The Kavieng center is getting a very much need fresh coat of paint.
Pastor Joe Tobung of the local Four Square Church put in a bid to paint the building. They have a small company for doing odd jobs such as painting and building as a means to bring in additional income for the church as they have their own building project going on. The two young men doing the painting are doing a great job. Even Pastor Joe who comes by and check on their work picks up a paint brush to lend a hand also. They will be done this week after delays of getting the paint and the weather. I am thankful I was not the one going up and down the ladder to paint.
We praise God for bringing us safely across the beautiful and not too choppy waters of St. George’s Channel by 60 hp speed boat from Kokopo, East New Britain Province to the west coast of New Ireland Province (~2 hours). From there we traveled safely by truck over partially sealed roads to our north east coast village for about 3 hours (120 miles).
We were warmly welcomed back by the Notsi people as we drove through the village to the house we call ‘home.’ A few more posts under the house had been replaced with a clear commitment from our ‘son’ Obed and his team to finish the task. The sawn timber under his house was an encouraging sight representing half of what we need to replace the bat-infested outer walls of our house. It was evening and we were too tired to do more than minor cleaning, eat something, dust the beds off and put on clean bed linen. Read more…
I remained in Papua New Guinea while Gertrude visited with her mom. I finished some projects in Lossu village, and left for Kokopo, East New Britain Province. As you might expect, interaction with guesthouse staff and staff of local businesses in Kokopo was still cross-cultural. I enjoyed managing the Kokopo Center Guesthouse: bookkeeping, buyer for missionaries, public relations, building and equipment maintenance, and supervision of guesthouse staff but I realized that I would much rather be involved in Bible translation. The whole experience refreshed my memory of how badly our teams in the New Guinea Islands need a full-time missionary manager in Kokopo. Gertrude was a sight for sore eyes when she arrived back from the USA. Her welcomed presence gave me a break from household jobs and help with shopping for other missionaries. When she wasn’t helping me, she was able to do some editing on Notsi, Nalik, and Notsi-Madak literacy books.
I was grateful that I was able to assist Lisbeth & Robyn as they their team come in to work on Old Testament translation. They were able to finish a number of chapters from the book of Ester. As they returned to Duke of York Island Gertrude and I did shopping for them. It was so dry in the village as they were there we were sending produce once a week since it was limited where they were.
One highlight of our stay was opportunity to fellowship with Jerry Penie and family, a Papua New Guinean missionaries who were home on leave from full-time ministry to aboriginals in Western Australia. Another highlight came when I was invited to preach on Christmas Day at the Kokopo United Church. By the grace of God, I preached from Matthew and Luke about Different Responses to the Good News of Jesus Birth. Also, Gertrude and I enjoyed fellowship with a couple of families from Kokopo Urban United Church with whom we sang Christmas Carrols for the Christmas service. On our last Sunday in Kokopo, the church sponsored a farewell lunch where we enjoyed fellowship and fine Tolai cuisine. Grateful to be of service as managers but glad to return to the Notsi.