It has been a long time since I wrote a few words and excuses aside, the Babaliman (South East Trade winds) season from May to July lasted until the beginning of this month. This season is for SE PNG their wet season where high pressure SE of Australia funnels cold wind into the SE Trades which drives up the warm, moist air into higher cold altitudes which for those who understand weather means lots of rain, ‘cold front’ style. This makes the town of Alotau one of the wettest places in the world!
Colly and I have been in Alotau virtually all that time but involved with ministry too. We taught the BCC course with resulted in a large increase in church attendance on account of people hearing the Word and allowing God to change them. New births and baptisms in the Holy Spirit revived many people by which God brought a freshness into the Church. We also taught BCC in the MP’s office to his staff with a similar result except that some of them went to Bona Bona island where Mrs Hacy Abel, wife of Alotau MP, Charlie Abel hails from. They responded to revelation God had given them on the course and laid hands of people for healing with impressive results.
We had a hitch with the Misima translation of BCC in that the office sent the English version to the printer and we received 200 copies in English. Well we saw it in the light of Rom 8:28 and began handing them out to pastors in the Alotau area where more English language is used. A new order has gone in for the Misima version.
Prayers and intercessions are needed for progress of God’s Word to make inroads into cultural barriers thwarting the laying of proper Biblical foundations; some of these barriers are residual ancestor worship which result in heavy duty funerals and via beliefs that their ancestors dispense favours and benefits results in a strong something-for-nothing culture, which in many ways is similar to that of the socialists differing only in the source being the State instead of the ancestors. We also have to overcome the ‘smallboy’ culture whereby teenage boys embrace a Peter Pan type of outlook where they take on no responsibility until they produce children by which time they resent leaving the lifestyle of irresponsibility, partying and prowling for girls at night. This resentment means that these young men face a sudden change and are not prepared or even able to adjust into ‘good husbands and fathers’ and are often violent toward the women that bore their children and if they have a job they force the women to give them the money they want to go drinking with ‘smallboy’ friends.
We still have an ongoing issue with a criminal gang that have been in hiding while the police task force have been searching for them. Their leader has been seen in Alotau and this is, believe it or not, common knowledge and yet he is still at large.
Despite all this, there has been progress too.
We have a relationship with a Bible store in New South Wales who send us NKJV Bibles, which we sell at cost in Chris Abel’s office here in Alotau. We are the only Bible supplier in the Province (apart from a limited number of native translated versions by SIL) and they are selling well.
Also our ministry at KB is bearing fruit not only via teaching in BCC but on some preaching on the Sunday services when we are asked to minister. Colly and I both do this from time to time and this affects our individual one-to-one ministry too. People are raising up and bearing fruit in their lives which delights me as this is exactly what is required of all 5-fold ministers, to teach the saints to do the work of the ministry..
Prayer needs in addition to the forgoing are that we need a volunteer Captain who loves the Lord with all his heart and has more than a dint of engineering experience too. He needs to be versatile to run Living Water and the youth ministry in the Louisiade Archipelago. As UCM leadership is beginning to get hungry again for God and has recognized the situation regarding family and the way local customs have embraced fornication as an acceptable relationship to grow families. This is a major turn toward God, whose attitude towards this can be seen in Malachi 4:5&6 (the very last verses in the OT!) God’s ordained marriage has often been restated but it will always remain God’s model for family. There is no alternative as far as Christians are concerned but almost the whole of Papuan society has neglected this value and their communities are paying for it with the subsequent disorder, especially among young males. If you are baptized in the Spirit then you will be able to commit in prayer to a given issue and trust the Lord for the tongue to intercede with.
Colly and I preach from time-to-time at the KB Kwato church here in Alotau and last week we preached at a small open air fellowship started by one of Chris Abel’s staff. One decision for Christ, 15 recommitals, 3 baptized in the Holy Ghost and 3 healings. There has been some evangelistic activity in the town through a different ministry, and some people have been healed with them too. All of this is very encouraging.
I have been asked to speak at a youth convention at Siagara, which is on Misima Island and I have asked the Lord to have the BCC in Misima language available by then so we can take it with us. This period before Christmas is the ‘conference season’ in the churches and although I do not yet have the dates I expect it to be on the 18th December.
We handed Living Water’s main, foresail and staysail which are now in the container. Some difficulty was experienced with the genset but it is working again now. I am hopeful of getting Living Water operating, including the rudder so that we can sail to Fiji in April, at the end of the cyclone season when the main SE Trades have not kicked in fully, so as to avoid a windward thrash to Lautoka were I would like to lift her out of the water. There is nowhere big enough here in Milne Bay to lift her. The prices and availability in Port Moresby or Cairns leave me only with the windward option.
Another BCC is scheduled for January but I believe we need to reach a wider body of people. I ask God for wisdom and He will give it, just pray I don’t add my slant to it.
Give thanks to God in everything and minister to the Lord in song in the spirit too; not so much horizontally but more vertically it really pleases Him, banishes the devil and the Holy Spirit communicates God’s Will (Acts 13:2)
God bless you all mightily and have a great time in Him over Christmas.
Love from Colly & I