Friday, June 26, 2009

getting excited

just so you know.....today means: 1 week to go before my brother (Andrew), his wife (Rita) and their six dear children (Jessica, Natasha, Sharelle, Rohan, Aidan and Kayla) arrive. We are so excited! I hope I find the time to blog while they are here!...and then after they go, the very next day Andrew's parents arrive for a 3 week stay. Wow! HOw's that for fun!

...Andrew (my husband) spent two nights (1 full day) in Moresby this week for a meeting with other school board chairpersons (from across PNG). While he was there he also got to pop out to the Bible College and meet with the Doumas (new missionaries over there, sent out by NZ) and especially to visit with "our" students at the Bible College (Nothing like killing two birds with one stone). He really enjoyed that.

The girls and I kept ourselves busy at home - me trying to get ahead with Bible study preparation, Sunday School, Literacy, etc before our visitors arrives, so that I can enjoy every minute with them! Oh, and I did some baking.....and put it in the freezer (got to keep guests happy, or they won't come again!!!) Then there was Bible Studay morning and literacy morning, so no time to get bored. And Shiana and I have been trying to get ahead with her science fair project - we had to prepare a whole experiment and now we are working on a huge display board and her report. They are supposed to get the holidays to work on it as well, but with all these visitors coming, I can't see that happening. Actually, it's the last day of school today, so the first few days next week we will work hard to finish it.

Only a week...!!!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

more raskols

I was waiting outside Biwat settlement this morning, for a few church goers who were still coming up the hill. Soon they were piled into the car. As the back door was being pulled shut, I noticed an obviously drunk/drugged man carrying a stubby of beer and a shovel. I immediately decided that it was time to get out of there. As I turned the steering wheel the drunk man caught sight of the car and suddenly lifted his shovel towards the car window (where Kirilee was seated) and started lunging toward the car. Augustina, one of the ladies in the car, opened the door to start yelling at him to stop (the man lives nearby most of our member’s houses and so is well known to them), and I reacted by putting my foot down and turning the car as I did so. Thankfully, the man missed, though in my hurry to go poor Augustina almost fell out of the car.
Always gets your heart beating a bit faster, though! As we drove to church a story unfolded. This man was still drunk/drugged up from the day before. The day before he and his mates (rascals/criminals) violently held up some cars on the Bumbu bridge 1km or so up from our house (on the same road as our house is on, but going out of town). However, one of the cars was an unmarked Task Force car (the Task Force are the heavyweights in policing), and guns were pulled on them. This man ran away, while two of his mates were shot. One was shot in the stomach (his insides came out we were told – very matter-of-factly!) and the other was shot in the leg. Incidentally, the man that was shot in the stomach was apparently actually the man that about a year and a half ago stole Julie’s (the lady that helps us in the house a few times a week) bilum at knife point from right outside our compound. Thankfully the man we met this morning exchanged his weapons for a spade, though I would have hated to have seen the impact had his spade hit the window!
Further, we were told that the police will instruct the nurses not to care for the shot men too much, not to waste too much time and money on them. If they die it is just a few less criminals on the streets of Lae. Also, if they do die, the police will not let their families hold a traditional haus krai (house of crying) but will tell them to bury them and get on with their lives. If they choose to try and hold a haus krai the police will come and stop them forcibly.
As we were all driving around later on this afternoon and the girls were discussing the incident, Ashlyn suddenly pipes up: “My didn’t like that drunk man, my thought he was going to come and kill me.” Sometimes I just wonder what always goes on in that little mind of hers. Every now and then we get little snippets when she shares something like that. Growing up in PNG is like that I guess.
Just seeing that man this morning, so drunk and drugged and desperate, just makes one cringe. What a life of total sorrow and hopeless nothingness. What a difference the gospel could make in this man’s life! And yet, there are so many more in this world who live in the same hopeless nothingness, except they don’t necessarily know it because they have money, houses, cars and jobs to rely on and to receive satisfaction from. But to those who do not know Christ as their Saviour, whether rich or poor, whether healthy or sick, whether powerful or a nothing, the end result is the same. A life without Christ is not really life. It’s just that when we see such hopelessness clearly before us, the hopelessness becomes more obvious. However, we should all be seeking to reach all those around us, from all walks of life, to let them see what joy there is to be found in a life which is not one’s own, but belongs to a faithful, unchanging, all-powerful Saviour and which leads to a life of eternal joy and blessedness above all measure!

And then a few photos from an excursion last week Tuesday which Kirilee went on along with other grade 4/5 students at school. Andrew and I went along for a little while, though we left early as it went on past lunch time too. They visited a village (Situm village) about a 20 – 25 minute drive out of Lae. Then they visited the community school.



a very cool mushroom growing in the village with a "veil" around it! So intricately designed by our Creator!


Kirilee and some friends!


The TISOL school bus braving a river crossing - it got through no problems!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Weekend joys

This afternoon, after church, we had about 6 youth over for lunch and a swim in the refreshing swimming pool. Kirilee was especially excited because Alosinda came with her daughter, Louisa. The girls (and we all) love having them all over as they are just so nice to have around. We all had lots of fun together especially the girls playing Marco Polo with them in the pool. Andrew was the appointed babysitter (he had a swim already while I got lunch ready) and he watched Louisa while she slept inside first of all (while he did all the dishes!) and then he had lots of cuddles outside while Mum Alosinda got to have fun. I am not sure who enjoyed it most!
Here are some pics of our afternoon:


Alosinda and Louisa



playing Marco Polo in the pool



Andrew busy babysitting

Yesterday Shiana had her friend Kelsey (from her class at school) over for the day, and they had a ball of a time (not sure what they all did, but they were very busy all the time, so they must have been having fun).

a bucket of water and a few dolls....all the fun in the world!

Then as per usual a story (or two):

This morning at church a "new" girl (16-20 year old???) came to church. When we had the other youth around today they told us that she was the sister of Moses, the youth who was killed when run over by a bus. Moses was the mastermind behind the break-ins at our church block last year. Isn’t it incredible that his sister now came to the worship service this morning? We don’t know if she will return as people often come and go, but we thought it was an amazing reminder of how the Lord works in mysterious ways. Please join us in praying that Moses’ family may be compelled of the Truth in God’s Word and may turn to Him.

And then I forgot to mention in the last blog that we found out something interesting regarding the death of Ishmael last year. Apparently it turned out that he was not killed in retaliation by people he was robbing. Rather some of his fellow criminals (his supposed “mates”) apparently killed him because of jealousy (one woman suggested it was because he had not shared some of the booty of their criminal activities with them). Such a sad and tragic life and death. May God spare others from this life and instead bring them into the Light of His Word.

Friday, June 12, 2009

About time to post again and especially about time we posted some pictures… so here they are…


Beautiful Louisa is growing up fast...


and Kirilee never tires of holding her whenever she can!

Ashlyn loves the kittens, though we only have one now (Not the one that is completely black - the other one).

Ashlyn is always happy to pose for her sisters to take a photo!
Today it was the sports carnival at the girl's school. They were supposed to have it last week but it was raining. Today it was the complete opposite. Hot and sunny!


The teams started off with chants and cheerleading to gain points from the judges. Shiana was right into it....I have been hearing the chants in my sleep!!

Kirilee was the team vice-captain...so she felt important - that's her at the front!


Even Mum and Ashlyn dressed in the appropriate colours (though Mum had to fit into one of Kirilee's oversized sports shirts)!! Go Yellow!!!


Shiana's favourite - three legged race. Jean and Shiana won it again, as they did together last year!!


Ashlyn looking all pretty in her yellow dress!


Kirilee and Rena-Joy (Jean's sister) trying their hand (or is that legs?) at the three-legged race...they came second!


Kirilee and some friends!
The sports day results aren't out yet....the day was running a bit (quite a big bit!!) behind schedule, so the results will be announced on Monday's assembly! What a shame for the kids. They really wanted to know NOW!!! Maybe it will teach them some patience anyway!

And then time for a story…
Last Tuesday night at about 9:30-9:45 we suddenly heard someone calling us from outside our door. I was already dressed for bed, so I rushed upstairs to change while Andrew opened the door. Turns out it was one of our church members (who lives in a settlement a short walk from our house) to ask if we could please take one of her young relatives to hospital (No buses at night…!) The poor girl (about 7) was so sick. They were throwing cold water over her to try and get her fever down. She had malaria, had been sick since Saturday, but no one had taken her in to see a medical professional yet. And now she was already extremely sick – not a good idea to play around with malaria like that. So, naturally, Andrew brought her in and thankfully she was given a shot and already was doing much better the next day! God is good.
Although the young lady who came to get us is a member of our church, her wider family are mostly not believers. The young girl who is sick does come to church sometimes and to Sunday School. Incidents like this always strike us. They know we are Christians and missionaries, so they will come to us for physical help quickly in emergencies, knowing that we will not turn them down. If only the Love of Christ could penetrate further than this physical help. If only they could see that we extend a loving arm of help especially because of the God we serve. If only they, too, would seek more than our help to be free of physical ailments and would also seek to hear the Word of God which brings eternal healing and freedom from the pain of sin. But we know that this too is in God’s hands!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

another market story

Action at the Lae markets again yesterday.
Let me explain. Yesterday morning, at about 8am I headed out to the markets with Ashlyn. At least it is cool at that time, and the crowds are not too big yet. While we were in the markets it was obvious that something was going on. There was a crowd in the small security room and lots of loud talking/shouting. Then about 20 minutes later, as I left, I noticed a man with his face and lip swollen and bleeding being lead away to the police station just on the border of the market. Obviously he had been caught pick-pocketing or stealing, and was being dealt with PNG style. That was no major event – we have seen those kinds of things so often that, though still always unpleasant, they become part and parcel of life here.
However, as I walked past the police station I noticed another crowd gathering and the police trying to move them on. It appeared to me (by what they were doing and saying) that it was one of their mates being held police and they were trying to get him out. Then they started grouping near the gates of the markets and I thought that was a good time to “givim 60” (as you say here in PNG, which means basically to go fast –comes from the 60k/hour speed limit, I presume) and get out of there. It went through my head, and I even mentioned to Ashlyn (yes, my conversations with our 3-year-old are quite strange at times), “mmm , seems like some kind of trouble is going to happen.” I even remember Ashlyn jumping up onto the seat and standing up for a better look with her usual question, “what, Mum?” after which I spent the next 10 minutes of the ride back home trying to explain my comment to her.
Well, today we read in the paper that yesterday a big riot broke out at the market. Now I don’t really think it was related to what I saw, other than that maybe pickpockets were out in force yesterday. Anyway, apparently there was a group of pick-pockets/no-gooders, at the markets yesterday (what’s new??). Except eventually they decided to pick on the wrong woman who turned a knife on them and then started slashing them with a knife. The criminals, however, soon returned with reinforcements (mates) and tried to attack the woman again who made her escape on a bus to her home in nine-mile. But that was not the end of it. She returned a bit later with 100 reinforcements and started a riot against the criminals, using knives and rocks. They in turn gathered numbers and fought back eventually overpowering the woman’s friends and tribesmen who escaped on their buses back to their homes. The police back-up arrived….20 minutes after the riot broke out…not sure what happened after that. During the riot shops nearby closed as well.
I am just thankful that I went to the market when I did, as I sure have no desire to be caught up in the middle of a riot! God was looking out for us again, as He always is! His over-reaching, over-arching, all-encompassing providence is so awesome and amazing.