Hi everyone greetings from Living Water here in Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea. We have now come to the end of our journey and probably this is our last newsletter for the long journey we have done after doing the 13,800 nautical miles crossing 12 countries. Living Water has now completed the voyage and has reached our final destination with everyone in one piece. This has been a great adventure despite the odds and with all its challenge testing and trials, praise God we made it. The voyage took us eight months since we left England at the end of December 2018 and we finally arrived in the first week of August 2019.
Arrival in Papua New Guinea, the Milne Bay Province.
Entering PNG waters shortly after landing our last fish brought me to review whether we ought to pass between Rossel Is. and Sudest Is. but as night had fallen I opted for the safer course North of Rossel and offering no off-lying dangers until after first light and also joining the course line for Kimuta Island where we intended to anchor so as to ensure a ‘timed’ arrival into Bwagoia. On arrival, we anchored and I put out the kedge as well as I planned to swing around it in order to set the Parasailor spinnaker for this last leg. It all was going well when a poorly tied knot left our Rocna kedge on the seafloor needing a return journey and recovery later on. We got away and set the sail which carried us downwind at 7.5kts. The wind was a good F5 and this enabled the sail to stay full, despite the rolling motion of our little ship. I handed the sail some 45 minutes prior to entering Bwagoia harbour, which we did but discovered that the wharf which was to have been clear had MV Melteli tied up and unloading cargo. This left me with very limited choices in such a narrow harbour and with three boats moored in the middle space. So I steered hard to port under power just clearing Melteli and almost to bring our head to wind but unfortunately, I had to stop and this blew the bow off again and the wind caught us and drifted us toward the moored boats. I took a chance on the depths of the opposite bank having sufficient water and then make another burst of power to bring the head to weather. This worked sufficiently and we were able to drop anchor in a good place to swing her stern downwind leaving her head upwind. We went ashore all uniformed up and met some of the UCM church folk including Pastor Ronnie.
The first thing we did as we set foot on the ground was to get on our knees to give thanks to God for bringing us safely home to our final destination. Arrangements were then set for the following day for a welcome. We arrived in the day before the welcome and seeing how excited everyone was on shore my own excitement grew in anticipation of the planned event.
At 11:00 on the following day we were collected for a walk to Nulia for the welcome event. A banner had been set up WELCOME TO LIVING WATER and we began the walk to Nulia. After walking through the town, we turned off the main road towards Nulia and crossed the stream before climbing the hill on which the UCM church is built on land donated by Taubada Peko and his family which the Church is now named after him as Kaliapasa Peko Memorial Church. After passing under the banner I was accosted by a warrior with a spear who challenged me on landing here and then Colly spoke that we had come to share the good news of God’s plan of redemption. Of course, the event was a re-production of the original reception made at about the time my grandfather was born in the 1880’s. Perhaps though I’d pass on the details of this beautiful and moving event to the members of my crew as they express the sentiments, we all held at this reception.
Accounts by the Crew
Just a brief one about the last leg and the welcome in Misima. We had left Fiji with great anticipation knowing that after being away from home and families for almost a year, at last we ‘ll soon be arriving home again in fourteen days. Before actually arriving at Misima, we planned to spend a night in Kimuta Island so as to give us time to arrive on Thursday 1st August in good time and with plenty of daylight. We had an exciting sail under the Parasailor spinnaker, handing it in good time for the final approach to Bwagaoia, anchoring opposite the market and the main wharf. The following day we were collected for the reception which was hosted by my home Church United Charismatic Mission with whom I worked for the last fifteen years in ministry before I met Guy. The whole program was a very touching moment, starting from the escort from the wharf by the two village ward councilors, Peter Stanley and Gideon Kabe together with the UCM elders. The venue was on top of the hill so we had a bit of a walk, good for exercising our legs after being at sea for long! It was a lovely walk with a lovely view, and as we approached the church ground There were traditional dancers dressed for the event in the bush clothing of 140 years ago complete with spears and war paint. They started off with the first dance showing how they received the first Missionaries when they brought the gospel to our Island. They paddled a canoe and the people responded by trying to kill them and possibly even to eat them which was so common in those days in cannibalism time. The second dance was the Shout of Victory celebrating the Gospel finding good soil among the islanders and the third one was the Lord’s prayers revealing that Misimans now have a relationship with God. Our hearts swelled with joy together with tears of joy, It was just great. The welcome, the dances, the preaching of the word, the speeches, the songs and the meal plus the hearts of the people were so open and the way they received us means a lot. What a day!
Started walking the beautiful walk to the UCM Church building, on our way we were given a show, a traditional dance that was absolutely incredible. We then continued towards the church where we were blessed to hear a song which was composed by John William especially for us. Altogether it was a wonderfully special event one that will remain forever ingrained in my memory, one that we thank God for.
On Thursday morning 01 Aug 2019, we arrive at Bwagaoia Station on Misima Island and saw many people crowded at the wharf waiting to welcome us. On Friday the following day, we were told that they had prepared a reception for us. When I arrived at Nulia I was deeply touched by their welcome dance in all the traditional clothing. That reminded me of the time when the first missionaries who brought the gospel arrived in our islands. During the service, I was deeply heartened by the message and the song that was composed and sung by John William and the worship team. It was just incredible! Something I won’t forget.
It was the second day on August Friday 2019 we had a very big event that I will not forget for many years to come, oh yeah! On the north coast side of Misima they danced a powerful welcome dance that really welcomed us through the UCM Centre. The dance was actually based on the first missionaries that came to Misima Island back when they were still in cannibalism, the people lived horribly because they didn’t know anything about the gospel at that time.
It was so touching because they danced like the warriors that attacked the first missionaries and they sang a beautiful victory song too declaring Jesus Christ is Lord of all. One thing that has really made my day was the song that John William composed because the words of the song had explained it’s all about the voyage we have completed. I give all the members of the UCM church a huge thumbs up and thanking them all for workings so tirelessly in making this day an honorable one by welcoming all the Living Water crew.
FIJI is a beautiful place and I loved it for the four weeks spent there, setting off from Fiji, I was excited, very excited indeed. So glad that I’ll be home soon and could hardly wait to see my family and friends at last. It took us two weeks sailing from Fiji to Misima and on the day of our arrival as my fellow crews have expressed themselves, We’ve been asked to share our stories as they were all curious and keen to know about our adventure, how many miles we have done, how many countries we crossed, how many storms we’ve encountered and how we handled the big waves.
This is the special song with both lyrics and tune composed by John William especially for us about this voyage.
You’ve crossed oceans
And travelled nations
And fought the storms
Destiny at last
Impossible now possible
Risk takers are history makers
In everything we praise you Lord
For all that you’ve done, I’m amazed
Your love endures forevermore
Oh God may your name be praised
In voyage you sacrificed
Committed and faithful to the task
In hardship and pain
Testing and trials
In everything everywhere
In all you’re more than conquerors.
All of us on Living Water would like to thank the United Charismatic Mission and their eldership for all the special efforts of the Saints in making this day such a memorable one, not least the congregation and the dancers from Liak on the North Coast of Misima had to walk 16 miles to Nulia to take part in the event; lack of PMV fares didn’t prevent them from making the journey!
To all our supporters who continue to support us and those that follow us on our face book or your tracking device in keeping an eye on us, those that prayed, those that gave, thank you all for standing with us on this long journey in one way or the other, you are part of this ministry and we appreciate you all.
Although we have arrived now, this is just the beginning, the real work is yet to be done, and this is the purpose of the voyage so stay with us for the greater journey which is the ministry of reaching the people as to work and to do what God has called us to do.
Until next time, lots of love from us all and God bless you all mightily
Guy, Colly & the LW’s