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.