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!!

Union Mission in Lae

Union Mission in Lae

New 4wd truck built to tackle the logging roads from Vanimo to the Sepik.

We have been here at Lae since Wednesday morning the 19th.  Our Isuzu NPS 4wd truck arrived here from up in the highlands in Goroka on Friday.  We picked it up in late morning and began the process of re-learning how to drive on the opposite side of the road from what we are used to.  It takes a bit of reprogramming to find the blinker on the right side and shift with the left hand. To complicate things there are all the people, vehicles and potholes to dodge and make sure you are where you are supposed to be.

We went out Sunday to practice when traffic was very light.  If you take a look at our YouTube channel, Corrie posted a short video that includes a very rough portion of road that required slowing to a crawl.  A group of youngsters came up and asked if I could take them up the road a bit and with all of them in the back it was a little smoother.  

This truck is designed for 3.7 metric tonne payload which is close to 8000 lbs so you can guess how bouncy it is when empty. We have dedicated this truck to be a blessing to the people and carry the gospel wherever it goes.  I think fondly of the old Erik B. Hare story of the “Big Yellow Truck” and hope someday the people will be just as glad to see the “Big White Truck.”  Today we ordered signs for the side doors that will identify us with the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

We are staying in a very nice transit flat at the church headquarters for the PNG Union Mission. It comes with a nice kitchen and bath. Hot water is a nice touch as well, especially when using city water that comes out of the ground.  We normally like to temper the cold water a little at first and then go cooler and cooler.  A nice solar water heater is on my long list. 🙂

Sabbath we attended church at Two Mile SDA Church along with Leonard Sumatau, Union Secretary.  Pastor Sumatau was preaching and he called me up at the end to share a bit of our story.  They tend to put us a bit on a pedistal because we have left what they consider is the ideal place to live to come live in a part of their country most of them would find difficult.  It makes me uncomfortable because I don’t see it that we are sacrificing, considering we actually prefer living out in the jungle village over what the world considers the ideal place to live.

However, Pastor Sumitau has helped me to see that our story energizes the church members to get involved in mission and if I can do that by simply sharing my testimony, I am willing.  I just pray before going up that they will see Jesus and not me.

Your prayers are truly appreciated. God is showing His hand at every turn.  We are waiting for a tax identification number that was applied for Thursday last week.  This is needed before any progress can be made for clearing customs with our container. 

One giant blessing is that Pastor Sumatau’s brother has said he would give us a container since we need to empty the International Shipping Company’s container and use our own from this point to get things on towards the Sepik.

Also, one of our friends in Tipas who works for the logging company assures me that the company will be glad to take our container out to the river from Wewak and put it on one of their barges to deliver right to within a few miles of Tipas.  Perhaps even deliver it from their log point right to the village.  That would be amazing and take a giant load off my mind.

Friendly Guesthouse Port Moresby

Friendly Guesthouse Port Moresby

Trying to get things done in Port Moresby

While in Port Moresby we were greatly blessed to be housed by a good friend, Jeffrey Maliou, owner of “Friendly Guesthouse” in Port Moresby.  He has a beautiful place on the side of a mountain which includes a small zoo with various birds and animals in large cages. Our room has a queen and a single bed and a small kitchenette and bathroom. 

The above picture is of Zorion Auma, Peter Oli and Ruth Oli helping Elana with some meal prep.  Zorion is Peter and Ruth’s son-in-law.  He is the one that has made it possible to get around to do all the business things such as driver’s license, bank account, etc.

It took us more than two weeks to get the drivers licenses and bank account.  We also ordered our needed vehicles and had funds wired from our Stateside account.  That is still an ongoing process due to the local bank the dealership uses having just switched systems and creating a big mess with everyone’s accounts.

Wednesday evening we walked up above our room to a nice chapel Jeffrey built during covid so they could continue worshipping.  Jeffrey asked me to give a short devotional.  Corrie played along with songservice with her flute and the rain came pouring down!  What fun.

Sabbath, one my previous students from Paglum SDA High School took us to the Hope SDA Church and we had a great Sabbath, spending the entire day with them.

Sabbath evening we were taken out to dinner and then back to the guesthouse.

Sunday was mostly spent staying in the room since nothing is open on Sunday. Monday we were able to complete our bank account and Wednesday, April 19 we flew over to Lae to begin the process of getting our container out of customs.

 

Friendly Guesthouse chapel

Jeffrey Maliou in front of Friendly Guesthouse office

Cuscus (Papua New Guinea Tree Possum)

Jeffrey is on friendly terms with all his creatures.

First Sabbath in PNG

First Sabbath in PNG

Our first Sabbath in PNG

After arriving on Friday, March 31, we settled in at the transit house at Pacific Adventist University.  Basically a large Hotel suite type room with multiple beds, lounge area with several nice chairs and sofa, dining table, kitchen and bath, the room was quite comfortable and probably the last place we will stay for a while where hot water is on tap.

Sabbath morning was beautiful and I rose early and walked around in the pre dawn quiet enjoying the sounds of nature as dawn approached.

Sabbath, we attended the University church and met some new friends as well as old friends. Corrie was invited up with the music worship team to play her flute and the church service was communion.

After church we were invited to eat lunch with the Filapino community.  We felt so welcome and blessed.  One of the couples were from Manado Indonesia where Elana spent many of her childhood years so there was much animated conversation on history of the church and and Elana’s dad’s involvement in the beginning years of our work there.

Sunday morning I convinced Elana and Corrie to join me on my magical pre-dawn walk on the campus.  We sat down by a pond and listened to the night sounds and talked about God’s wonderful leading and watch care.

Monday morning our friends the Oli’s and Auma’s came to pick us up and plan the next place we would stay.  We were sitting under a shade tree eating lunch at Ela Beach and discussing options.  I had tried to contact Bob and Vaseho Wagi out at Mt Diamond SDA High School but my attempts were futile.  Finally I just said, “Lets just go out there and see if they can handle visitors for a while!”  So off we went.  We arrived at Mt. Diamond about an hour later after stopping at a grocery store and fuel station.  We actually met Bob driving out and thoroughly surprised him.  When we turned around to follow and catch him, he thought we were police due to the looks of Zorion’s land cruiser.  Thankfully he meekly stopped as we waved him down and the look on his face when he recognized me was priceless.

Their house was full but they managed to make room for us on the living room floor and that became our home for the next week.

God is good!  All the time!

And so it begins!

Today has been a busy day. Basic vehicle maintenance getting ready for trip down to LAX, visiting with cousin Clyde Sample and his wife Lou who came down from Spangle to say goodbye, working on this website to solve security issues etc.

Last night the Stateline SDA Church had an amazing farewell dinner for us and I can honestly say I have not experienced any greater display of love and support than we felt from this amazing group of brothers and sisters in Christ! It is never easy to say goodbye and I am looking forward to that day when we shall never part again!

Be watching for new videos on our YouTube channel. Corrie is working on some of the video clips I took on my trip last year as well as from last night’s gathering.

We will be driving out of the Walla Walla Valley on Wednesday morning heading for Quincy, CA where Corrie worked before she came up here.

I received many connections on WhatsApp after our gathering last night where I mentioned that WhatsApp is the best way to stay in touch while we are in PNG. Once we leave the States we will be removing our Verizon simm card and will have PNG phone numbers over there. It is prohibitively expensive to call a PNG mobile number from here and vice versa so we will not be using that method. WhatsApp is a simple app that is secure and allows us to text, talk and do video calls as well as share pictures with each other. If you install it on your phone you can add us to your contact list and send us a quick message before we leave here and it will stay connected when we change numbers.

Blessings!