January – March News

Last Frontier PNG Newsletters for January 26, 2024 and March 5, 2024

Dear friends, family and prayer support team,

It’s Jan 26 and I only have a few minutes early this morning to share what is happening in our little corner of God’s vineyard. We are all well and doing our best to get the house to a livable stage as well as doing what we can to build relationships and share the love of Christ.

Since the last newsletter we have had to make more than one trip out for materials. We have put up a smaller structure for a workshop and carport so we could bring out the remaining items that were in the container and empty out the spare room in our little bush house so the Oli’s could come and stay with us for a few months.

We are currently in Vanimo to purchase house materials and last evening we, with much excitement, met Peter and Ruth Oli at the airport! It will be such a boost to have them with us as such a major part of our team. So many things happened that show God’s faithful watch-care over the last month to bring this to pass! We tried one week previous to come to Vanimo but after a couple of hours going up the river to the end of the road where we keep the vehicle, we got loaded up and started the landcruiser only to find that when I let the clutch out, nothing happened. It was like the clutch disc had disappeared or something and of course that didn’t make any sense. I played with the 4wd shift lever and nothing made any difference. I looked underneath for clues but I didn’t see any issues. So we headed back down river to Tipas. The road was in such bad condition anyway that even the Landcruisers were having a time getting through.

I contacted Philip in Vanimo and he arranged for a mechanic to come out a week later. So Monday this week we were up and loaded by 5am to head up river again. Philip and the mechanic, (Elder Gabriel Lazarus) along with some boys of his that are trained mechanics were supposed to travel early and come out by 8am. We arrived at Mahane at 8:15 or so but they had not arrived yet. We had no way to contact anyone from Mahane unless we took the boat across the Sepik River and climbed up a hill to a place where, if lucky, you could make a connection. I finally decided at 1pm to make that trip and try to call. It turns out that I caught them just before they got out of network coverage and was able to find out that they had experienced car trouble and had to go back to fix the car before they could come out so they were just 1 hour into the journey to Mahane and would not arrive till closer to 5pm.

They were about an hour into the process of removing everything needed to get to the clutch when Gabriel noticed a linkage going into the transfer case that was wrapped in rubber and it appeared to be disconnected. Turns out that just after I parked the car and shifted it back from 4wd low range to high and then to 2wd, the linkage had dropped down right when it was in the neutral position between 4wd low and 4wd high and the vehicle was stuck in neutral. A few minutes later they were busily putting things back together and in an hour we were on our way. We have now put the Landcruiser in his shop for a thorough going over and have found many such things needing attention. Hopefully they will get it back to us today, (Friday) or Sunday so we can use it for our trip back out on Monday. Gabriel had told us that our frame and engine are great and with new springs, bushings and misc welding we should be able to travel safely. The body is a mess as we knew because of a previous roll over before we bought it. Gabriel said he has a good body he will be happy to put on for us when we can give him the vehicle for a month or so. What a blessing!

Ok, so the best part about the above story was getting a chance to get reacquainted with Gabriel, whom I had met briefly in 2011 on one of my trips over here. He is very mission minded and is excited to become part of Last Frontier PNG. We spent quite a bit of time talking about the pressing needs and challenges for reaching the remotest areas in this corner of PNG. This territory is so vast and so many villages have no school, health service, or church that it would bring tears to your eyes to hear the stories. I met a lady while waiting for the mechanic in Mahane who is married to a man who is originally from a village from across the river and about 20 miles into the bush. She says that basically every man, woman and child in that area would test positive for TB. They visit the village from time to time but have despaired of finding a way to help them. This is just one of many such places in this vast territory and the church directors in this district have no budget that could even come close to allowing them to plan a way to reach them. It is hard to comprehend how expensive it is to travel. For me to go to Vanimo from Tipas it costs for fuel alone several months wages for a worker getting a decent wage.

Long story short, we don’t have the answers but are praying that God will bring together people like Gabriel and others here that are mission minded to brainstorm after seeking God’s will and an outpouring of the Holy Spirit as to what might be done to reach these hopelessly impossible to reach places. Your prayers joining with ours are requested. We do believe that our plan for writing and printing materials in Pidgen is a key factor but many of these areas are entirely illiterate so literacy training needs to be part of the work.

Now that Peter and Ruth are with us, there will be many discussions along these lines and I am excited to have them here. Now I must get back to the task of getting the materials loaded up and ready for the trip out next week, get the oil changed in the Isuzu, etc. etc. LOL

I wish I had time to tell you about the individuals we regularly associate with in Tipas. Many stories of victories, failures and trials and rejoicings. But that will have to wait for another time.

March News: Obviously something happened to February. I didn’t get the above newsletter sent for January and we have been out in Tipas since then. Now it is March 5 and I hope to get this sent before the weekend.

House update: We have the roofing on and flooring installed for all but one corner upstairs. We ran out of the dry and planed flooring and have to wait for the flooring to dry for a few months for that corner. We are purchasing siding in town on this trip and expect to have the house closed in soon! Corrie just posted the latest video update on the house.

Church update: Peter Oli has been given the authority of church pastor by the Sepik Mission and is gearing up to organize the company. We have a list of about 70 names of baptized members but typically see about 20 attending. So we are inviting all to meet with us during the week and discuss their plans and desires regarding their memberships before we take the names to the parent church in Vanimo for action on their names. The ladies have started a Sabbath School for the children and what a difference it makes! It is apparent that it won’t be long before we need more than one division but only God knows how that will come about. We don’t have a place for them to meet so they go to the Elder’s house next door and meet on his veranda. Make sure you visit our Youtube channel or Facebook page to see the video Corrie posted today.

Wewak town trip and Tipas Clinic: Currently the road to Vanimo is impassible in the last 10 miles from the Sepik River. Fortunately we have the option of going down river and out to Wewak though it is 3 times as expensive. Yesterday, Mar 5, we came down and as we drove in to town we stopped in a town close to the river called Maprik, and purchased the siding and other materials we needed and had them trucked out to Pagwi village at the river for us to load up and take up river when we are done in town.

Today we visited the mission headquarters and talked with Daiven, the health director about the clinic we want to start up again in Tipas. The mission is definitely interested in this project and I told them we would help raise funds for the main clinic building and two worker’s homes, probably not more than $20,000. In May, Daiven plans to travel to Vanimo to visit with the West Sepik provincial health authorities to get things started. Please pray for this much needed project! I could fill this newsletter with stories of the dire need for health services in this corner of the world. We get people from miles around coming to see Corrie on the veranda of our little bush house. All we currently have is malaria treatment medicine and test kits. One of the latest patients came from Ama and she had fallen on a knife. Corrie had some antibiotics we kept for emergencies and family issues and she also had charcoal for the surface wound. In a couple of days the lady was able to undertake the arduous journey back to Ama, a journey that required a 6 mile boat trip and 9 miles of walking including over a small mountain pass. They were hopeful of being able to catch a ride on a company vehicle headed to base camp from the log point on the river.

May River visit: Early last month Orion and Keren Lawrence, AFM missionaries, let us know that AFM president, Conrad Vine and field supervisor, Stephen Erickson would be paying a visit to May River and we were welcome to come down for a visit. We made it an overnight trip and were greatly blessed. Our time was filled with discussions on much needed Tok Pisin written materials and evangelism plans for the next 5 years. We felt it a real privilege to be included in these discussions.

Ama needs: Those of you who have followed our project from the beginning are aware that we have a real soft spot in our hearts for the neighboring language group to the south of us. Ama has had SDA influence since 1960 when a missionary from down river came up and spent 6 years breaking through the initial resistance and establishing the church there. AFM sent a worker there in the early 90s who couldn’t stay due to their newborn being unable to take malaria meds. And then again in 2012 when the tragic accident took the life of John Lello who was working towards getting established there. Since then the little church has all but died and the area has declined to the point that the government can’t keep workers there in the government station or the community school. They have no health services and their population has been declining. Peter Oli and I visited them on our initial visit in 2022. Gaspar is the fellow that is holding on and keeping things going. He recently visited Tipas and told me he has 3 that are nearly ready for baptism. He also asked me for nails and a few tools to aid him in building a guest house for when we come visit. Please pray for Ama! I am hoping we can get a volunteer worker established there by the end of this year. I am also hoping to be able to put a vehicle on that side of the Sepik River so regular trips will be possible.

Edwaki High School principal: Recently it came to my attention that the new principal for the Edwaki High School is a mission minded Seventh-day Adventist. I decided to attempt a quick visit over there to see what the school is like and see if I could meet the Principal. It is less than 8 miles to the school from Tipas but road conditions make for a 1 hour journey on our little scooter motorbikes. I was fortunate to be able to meet with Otto Yvia. I have heard that as many as 40 SDA students have attended in a given year but haven’t confirmed that number for this year as school has only now started for this year and Otto is new. Jason rode over there with me and we found some definitely challenging mud holes along the way. It is another indication that God has big plans for the Namia people here in the Edwaki area that He has ordained that we have someone like Otto at our high school. Please pray for him as it is very overwhelming for new workers in these areas where resources are so limited and difficult to get to.

Health Team to visit Tipas in April: We are excited to be able to host a medical team of 10 health workers including a dentist and doctor in early April. We need to pray for improved road conditions before April 1 when they plan to come out. Phillip Kairu, Waterstone SDA church elder, will bring them out in our Isuzu truck and we will meet them at the waterfront in Mahane and bring them down to Tipas with our boat. Our next town trip will coincide with their return trip on April 12.

Communications: We are getting closer to the anticipated roll out of Starlink here in PNG. If all goes as they have projected, we will see it in 3rd quarter or as early as July. Until then we will continue to be out of touch during our time in Tipas. We do have the ability to call out on the limited 2g service we have at our new house location but it is difficult for anyone to call us due to the fact that when I am down at the new house site where the network is good, I usually have the generator on or am making other noises that make it difficult to hear the phone ring.

It looks like I have already stretched the limits for 4 pages so will say goodbye for now. Please pray for our clinic project, Ama, and our little Sabbath School class for the kids. It started 3 weeks ago with 9 kids and last week it was up to 28 and we could hear them from the church! One little boy apparently was singing at home and his father wasn’t too happy and told him to quit. The little boy supposedly pointed right at his father and told him he better start coming to church. “Out of the mouth of babes!”

I included a link below to a video done by a foreign correspondent about the Edwaki and Ama areas. I am not as much sharing for the content as for the beautiful footage of our area, some of it drone footage. The high school where they met with the villagers is the one I mentioned in this newsletter.

Thank you for your prayers and generous donations. We know God has a harvest here in Namia land and the many other people groups in this district.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/lastfrontierpng more pictures with great descriptions and comments.

Youtube: www.youtube.com/@lastfrontierpng Check out latest videos

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URckE1PnHzA&t=22s Beautiful video footage of Namia and Ama areas from a foreign correspondent.

Finally! the last leg of our journey to Tipas is in sight.

Finally! the last leg of our journey to Tipas is in sight.

Tipas, here we come!

Newsletter sent to our home church:

Good morning from Vanimo, PNG! June 29, 2023

I decided to send another newsletter before we head out to Tipas next week since we will not have any Internet in Tipas for some time. We are finally ready to make our last move out to the village. The word is that they have repaired the road and even two wheel drive trucks are making it out to the river now.

Corrie’s leg sores are healing but we will probably have more struggles with the fungus issue and have to stay on top of it. My back is a bit sore but doing well. Elana is healthy. All of us are just in our element here and full of joy that God has given us the privilege of dwelling and working among these dear people. We can’t think of any place we would rather be.

We have begun developing good friendships here among the members of the Waraston (Water Stone) SDA church and they have decided to take their truck out with us next Tuesday (July 4) so we can get everything out in one trip. 8 to 10 men will ride along to help get things loaded in the canoes at the water front where we will be met with 4 log canoes and our Tipas church members. Of course we will provide the fuel for the trip. Altogether we will use about four 55 gallon drums of fuel at a cost of around $1200! That is for a 170 mile move. What fun! Of course we also have to carry fuel for the sawmill, generator, chainsaw and outboard motors so we will have 8 drums along for the ride.

We were surprised that our container that you all so loving helped us load actually arrived in Tipas over a week before we will. The stories keep changing but it sounds like the logging company had it delivered to the closest area to our house that had road access. Thankfully it sounds like they took a fork lift with the truck and unloaded it intact. At first we had heard that it was opened and emptied before they deposited it on the ground but apparently that is not the case. We will know for sure when we get there next week.

Our plans will be to settle in to the bush house they have prepared for us and get a temporary shelter set up with some metal roofing to catch rain water and a couple of 500 gallon tanks. We will set up a place to shower and get our composting toilet set up first. Then we will begin in earnest to get our house built. We have our sawmill in the truck so it will be set up as soon as possible and start producing the needed timbers for the house. I’ll probably make use of the temporary shelter to set up my woodworking equipment to get the planing and machining done as well.

We are carrying out with us a number of plant starts and seeds for things we want to get started growing. Hopefully we can find someone that we can hire for the gardening as it will be a big project since we are thinking of many medicinal herbs as well as the plants that will feed us and the larger team of workers that will eventually be making Tipas their headquarters.

We have been very thankful to see funds coming in from your loving donations and even though we have not personally run out of our own funds yet, we have begun making plans for what we can do with what has been sent. In our talks with the mission president, regional supervisor and other pastors and elders here, we can see that they are hoping to see Tipas become a base for a future district and they are hoping to see a wellness center, possibly a training school, and more. I can see the distinct possibility of much of this coming to fruition as I keep hearing more encouraging news of interest in the surrounding village.

What they typically do in these situations is appoint a volunteer minister who has just graduated and is sponsored by someone. Once the church is fully organized and able to support a pastor they then find a full time pastor hired by the mission. Since there is no budget for the wellness center or workers we are going to sponsor a number of workers for the area. Probably about 6 sponsorships at the start. It takes between $150 and $200 to sponsor a worker. I plan to hire one local church member to run the sawmill so he doesn’t have to work for the logging companies to get a little money. Most of his money goes to the church anyway so it will be money well spent. We also hope to find a married couple who can do the gardening. Another sponsorship will be for a health worker for the wellness center. As far as ministers, we will be looking for one for Ama as well as for Tipas, Aukwom and several other areas nearby where we heard of interest in starting a church. One sponsorship will be for Peter and Ruth Oli so they can come out and spend 6 months a year in Tipas and help train and supervise the ministers and laymen.

We have heard that the Edwaki High School (about 5 or 6 miles from Tipas) has as many as 40 SDA students from outside the Namia area that have no place to worship. We plan to address that issue as quickly as possible. One distinct possibility there is to provide Religious Instruction class that they have weekly. Currently there is no one who is doing this for the SDA students so they would just attend the Christian Brethren class. Ripe fruit just hanging for harvest. We hope to find some interest near the high school so we can actually get a church built in the surrounding community. There are stories of interest all around the area that are just waiting for someone to come share the truth.

Building projects are the other area we will be concentrating on. The initial building for the wellness center will be just a 2 or 3 room building for a clinic. We also need Sabbath school buildings which can also be used for other classes during the week. Then we will need a house for the minister, etc. etc.

We are definitely ready to get to work. We have been busy here in Vanimo trying to find needed items before we go. It is amazing how much time you can spend trying to find something like brazing rod for putting new teeth on a saw blade or just a hardware item that allows you to put a rope or chain on the outboard motor. Or wiring for the solar set up requires going to every store in town and finally finding the wire for one part in one store and for another part in another store. Even though I know Pidgen it is often impossible to describe what I want as they will have a completely different name for it or have never heard of it. So it turned out that we needed every bit of the time we have spent here in Vanimo and I have become friends with quite a few of the workers behind the counters in the local hardware stores. I am definitely looking forward to getting reacquainted with my tools.

It seems that every day I think of another subject for writing booklets for outreach here. I am really looking forward to getting that house built so I will have my office set up and can get to work on what really matters.

On a more sober note, while here in Vanimo, we met one of the SDA teachers from Tipas. I asked him why he was not at work in Tipas and he shared a story that shows how alcohol is truly destroying the peace in Tipas. He was attacked in the night and only due to intervention by his guardian angel did he come through virtually unscathed. This was a payback attack since he had had some altercation with this fellow before. I don’t know all the details. I do know this though. The village council (government appointed leader) who is Bendo’s brother is also a business man and it turns out his number one business is a beer store. He just took another 120 cartons of beer out to Tipas yesterday. He is the one that told me my work was to straighten out all the youth in the village who were being trouble makers. I asked him how I was supposed to do that while he provided them with the means to cause all the trouble. This is a real problem in the entire area now and the devil is having a hay day. We will be praying God will show us ways to counteract this issue.

For those of you who are off road enthusiasts, you will appreciate what I am planning to do with my truck. I have ordered super single rims from a business in Australia with appropriate offset so I can have single tires in back instead of the dualies. Along with the rims I am putting 37 inch off road tires all around. This will greatly improve our ability to go through mud holes as the dualies caused twice the resistance in mud. Eventually I would like to get lockers as well but will have to wait on that one.

I’m getting quite a bit of preaching practice here as they have kept me busy at a different church each Sabbath. This week we are attending the revival meetings at Waraston and will enjoy communion with them this Sabbath. Last Sabbath I preached at a branch church and the topic was “Jesus or Barabbas; Truth or Counterfeit.”

Corrie has been busy doing research and downloading everything she can find on the plants of this area and how to use them effectively for healing and health maintenance. She has also made a lot of friends among the ladies and many of them have brought their knowledge and plant starts to add to her collection. God even used her foot sores to bring much more attention to this side of things and turned a negative into a positive.

Elana has kept busy with everything from baking bread in drum oven, to discovering ways to cook the local foods so that we all love them. She also has the mundane stuff like laundry done in a bucket and hung on the line and going to market to find all the things we need. She also loves to come along when I am snooping around town looking for all the little things that are so hard to find. She also is making a lot of friends among the church ladies and is truly enjoying herself.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your prayer support and loving gifts. We have enjoyed those of you who have given us a call to say hello. Check out the website if you are not sure how to stay in touch.

Www.lastfrontierpng.org You can find links there to Facebook page and YouTube for lots of pictures and videos.

God’s blessing on each of you and let’s keep working to do our part so Jesus dream for each one of us can come true SOON!

With love,

Jack, Elana, and Corrie Sample

P.S. The video of our trip out to Tipas will be edited and prepared but not uploaded until our next trip out to town due to the fact that we will not have Internet in Tipas. There will probably be a couple of videos to bring out and upload by then.

10 Week Sketch

Part of a letter written to our church in the US.

Week 1, April 1-9: We arrived on the last day of March and arranged for staying over the weekend at Pacific Adventist University transit house. We enjoyed the weekend and had the opportunity to meet some lovely people there. On Sunday we left the University and went out to Mount Diamond Adventist Academy and stayed for a week with Bob and Vaseho Wagi while we waited for an available room at the Friendly Guesthouse belonging to my friend Jeffry Maliou. Bob Wagi was the farm manager at Paglum Adventist High School when I was principal there in 1997. Our main accomplishment during this week was to gather paperwork needed to apply for a bank account and to get driver’s licenses. We also initiated the purchase of a truck for our use in traveling the logging roads between Vanimo and the Sepik River. This was the beginning of a long saga that has yet to be completed. The transfer of funds for the U.S. happened in a reasonable timeframe but due to a complete system change in the Bank of South Pacific our funds got caught up in a tangled mess and it took until just last week to get it sorted out. We are still waiting for a refund due us due to a better exchange rate than we expected.

Week 2, April 9-15: On Sunday we moved in to Jeffrey’s guesthouse to be more centrally located while chasing down paperwork to finish the bank account application process. Most of this week was waiting time and we gave our transportation family a rest while we sat out a good share of the week. We enjoyed Wednesday evening prayer meeting at the small chapel at the guesthouse and on Sabbath we were picked up by one of my students from Paglum Adventist High School and taken to church where he worships. Kenlokai Sop Lepen was in my choir at Paglum and is now a very successful business man who has dabbled in politics only to find that he couldn’t abide the dishonesty there. He has traveled the world and most of his travels center on Japan where he has business mentors and partners. We were introduced to a number of influential people at the Hope SDA Church there in Port Moresby and they were very interested in our mission. They have pledged to support as needed.

Week 3, April 16-22 Monday we finally got word that we could to in to the bank and pick up our account papers and debit cards. Tuesday we finished up a few details and then on Wednesday we flew over to Lae to start the process of getting our container through customs. We had phoned ahead to book the South Pacific Division transit room at the Union headquarters for about $70 per night per room hoping that would only be needed for 2 weeks. Over the previous weekend Kenlokai had told us not to worry about the charges. I didn’t know what to think until my friend Leonard Sumatau, secretary of the Union called me and assured me that our stay there was covered. What a blessing. We also were given a handful of cash that amounted to over $1000. Just more evidence that God is in charge.

Weeks 4-7, April 23 – May 20 We wandered into this customs clearance process with no experience and relying on some dear friends who offered to make it painless. Lol. The first item needed was a tax identification number for becoming an importer. It didn’t do any good to explain we just wanted our personal items so we could get on with missionary work and we didn’t plan to start an importing business. It took 10 days to sort that one out. Then we could file the papers for customs clearance. It took a week and 4 tries to get that one done and then we found that was just the beginning of a string of papers that could only be done one at a time it seems. Each time we would be assured we were done only to have them tell us there was just one more thing…. Finally on May 17 our container was delivered to us and we quickly transferred everything into our own container and had everything picked up and taken to the wharf again before Friday afternoon. Our container was booked to be shipped to Wewak with an arrival date of May 25. The empty container was returned to the shipping company and we are waiting for the refund of the bond we had to pay to get it out of the wharf.

Also, while in Lae, I phoned the dealer in Vanimo to make a purchase of the motorbikes and outboard motors we need so they would be ready to pick up when we got there. We also were able to make purchases of the needed sawmill and solar panels and batteries. These were also shipped to Vanimo to be there when we arrived. I also arranged to ship the Isuzu truck to Vanimo and it was scheduled to arrive on the 28th of May. We ended up spending more than 5 weeks in Lae and had opportunity to get acquainted with many of the church leaders and local members there. We also began acclimatizing in earnest because our air conditioner didn’t work and many times the power was off so we couldn’t run the fans.

Week 8 May 21-27 Monday May 22 we flew from Lae to Wewak where the Sepik Mission headquarters are located. We were graciously offered a place to stay at the AFM transit just out of town a few miles. Also our AFM friends let us use their Nissan double cab pickup to move around and take care of market needs, etc. We decided to fly Peter and Ruth Oli over to spend the week with us in Wewak. Peter is known in Wewak as the longest serving mission president in that mission. He was there for seven years including the time we were in Tipas as AFM missionaries. It was heartwarming to see the love these people have for them.

Most of our time in Wewak was spent arranging for transporting our container out to the Sepik and up to Tipas on the logging company barge. I had been assured by a friend in Tipas who works for the logging company that everything had been confirmed so all I would have to do is go see the logging company boss in Wewak and then get a transport company to take it out to their loading point on the river. Unfortunately when I went to see the company office, nobody knew anything about it. The boss asked me to write a request letter and he would submit it to the main office in Port Moresby. I immediately imagined weeks of delay but with no other options, I went back to my house and wrote up the letter. I got it delivered to the company that same day and prayed that God would work things out. I gave it a day’s rest and then on Thursday contacted them to check on things. To my delight everything was approved including the shipping of our roofing metal and water tanks. So we made arrangements for transporting two truck loads out to the river and enjoyed our weekend.

Friday morning we went to the mission office and joined them for worship. We had a great time getting acquainted and talking about plans to work together. During our time in Wewak I began getting phone calls from Tipas villagers wondering exactly when we would be arriving in Tipas. They are anxious to arrange for the necessary canoes for transporting our goods down river. At this time I was pretty sure we would only need to spend one weekend in Vanimo and our truck and solar equipment were scheduled to arrive over the weekend and we could plan to head for the river on Monday the following week.

For Sabbath, Peter was asked to speak at one church and I went to another. The president of the mission, Henry Monape had me give a short presentation during the church service and then they asked me to take the afternoon service and tell the full story. We were greatly blessed!

Week 9 May 28 – June 3 Sunday May 28 we flew on over to Vanimo on the evening flight. We were welcomed by Pastors Jefferson Kisa and Gideon Kend at the airport. Gideon is the regional supervisor and Jefferson is to be the pastor of the church on the hilltop in Vanimo where I have always attended on previous trips. Currently Jefferson is staying a little out of town at the district headquarters until a new house can be built for Gideon and his family. Once he moves to a new house Jefferson will move up to the Tower Church and assume his duties there.

Monday I went down to the shipping wharf only to find that the ship had come and gone and we had nothing on it. A phone call to Lae turned up the sad truth that the ship was too full and our truck and cargo was scheduled 2 weeks later on the next ship. At least we are comfortable in the home of Jefferson and Maria and right across the road from the beach. Also our motorbikes are now in our possession so I can get around.

Friday we took a trip out to Aimbai on our motorbikes. Jefferson drove one with Corrie on the back and I drove one with Elana on the back. It was a fun trip of about 80 miles round trip. We met the district director we will be working under for the Bewani, Green District, Pastor Campbell. His home is in Bewani about 35 miles from Vanimo. His district is a huge unentered area where there is much work to do! They are all excited we will be in the hardest to reach area.

Sabbath I was asked to preach at a small branch church 10 miles or so out into the bush. Then they asked me to do the afternoon program at the Waterstone church where we are staying. Again we were greatly blessed making new friends.

Week 10 June 4 to present: This week we have been doing more exploring, getting acquainted with the stores in town. Tuesday Pastor Gideon Kend agreed to go out on the road we will take after the road is finished all the way to Tipas. I was hoping we could make it all the way into Namia territory to the village of Mantopai. We had heard the road was complete as far as there so we planned to spend the night and come back on Wednesday. It was about 110 miles to Mantopai and we were traveling in a Toyota Landcruiser with bench seats lining both sides in the back. It is called a 10 seater.

We got to about 5 miles from Mantopai and we reached the end of where the gravel had been applied and due to heavy rains in the past few days it was a miry clay mess. We decided to head back so all total we spent over 10 hours in the vehicle that day. I did get to talk to some people along the road at a small bush camp and found that they were from Mantopai and we had actually made it into Namia territory. It looks like the road is currently being worked on so hopefully we will be able to see it completed this year.

Along the journey we checked in on a brand new church plant with only 3 members. How exciting to see the push being made into these unreached areas. We had picked up a pastor from an organized church about 25 miles out of Vanimo. He was responsible for this little branch church. He kept us entertained with his stories along the way.

Often in late afternoon we go out and play in the surf. The beach is amazing and the waves perfect for gentle body surfing. It’s the best way to get throughly clean and then rinse the salt off with rain water from the tank.

Our hearts are overflowing with thanks to our creator. I love to go out in the early morning before any light in the east is showing and sit on the beach and talk to my creator. Vanimo is the most peaceful town in Papua New Guinea and we are comfortable going anywhere in town or countryside.

We are about 10 days from our newest target for making the last journey out to Tipas. It will take two trips with the truck to get the sawmill, solar equipment, motorbikes and things we purchase here for our home such as mattresses etc. So Elana and Corrie will probably only come out on the second trip which is most likely going to be on Tuesday the 20th of June. We will probably arrive in Tipas late in the day and possibly even after dark on the 20th . That will be the beginning of the most challenging time as we try to get the basic needs addressed as soon as possible and find a way to get most of our stuff under shelter. It is possible that our container will actually be waiting for us just a few miles down river and we will be transporting those goods by canoe to the village as well. The company has agreed to deliver the empty container to us but they don’t have equipment to deliver it when full. It will be about 3 miles away by road but no road goes clear to our house site.

P.S. We have met a church member here that is part of the Health Administration of the province. He has assured us there will be no problem with getting authorization for the clinic in Tipas. Also the church administration is very interested in starting wellness centers here so our dream of the health work will be fully supported by administrations involved. There may be some limited funding available but I am sure this is one area where there will always be needs above and beyond what will be available here.

Also there is much need for support for national volunteer pastors for these remote areas. The mission is really anxious to push the work into the large unentered areas in this region and so any support for these workers will be a blessing. I have been trying to get an idea what would be needed to support a worker in such a remote area and in my estimation we would need a monthly commitment of around $200 a month and I feel the launching costs should include initial housing and water tank needs as well as perhaps a motorbike to give them mobility. A basic home with metal roofing and water tank would be sufficient and total expense for bike and home should be less than $10,000. Some areas where clean water can be found in a mountain stream would not need metal roofing or water tank so that would cut expenses in half. We have a unique situation that God has provided for a limited time. These logging roads are currently in useable condition but all bridges are just logs buried under gravel and dirt. They will last for perhaps 10 years if lucky and then the roads will be impassible. It is time to finish the work!!!

Lae Memorial SDA Church children’s story

Today is Sunday and nothing happens around here on Sundays so we find ourself waiting for tomorrow as they have sort of promised that our container will be delivered after our agent meets one last paperwork requirement.

We enjoyed our 3rd Sabbath at Lae Memorial SDA Church and had dinner with the Filapino group again.

Corrie put up a new video on our YouTube channel. It was from a couple of weeks ago when we first attended the Lae Memorial Church.  The video shows Elana telling her favorite children’s story of when she got spanked by an elephant at the Jakarta Zoo when she was about 10 years of age.

We are fairly certain we will be in Wewak by next weekend.  Our container should be on the ship that arrives there a week from tomorrow on the 22nd.  We will stay in Wewak for most of a week and arrange for our container to be taken out to the Sepik River where a logging company has agreed to put it on a barge bound for the Tipas log loading point on the river.  That is only about 3 miles from where our house will be and we have been told they will deliver it with their trucks after it arrives at the log point.

I am hopeful that they will also agree to let me bring them some water tanks and perhaps metal roofing for taking up river as well.  It remains to be seen if we can arrange that.  If not we will purchase in Vanimo and have to find a way to get them down river on our own.

Peter and I are delighted to find out who the new Vanimo pastors for the two town churches are.  One is a friend both of us met 3 years ago that was a missionary pastor in Aimbai at that time.  His wife is someone I had met in the Madang area in 2011 when she did the translating for my Sister’s crusade in the village of Kubugam. Their names are Jefferson and Maria and they are now at the Waraston Church.

The new pastor for the Tower Church as well as the District Director is Gideon Kend and he is someone who has worked with Peter before and is a very mission minded pastor.  Peter speaks very highly of him and my pastor from Stateline Church in Oregon, James Ash knew him in Guyana where James was a mission pilot and Gideon spent several years as a missionary.

We are well, blessed and excited about finally seeing the end of the wait and getting to move on towards our destination.

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Blessings!  Jack

World War 2 Memorial Garden in Lae

World War 2 Memorial Garden in Lae

Peaceful Resting Place for those that died in the Hell of War.

Just basically in the back yard of the Union Mission headquarters is this beautiful well manicured memorial site for Australian and PNG soldiers that died during the New Guinea Campaign of World War II.

We spent about an hour and a half strolling around taking pictures of flowers. Enjoy!!