Colly and I have just returned from a two-week break in Australia and have now returned to Milne Bay. On the first night back we stayed with my friend Chris Abel as usual and that night we had one of the largest thunderstorms I had ever encountered with incredibly heavy rainfall and huge cracks of thunder as lightning evaporated the massive quantity of water to make its deafening sound.
The water that fell that night filled the lower part of the field where one of our containers are located was flooded and water ingressed into the container from under the door and this spoiled two sprung mattresses, a microwave combi, my RBTC notes and a lot of other stuff which Colly has not yet affirmed. The next thing was that the clinker boat I had built with the apprentices for the mission and was laid up in a friend’s warehouse was attacked by termites and I discovered six planks eaten by them and need replacing; because this was in Alotau I am not placed to be able to repair her so I have offered her to my friend Murray (Chris’ brother) if he wants to repair her.
Next issue is that the stiffness of Living Water’s steering has developed into a serious problem as we have discovered that somehow the skeg on which the lower part of her rudder was supported has moved slightly to port (left) and it was this that has caused the stiffness which had become total immovability when we returned. This means that we have no rudder whatsoever and while we are at a secure anchorage this is fine but the cyclone season will be upon us from January 1st until April and although this is only a mild threat to Misima Island; it is never a good idea to be rudderless for any vessel at anchor at any time. Unless we find a solution this problem could very well swallow up the remainder of my resources.
Well it would be easy to feel a bit of a victim of circumstances but I don’t because I can fully appreciate that Enemy activity is involved and I remember the scripture Is 59:19 “. . . When the enemy comes in like a flood, The Spirit of the LORD will lift up a standard against him”. It has been a lot like this for us but we believe that the Lord will raise a standard against the enemy and God will enable us to overcome; He will provide the large sums needed because we need them right now.
I am finding that I am making quite a few runs over the incredibly rough vehicle-shattering roads on Misima Island. My old ute, a 1995 Toyota Hi-Lux 2.4 is very robust but it gets a real pounding on these roads. I delivered a mother with her newborn baby (related to Colly’s family) and a bunch of others including another lady (not related) but also with a newborn. They were bundled in the back for the 14-mile ride to Gulewa.
I was expecting a light return and ended up carrying an even heavier one back. The people here are so poor that I simply cannot drive away and leave them. They were mostly ladies with their market produce for market and they were late – without transport their produce would go off and their labours wasted. So off we went, over the mountain roads to Bwagoia on a journey that would give the Health & Safety Man a heart attack!
Mission base land
Some positive news is that we have located some land in Bwagoia upon which to build a mission base. It is perfect for the purpose because it has water frontage; the base itself will have the ground floor with a 50 seater auditorium and three rooms for visitor accommodation and Colly and I will have a three-bedroom flat above it. The ramp will be a few yards Northward and the workshop next to that. The plot itself is 40m on the frontage and 50m toward the rear. We plan to build a wharf on the harbour front side and so provide a good berth for Living Water. This whole project is also going to cost in excess of £300,000 and that is beside the present needs of Living Water. It seems an incredible sum to raise for us but this is the time that God is calling people to do serious things for Him and to take Him seriously in these days before His imminent return. When that day arrives as Jesus said, “ . . . as a thief in the night” I for one, don’t want to be caught in a spiritual tick-over mode when He comes!
The other positive thing is that another ministry who are engaged in Bible Translation offered to gift us a workboat into our ministry as long as we continued to transport their translators to their different locations in the Milne Bay Province to which we keenly agreed. We had submitted a business plan to operate the boat commercially to service to villages on the North coast of Misima which should be a great assistance both to those villages and to help our young people with paid work and of course to help in producing some income to help LWM. Although the agreement was made the funders HQ in the USA voiced reservations about giving such a large asset away and sought ways to avert it. At this point of writing there were two schools of thought among them; the field operators were very keen to gift the boat and at the same time made it clear that we would continue the transport service for their translators while the other one was simply to sell the boat and get a return on the money. The final decision will be made by the 1st December and we have agreed with the field workers for their first decision.
One thing is for certain, the missionary life is not one of ‘tranquillity’. If we are serious about doing God’s will and obedience to His word we will attract the unwanted attention of the enemy but that said; Jesus won a huge victory against him and we have the authority to resist and overcome his intrusions, distractions, manipulations, attacks etc., All we need to be aware of is the fact that he is really behind these attacks and that God WILL lead us and deliver us from any and all apparent or threatened disasters. Maybe our next letter will show us the results.
Chris du Toit is in South Africa right now and he tells us he will be returning in the New Year, January. He is facing a few challenges so your prayers will be appreciated here too. Rose has affirmed that she will participate in this ministry as planned. We also met a young woman called Sarah from Misima who died and went to Heaven and Hell before being returned to her (healed) body with a remarkable testimony which is totally scriptural in which all the patients on her ward were also healed and walked out of the hospital. God called her to the ministry of an evangelist and has since led nearly 1000 people to Christ as a result. We are keen to support and assist her in any way we can.
Finally, we believe that the Lord is drawing Christians from all groupings denominations etc., into unity. This is not some idealistic ecumenicism but a real and practical calling in order to assemble in order to be taught to pray effectively in order to see the tide of lawlessness and corruption pushed back here in PNG so that God can use and send the saints here into His work. God did something very similar in Fiji and this berthed the CMF World Harvest ministry which has born huge fruit, not just in Fiji but worldwide. While we do not know the full extent of God’s plan but it is exciting and we are confident that as long as we do our part by obeying Him then the results will be awesome indeed. (Matt 20:16 & 1Cor 1:21-29)
Finally, a burst dinghy…
The last addition to this News is that our faithful old Humber inflatable tender has finally given up the ghost! The sponson (rubber tube) was being inflated when it simply burst and without any repair facility for over 500nm (Cairns) and it being ancient anyway would have cost more than a replacement; it is safe to conclude that it is an ex-tender! In its place we need a 19ft banana boat; this boat is as narrow as a dinghy and very versatile. These boats are about K12,000 new (a little short of £3,000) and we need one quite quickly if we are to facilitate a ministry outreach to Panamaula Island. Our 20hp Honda will drive it very well and carry a lot more as well.
If you feel you might like to help us with funds for this boat, which our most urgent need, then you can make a donation by clicking here.
With love and God’s blessings