Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Saga Continues

Well, the ambulance is still being held captive in Kiari. We already
had an outreach fellowship for that area scheduled for Tuesday
evening, so we ended up holding it right next to the ambulance. That
meant that all the men "guarding" the ambulance were a captive
audience. Not quite what they were anticipating but a good way to get
the gospel out! Do continue to pray for that situation though. One of
our preacher boys is in town as his wife just had a baby and another
preacher boy wants to take his wife to town for the same reason. But
this unrest means that it is very unsafe for them to go through Nomane
to get to the airstrip and neither of their wives is up to walking
that distance.

I forgot to mention in last week's blog that the school year is
officially over. If you get my prayer letter, you already know that I
will not be teaching next year. I enjoyed the experience but am glad
to have the time free to spend on other ministries. I am again hoping
to focus on learning the local village language as well as do some
translation into the national trade language. Please pray that I would
have the Lord's mind on how to best spend my time.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


We have had a few slightly tense situations around that I wanted to
share with you. The first happened a couple of weeks ago. A local
village hosted a rugby game and invited the team from our village of
Kiari to participate. Men from another village (Nomane) were
refereeing the game. Apparently some of the Kiari guys were upset at
one of the umpiring decisions and chased the referee off the field
with bush knives (like machetes) and bows and arrows. The Nomane guys
were understandably angry and demanded a compensation payment of a pig
and 1500 kina (about 700 US dollars). When we went through Nomane on
the way to the ladies meeting, some of these guys surrounded the truck
and did not want to let us past since we were from Kiari. They
threatened the ladies that were with us and waved their bush knives
around, but the Lord was good and they finally let us through. Well,
that situation was finally resolved with payment of appropriate
compensation so all was good again for a while.

Then last week, the ambulance from the small hospital in Nomane came
to Kiari bringing immunization shots for the school children. They ran
short of immunizations before they finished, so they intended to leave
and get more and then return to finish. Well, some guys from Kiari
blocked the road and refused to allow the ambulance to leave. Early in
2009, the government had asked villagers along the road to pitch in to
do the work to reopen the road and promised to pay them. Well, that
payment has never come. Since it was the government that never paid,
and the ambulance is a government vehicle, the guys apparently decided
that holding the ambulance hostage was the best way to get their pay.
So the government ambulance has been sitting in Kiari for the last
week or so. The word is that the folks in Nomane have paid the police
to come and get it, but they haven't arrived yet.

As I write this, I realized that all of this incidents sound
incredibly foreign to our American mindset. The thinking that
underscores them (besides man's inherent sinfulness, of course) is
that if one person does something, his entire group or village is
responsible. Hence Nomane trying to stop our truck full of women even
though none of them, or even their husbands, were even at the rugby
game. We as foreigners are not in any real danger besides getting
yelled at, but often our national Christians can find themselves in
very difficult situations. Thank you so much for your prayers for our
and their safety. Please pray for the Lord to be glorified, even in
these kinds of situations.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Ladies Fellowship

This past week we had the opportunity to go to the village of Kilau
for a ladies meeting hosted by the national church there. There were
about 80 ladies there from about 9 churches in the area. We took six
ladies from our church, plus three of us missionaries and the Smith's
oldest teen daughter. Each day had three sessions taught by
missionaries from that church -- two each morning and one in the late
afternoon. The sessions covered a variety of topics from child rearing
and marriage to fearing the Lord to true saving faith and security of
salvation. The time between the sessions was left free for fellowship,
eating and volleyball. The men from the church there prepared meals
for the ladies for both the noon and evening meals each day. It was an
enjoyable time of fellowship with both the nationals from the
surrounding churches and with missionary friends from that area.
Please pray that the lessons learned from the week will continue to
bear fruit in the days to come.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Ladies Meeting

This has been a fairly quiet week, if any week around here can be
termed quiet:-) School is winding down. I finished my last official
day of teaching on Thursday. The first grade also finished school this
week. We have another week with 2nd and 4th grade and they will be
done as well. I've enjoyed the teaching experience, but am glad to be
done as well. I am looking forward to being able to expand or start
some other ministries with the time I will now have available.

This week, some of us missionaries and six ladies from our church are
heading to a ladies meeting in the village of Kilau. The church there
is under the leadership of another set of GFA missionaries, so not
only we will have the benefit of the sessions of the ladies meeting,
but also fellowship with other missionaries. Please pray for the
spiritual growth of our ladies and the other ladies in attendance.