It feels like ages, but it hasn’t been that long. It’s just that so much has happened and we have been busy (In a fun kind of way!!)! Also our phone line was down (since last Thursday night) and has only just been restored so we have had no email/internet contact with the outside world. Vandals destroyed the cable (they steal it actually) and then, well, Lae was out of new cable so they had to wait to get some cable from another centre (I only finally found this out after I don’t know how many frustrating phone calls from our mobile to the Telikom faults line!!) But now, after almost a week, it has been restored and we are thankful for that.
Actually, I personally, am so glad that it happened this week as Andrew and Rita are here, so we are getting our fill of family time and I have not been pining too much for email contact with the outside world. God’s timing is good, also in this.
So, yes, Andrew and Rita and children are here, and they (and we) have been having a wonderful time. There’s been so many new experiences for them, and we just love watching how the beautiful people here make them feel so welcome. They have been given so many bilums (home made sting/wool bags) and just showered with love.
Andrew made a sjoelbak (spelling???) for Kamkumung church (and one for us too!!) and we have spent quite a bit of time out there (fellowship, Bible study, literacy). Everyone has been coming along and joining in. The boys have been entertained by Ephraim and Emmanuel (boys who live at Kamkumung) and the girls have been doing beading with Monica and Alosinda, as well as Madlyn and Imelda (youth). It’s been really nice to see.
Last night we went into Biwat at night for fellowship. It was a good night, and I think that Andrew and Rita really appreciated it. However, it started of a bit “scary”. As we walked in (all of us together) we caught sight of an extremely drunk man, yelling loudly and swearing violently and waving his bush knife (and they are big!!!) crazily – hitting at trees and fences, etc. And suddenly Andrew and I looked at each other as we realized who it was. It just made us so, so sad. It was a man, one of our first contacts into Biwat, who used to come to church and who had high hopes of even going to the Bible College. He is such a gifted man, who the Lord has given man academic talents to, and to see him like this just made tears well into my eyes. One of the ladies, a member of our church, was walking behind him with her head down. I went to her and she was crying. She was just so upset, partly because of what this man had become (though he is drunk fairly regularly now) but also because they were all so excited to have a new family (Andrew and Rita) coming to visit them (they had decorated the worship area beautifully) and now this man was spoiling it and scaring all the kids. Though the children were all frightened, it was not too bad. They all did really well. Another lady took them all into her area and shielded them a bit until it all passed. Eventually someone managed to get his bush knife off him but he continued to yell and scream and swear violently for a while, until someone finally coaxed him away and calmed him down.
This backdrop, however, makes for such a powerful contrast to the preaching of God’s Word. What a place these people live in, and yet we can go in there and share the amazing Gospel with them. It was truly a beautiful night. To sing and clap and pray and worship, right there in the heart of all that darkness – what a blessing! Andrew and Rita said too how thankful they were to have gone into Biwat with us, despite facing the drunkenness. It’s just so in your face, but makes the gospel message all the more real and urgent! Actually as we left we met the “drunk” man who by this time was calm and was hanging his head in shame. Andrew shook hands with him and he apologized over and over again. It was really sad for us to see and we pray that you remember this man in your prayers too. What a wasted life – may God work a change in his heart and life!
Today we had another good day and we pray that the Lord will give us a few more good days of fellowship and sharing with our wonderful family.
Hopefully next time I will post some pictures!!