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!

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!!!