Last week we had Annie and Jerry and Christina over for dinner to farewell them....yes, that’s right!! Yet another family has left Lae, another family who have played an important part in church life here in Lae. Jerry always accompanied our church music with the guitar, and does such a fantastic job. We will really miss his musical talent in church. And he was also a leader in the church here. And the family was/is a loved part of our church community here in Lae...but once again a family is moving away to Port Moresby to study at the Bible College. Jerry has the desire to one day become a pastor of our Reformed Churches here in Lae. What a blessing – may our Heavenly Father bless this family and their many plans!
The girls playing with Annie and Christina
I am trying to remember what has been going on the last week and a half. Maybe if I start with today I’ll remember as I go backwards in time. Today Andrew spent mostly at home in his office studying, typing, preparing and he just returned from another meeting...I was out this morning at the library at Kamkumung. Last year the girl’s school donated a few hundred books to our church library, which is fantastic, but of course it means a lot of work getting them into the library!!! So we will spending a few more mornings there yet. It is also hard because it is necessary to explain a lot all the time, as many of the ladies do not really understand the operation of a library. Nevertheless, it was fun and it was good to get together to do it and to involve the ladies (and Rumenasen) too. We hope to continue on Thursday morning and then next week again. I took a stack of books home tonight which I hope to work on tomorrow.....
On Monday, among other things, Andrew had to take Annie and Jerry and Christina (and as many other people as could possibly cram into the car – and I mean cram!!!) to the airport. I did some shopping and some preparation work for a course I am working on for a youth program and women’s study... Julie came over in the morning to work and arrived with a story... Apparently over Christmas she, and many other women, had bought some chickens from a relative to eat. Now, actually, they did not buy them but they took them as they were ready to eat and the relative said they could pay him back when he returned from his village in May. So no one was too worried yet about collecting the money until the relative suddenly arrived home on Sunday, a few months early and demanded his money by the next day. Apparently he was heading back to his village, but had run out of money so decided to come back early and collect his debts. Well, though Julie had been paid on Saturday she had decided to go and buy some sheets, a towel and a pillow (as they had been stolen many months earlier when she was forced to move house – but that’s another whole story). SO of course she did not have the 50 kina left to pay her part of the debt. The relative (her uncle-in-law) threatened them all that he would get his highland friends to come and beat them up if they did not pay up on Monday (oh, and this is no idle threat – many people, including women, who we know have been bashed up for not paying back debts)... so of course I leant Julie the money (it will just come off her pay for the week anyway....)...oh the stories we hear, not just from Julie but from many others in her position too.
Sunday was a day of worship....and then we had guests over at night....manager’s at the SIL guesthouse here in Lae. We had a lovely evening!
Enjoying good company around the dinner table
Friday and Saturday were crazy days for some reason (in a good sort of way), church members coming and going all day on both days, plumbers trundling through our house all day Friday (fixing a few taps and toilets) - so the water was off most of the day - Andrew working upstairs in between the visits from church members, me preparing this and that, Kirilee had a school friend over on Saturday and then some good friends popped in from their village in the Markham Valley on Saturday afternoon (they are SIL translators). They returned a few hours later to join us for a BBQ – since they were only here for one night we had to enjoy it!
Our girls and their friends (the ones who came over for a BBQ)
....and last week, well that’s just too far in history to remember everything... we had a good and busy week. I spent a lot of the week organising the Sunday School program, Andrew worked on Sermons and the like and we had a lot of church members popping in and out, trying to organise this and that!
The Sunday before we had these wonderful people over for dinner. L is the manager of the security company we use at our Kamkumung church site and his wife runs a local coffee shop/cafe, which we love to visit from time to time to get an hour or so off our regular activities!!
I really don’t think we have anything really exciting to blog...we continue to be blessed with good health and strength to do our daily task. We are still trying to organise and restart all the regular weekly programs.
Oh, and we decided to vanish/seal (or whatever you call it – make the wooden floor shiny again) upstairs, to try and make it easier to keep clean (it was pretty worn and was always dusty!!!). We had decided just to do one room/area per week as we had time, but we failed to read the instructions in their entirety first which said that once the two pots were mixed it would have to be used within a few hours or it would start to harden (especially in over 20 degrees celcius - well we are constantly many degrees over that). Oops!!!! - So it was frantic – moving everything out downstairs and on top of cupboards, etc; grabbing changes of clothes, and other essentials to come downstairs, and the whole lot was done!!!! One way to get a job done quickly!!
For the rest we continue to sweat and sweat some more. We continue to plough through potholes. This morning I (with some other ladies in the car) had to do a big detour on the way to Kamkumung as the road is being fixed (hooray!!!), but the detour was right through the bumpiest of bumpiest roads – huge potholes (more like craters), and not the safest of areas to travel (right through the heart of the settlement!)...but we got there and back later on the same way, ever kept safe in Father’s Hands.
Ashlyn enjoying her new bike which we managed to fit into one of our suitcases (it was still boxed) when we recently returned from Australia