and ended up with a nasty slash about 4 inches long that lay open about an inch wide exposing the muscle layer.  Corrie did her best to get this started on the road to healing.  At least it was a clean looking wound so after washing it she applied charcoal poultice and started him on antibiotics.  Elana and Ruth are changing the poultice daily while Corrie and I are out in Vanimo. 

The work on our house is coming along and we have hopes of getting it closed in soon.  It will take some time to get the electric and plumbing as well as cabinetry another interior work done but it is progressing nicely.

Getting gravel

One of the interesting tasks is getting gravel for the cement we need for under the water tanks and for pads where our stairs come down to ground level.  The gravel that was brought by dump truck and left nearly a mile from our house has been brought over in small amounts over time but it is getting more and more difficult to get any more from that pile because the road has overgrown and has been too muddy during this rainy time.  So we decided to go get some from a neighboring village on the other side of the Sepik River.  This requires going a 5 or 6 mile journey by boat and up a small river until you start to feel the propellor touching bottom.  Then the boys jump out and pull the boat up until you get to a gravel bar.  We then load the boat with as much as it can carry and begin the journey back.  With the water right at ground level, we were easily able to just shovel the gravel and sand right onto the bank just a short distance from the house.  It was much easier than hauling by bucket loads on the little scooter.  Especially since it was something the village boys could get excited about doing.  We gave some rice and David’s wife cooked up a meal of fish and rice for all of our helpers.  We made three trips and it made a nice little pile of gravel that I hope will be enough to get most of our needed concrete done.

On the inside, I have been working on covering the interior wall studs.  Some of them get 1×6 siding where I need strong bracing to firm up the house, and some get 1/4 inch plywood.  I was able to get a shipment of 100 sheets of plywood through the logging company as they have a plywood mill down river and they gave me wholesale prices.  They put my order on one of their tug boats and sent it up to the log point that is 8 miles from the village.  From their a friend of mine took my boat and had the captain put it directly in my boat from the ship and bring it to the house site.

  Next I will be putting in another 750 screws or so to the exterior siding and then getting all the screening applied.  I will then work with caulking and expanding foam to fill all gaps where those pesky ants and other bugs like to gain entrance.  Then there are all the doors I need to make.  These are made with a lumber frame and 1/4 inch plywood skins. 

My favorite room in the house is going to be that office downstairs.  I have a 12 foot wide, 6 foot high screened wall out onto a veranda with 8 feet of roofing to shade the window.  This window is just above the desk height and I plan to sit at that desk while I ask God to give me inspiration for writing the booklets that we plan to print and share in Tok Pisin language.  The commanding view out the window is stunning tropical greenery and a beautiful lake with one little bush house belonging to the neighbors.  I can’t think of a better place to sit and write with the fresh breezes coming in and the tropical birds singing in the bush. Our hearts are full of thanksgiving and praise for all He is doing in Namia land.  I keep hearing of other villages wanting to see an SDA church established in their village.  The harvest is ready and we have great need for laborers.  I am hoping to see volunteer missionaries from among the PNG people to go to these areas that are ready for the harvest.  I had a man meet me in the market place today in Vanimo and he asked me if our church held Bible classes so he could learn more.  I gave him the name of several friends here that I am sure would love to give him Bible studies.  I also told him we have Bible class every Sabbath in church.    

Keep those prayers ascending!