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.