This is already been a Long day. We had to wait on the tarmac for over an hour in Spokane two hours late in Seattle. Now we're on a overly packed Korean air airline and I believe it made the seats smaller! I'm not admitting to being wider! But this is the second leg of 11 1/2 hours.We land in Korea, wait five hours and they go for another six hours to Malaysia. Flying in economy is like giving birth without antithesis,it really is painful until the end! So excited to see the end of this journey! Thank you everyone who has given your support and your prayers! We will keep you posted on our journeys and adventures!
Up 32 hours ,,,,,,and Still in route after a delay in Korea. The delay ended up being all night and they finally put us up in a hotel at 4 o'clock this morning. We had to get up at six to get the authentic Korean breakfast, which by the way is very spicy! We have quite a drive to the airport ,so we have to leave early to check-in and hopefully get out this morning. This time it wasn't my doing as far as checking in with cheapo air , but it's sure been a journey! Like I said ,"traveling is like being in labor, it's unpredictable and it's painful but at the end you get a beautiful present! "
I'm holding onto that because right now we're very tired. 😳🙃We are so thankful that we got an hour where we stretched out horizontally! Ironically the Internet is so much better than it is at our house. Keep the prayers coming, the adventures are not over yet! Hopefully , today we will be able to take in Foursquare disaster preparedness seminar. That's if we arrive on time to Kuala Lumpar !
Great great week in Malaysia, we were able to attend Eastern Counsel of Foursquare Churches convention and reconnect to many friends and coworkers in Asia and the South Pacific. We met with David our son who is the Fiji missionary and many of our South Pacific missionaries sent from Papua New Guinea to make plans for next years ministry itinerary. We are seeing many Divine appointments and miracles. Cindy was instantly healed of severe leg cramps and my sore knee was healed by prayer. We also met two pastors from closed countries who are under severe persecution. One had to hide from terrorists for 15 days before he came and the other is now the acting national leader even though he is only in his 20’s because his leader is exiled to the US because of death threats. Please pray for them.
We traveled to PNG and spent the night with Steve and Brooke Highlander, missionaries to PNG. We had great fellowship. Cindy’s out going personality shined bright at the airport on the way to Kokopo. She met 5 new friends and one of them was from Kokopo. She knew who we were because we did a children’s outreach at the school she worked in in 2007. She remembered we taught the children a song called “I am a C, I Am. C.H.R.I.S.T.A.I.N”.
The Lord had favor on us because we were not charged for overweight baggage (we just had to bring that kitchen sink). Also we had to change the date of the return flight from Kokopo to Port Moresby and we were not charged! Praise God! Of course Cindy talked to the lady at the counter and she now knows where she lives, how many kids she has, Etc. She just happened to be from a village close to where we worked in the Highlands so she did not charge us for the change. God Is so good and the people of PNG are so kind.
Well... we are boarding the plane to Kokopo now so keep praying for us! Cindy will be teaching Infant Resuscitation in the small clinics around the region .. Please pray for her schedule and her students! We love you and will update you as much as we can get Internet!
A short update!!!!!! We are in the thick of it with the Leadership Training with morning and evening sessions. It keep us hoping!
We have been given a awesome Toyota Land Cruiser to use while we are here ! What a blessing to be able to drive it! The roads in the village and to town are in horrendous shape. We are hoping that we will be able to give this car back with all it’s nuts and bolts still in place when we leave! The ride shakes and jars any teeth and bones that are loose! Our village home is comfortable and has all the amenities ! (Bathroom and running water !) We have power, but try not to use the lights at night for the microscopic, flying ants which range in the millions can squeeze through any screen . They always come in after a rain! Nothing can cause you more discomfort than these pests!
We are enjoying renewing old acquaintances and making new friends. The students at the training are so attentive and great to be with! I wish I could endure the 96 degree heat with 98 percent humidity like they can! I haven’t had moisturizer on since I arrived! My skin is loving the humidity !
We have very sketchy internet and we haven’t had time to go to a Internet cafe since we arrived in PNG, soooo we will update you as much as possible.
Thank YOU for your prayers and keep praying our schedule looks pretty full, I do want do some “Beach time” . I am hoping that it will happen before we leave, at least once!!!
I will be teaching “Helping Babies Breathe”, please please pray for my students that they will be able to understand my Tok Pigen and English. Thanks again for all of your help in getting us here! We love You!
Typical house in the village...Most of the people harvest coconuts and cocoa beans. It is a very long process to harvest. Cutting and gathering firewood to feed the drying ovens initiates the back breaking work. Splitting the coconut open before taking out the white meat takes skill and precision. This job is not for the faint of heart!
We had the privilege to visit one of our old neighbors after the leadership session. We were able to sit down and “story “ with him. He wasn’t feeling real well after a rat had chewed on his big toe the previous night. He had some gauze on it . Tonight,I will bring some antibiotic ointment and hopefully encourage him to go to the haus sik , (clinic) and get some oral antibiotics for the toe... We prayed for him and received a gift bananas ! Didn’t expect that.
He said he had diabetes . I am sure it isn’t controlled with any medication or monitoring ...😩
We filled up half of the car with diesel today and it cost us seventy dollars! Our printer cartridges here to print our material cost us 180 dollars... We are so Blessed because of you to be able to do this !!!!!
Cindy and I were invited to speak in a local church in the village of Tavui near Rabaul about 40 kilometers from us. So off we go at 7:30am to pick up Paster John and his wife Francisca. We fight the good fight of faith against the large potholes in the road. This allows us a top speed of 30k per hour for 2 minutes then 5k for 10 minutes, 1k for 3 minuets and repeat... In other words, first and second gear the whole way ! The road to Rabaul was in BAD shape because of the heavy rains. Half the road was covered with washout dirt from the hillside. The village of Tavui is about 10k away from Rabaul on the other side of the mountain. As we drew closer to the village, the road washed completely out and we had to descend into a 5 foot deep, 20 foot wide ditch across the road (thank God for 4x4). The road became a dirt road, then became a dirt track, (see picture above) then a foot path, then no path at all and we arrived in the village.
We greeted everyone and sat around singing while we waited for everyone to come. Typically in the village, church starts at a "suggested" time but it never really starts till everyone is there. It is rude to start before everyone arrives. In contrast to the west, people are more important than time. Once everyone arrives we worship with a worship band of 3 acoustic guitars (no electricity) and I preached. 3 people rededicated their lives to Christ. After the service while Pastor John did some counseling, Cindy gathered the kids around and told them stories about King David and led about a dozen children to Christ. .
Some of the ladies braided Cindy's hair and she showed picture of home in the states while everyone gathered around. (see picture above) .
The clouds began to come in so we had to leave before it rained. The Lord spared us from a major downpour that happen in Rabaul that washed rivers of water down the road. The trip home took twice as long because of the washouts along the way so we returned at 4pm. Well thats a typical Sunday in PNG where you leave your wrist watch at home and enjoy the Lords day "All day"..
Woke up early ! Endured bouncing around in the car for 1 1/2 hours! Arrived at the village to the sweetest little church high up on a mountain with a view of the ocean! Surrounded by beautiful people and great music and awesome, preacher, (my hubby) ! Told stories, sang songs and played games with the kids! Had my hair done and shared with a new dad some medical advice for his (whooping cough ,stridor, like) baby🤔..
Endured, 2 hours of flopping around as we forded washout rivers and POT HOLES! We arrived home with our bellies empty, hoping to make grilled cheese sandwiches. Of course, I forgot it was the tropics and left my bread on the counter. It only was 2 days old. Usually, I would try to savage the bread but it was Covered in blue green mold! So, the good ole standby , homemade tomato soup and crackers! .
Thanks again for your support and prayers! We need them... Especially, when our schedule is so full!
Today, was a day of visitations!!!!!
At 8:00 am we visited the primary school next door to our house in our village. 83 students sang for us and we in-turn acted out some Bible stories.They particularly liked David and Goliath ...
Shortly after that, we checked on a neighbor who had been down with Malaria the night before. He was doing a lot better. He and his wife use to live next door to us when we first came to the Islands. His wife died an early death with blood pressure problems a few years back..
Not long after we returned home we had a sweet visit from A young mother and 2 young boys. Soon, we made our way to town. Of course, in PNG everything takes twice as long! Three stores later we picked up a few groceries and pumped up our tire.
Since we were in town, we dropped in on our old friend Lydia. She has the most gorgeous flower garden you ever have seen. I was amazed what she could do we such a small plot of land..... Her and her 3 boys were home . Our family had know them when they had 12 mouths to feed. Her husband , Jonah had been a close friend to Keith and died a young man in his early 50’s. I have never met such a gracious and grateful women . She is beautiful inside and out!
Next, we thought it was best to check on the man who had the rat chew on his toe. Our drive to the village didn’t take as long as it use to. They had graded the dirt road and made it a little wider! In fact it was better than most of the roads around here! Surprisingly, when we arrived , he was doing ok. His toe wasn’t hot, red, or swollen . But, looking closer at his other foot, I noticed he had 4 out of the five toes chewed on! The rats latest meal was last night! Thankfully, he had some gauze on the toe to protect the new wound... He also had a nasty looking wound “leg ulcer” on that same foot.. Again, I encouraged him to get in to see the dr... and wear socks to bed . His wife gave me a “Mary blouse”, it’s like a mumu for coming by to see him! I didn’t expect this...!
We shared some of our pictures of our home. They were many family members under the house with Robert and Mary . They had never seen snow and could not imagine what it was like to live in that cold climate with nothing growing... As we were showing the pictures more and more people started coming over to hear about the cold and snow... It seemed so foreign not to experience anything colder than 80 degrees. They couldn’t imagine how we drove or lived with the snow . It was a difficult concept to communicate that we are not able to have a garden in the winter. Your garden is what feeds you daily! I tried to explain to them about canning and food preparation .
Next, we stopped by our old students house and visited with his large extended family all living within a few feet from each other.. His oldest sister is very ill and feeble...She is barley able to walk. My heart broke seeing her and how much she has declined in the past couple of years . Her knees are so swollen she can barely stand, she is also very thin and emaciated. All I could do was hug her and pray for her!
Since we were “out and about “ might as well stop by and visit with a family who has blessed us . We wanted to stop by and say Thank YOU. Many times words are not enough. The People here have taught me so much on being grateful for the littlest things. We finally made it home at 5:30 , thinking it would be a short day! Thanks for your prayers, we definitely can feel them lifting us up and giving us strength .
Rain, Rain, Rain, Rain,,,,,,,,,,supposedly, we are NOT in the Rainey season.... Everyday, we have been experiencing down pours, not the usual, but torrential! The great thing is, our water tank is full and overflowing! I can take an endless cold shower if I want! I don’t, because it might not rain again and you want to preserve the water! I saw people yesterday washing outside underneath the roof as it gushed like an hydrant! ( That is a great idea! Instant bathing, and a water massage at the same time!)
Because of the road conditions ,we have had a few days that prohibited us in doing some outreaches and medical training. . Yesterday, we decided we would try to get to the health center via four wheel drive, but we were stopped by a large electrical pole and power line laying across the entire road . It explains our power outages! Tonight, we have been asked to attend a Youth Rally some 40 kilometers away. We will see!!!!
Our village house has been so comfortable and our visitor (rat) from the first night has NOT returned!!!!! I borrowed a fan from two dear translator friends Robyn and Lizbeth whom we have known 17 years back. I want to be like them when I grow up! They are smart, gracious, and love God ! Plus, they just had us for cheese cake on Wednesday!
We have been enjoying the fresh pumpkin greens and pit pit( it is like the top of the cattail ) It has a spongey consistency and doesn’t taste like much .But when its cooked with coconut milk, it’s is GREAT! Little did we know that the furry green pumpkin vine leaves are so good and a great source of nutrition when cooked. Our friend from Ralubung brought us a large pot of this along with cooked bananas, tomatoes, sweet potatoes and chicken. We have been treated like Royalty!
The day before we were treated with fried fish ,sweet potatoes, greens and cooked bananas from our friends Regina and Komet.
I could get use to having a cook !!!!!!!
Keith and I are doing well. Today, we are going to a Regional leaders meeting to present and talk to them about forming a Disaster Response Team in this Region . We were privileged to be able to attend a training in Malaysia and the vision of Foursquare Disaster Relief is to have teams ready in the areas where there is often Disasters. They want to come in and be the first responders sharing their love one for another in their own community and country..
Update from today!
It didn't rain , and our presentation was received with enthusiasm about forming some Disaster Response teams ! This has been in their minds lately since their local government have been talking about it..We had one man who had attended the meeting that was already trained in response teams when he worked for the government but now is moved to another town and working with our Regional Supervisor . I believe this was "God" planned to have him there....!!!! We ran into one of our dear students wife Martha at the store today. We have had a hard time in trying to contact them and to reach them by road.... This too was a "divine" appointment! We have heard there was some things going on with them and wanted to follow up and help where we can...
We have been experiencing small earthquakes the last couple days. We are always anticipating a larger one when our house on stilts shakes ! ( you can feel them more up off the ground ,even when they are little).
Thanks for your prayers and your support! We love being your hands extended!
Never ending potholes... miles and miles of never ending potholes... small ones, big ones, long ones spanning the entire width of the road. There are hundreds only 2 feet apart covering the entire road like a moon scape for 50 yards, then a quarter mile of smooth pavement seducing you into speeding along ending in a gaping hole big enough to swallow a truck. This is how we travel in PNG as we spend our last days visiting our Paster friends in the farther corners of the Kokopo and Rabaul area.We traveled to Rabaul to visit Pastor Colman and Joanna so Cindy can check and treat Pastor Colman's arthritis in his feet and knee. She gave them some medications which works wonders for his pain. His feet are becoming deformed so he cant wear regular flip flops or sandals. We were so blessed to find some special sandals that he could wear.
The next day we traveled with our our dear friend Eremas who was one of our first students way back in 1998. We drove the opposite direction deep into the Watwat area which is mountainous. Most of the road was washed away by the torrential rain we had last week. We finally turned off the main gravel road to a dirt road which, turned into a mud road ,then into a foot path which, ended on the face of a cliff where Lenard and Martha live. We found Lenard down the mountain cutting timbers for his house.Lenard was one of our Bible School students back in 2002 and was later a pastor in the Watwat area. He left the ministry because problems occurring between tribes and Martha and Leonard have not been in church for over five years. We hugged and cried and encouraged them to fellowship with other believers to help bring healing and restoration.
We try to teach our pastors that the MAN is more important then his ministry and failure does not change our love for them.
I learned an important lesson form military history called "Lines of communication". If you send troops out front to spearhead an attack you must always maintain a line of supplies and support to them as they penetrate deeper into enemy territory. The first strategy of the enemy is to cut off this line of supplies therefore, isolating and surrounding them and eventually destroying them. We must never place a pastor in New posting and then ignore them and assume they are doing well. A continuous line of communication must be kept to supply encouragement and fellowship .Soon after the excitement of the new work fades then the enemy attacks with loneliness and discouragement. This is especially true for pioneer works and missionaries. Reach out to a missionary today and establish a continuous "Line of Communication" Thank you for your prayers! We are hot and sweaty but doing well!
We all climbed in the my son Davids car and left at 7:30am to travel to a village near RikiRiki on the north side of the main island of Fiji. We drove for 4 hours to a native Fijian village church on top of a hill. Pastors and leaders assembled from 3 churches for two sessions of Discipleship and Leadership Training. Everyone sat on the ground as I taught using an ironing board as a pulpit. It works good! Lots of room for notes.
We sang worship songs in a language I did not know. The church was made of bamboo and corrugated roofing only about 6 inches above my head. Of course, I couldn't help hitting the roof with my hand a few times as I preached.
Our hosts were so gracious and attentive.
Thank God the temperature was cooler up on the mountain. The wind required me to place my notes under my Bible? to keep them from blowing away.
I taught two sessions and then we broke for lunch.
We all sat on the ground and ate. This "old body" does not bend as well as my grandkids so it took a bit to get down on my "lower posterior".
If you look closely at the picture of the dinner setting, tell me what is missing? (silverware)
We visited for another hour and the next course was brought to us of hot tea and bread, again on the ground. Ooo, ow, creek, thump, its back on the ground again!
The churches in the area have a vision to plant a church in every village. We spoke to them about identifying and discipling new leaders to accomplish that task.
We arrived home at 7pm tired and worn out with our hearts filled with the hospitality we received!
Thanks again for your support and prayers!
Oh, how wonderful it is to be with our kids ! They are doing an awesome job here in Fiji. Of course, I am bragging a bit!
We were able to visit a beautiful beach only an hour and a half away! I am figuring we need some more beach time!! I am glad we took the time . The next 2 weeks are crammed with leadership meetings. Saturday, we drove to Suva! Four hours away.
We arrived to a newly built church underneath the large electrical transformer for the city.. You could hear the hum of the electricity as it pulsed through the lines. We are sleeping here in the pastors house underneath the church. They just recently moved in from a one bedroom house with their family of 5 . They are so proud of all the room and are so excited to host us!
We have a bedroom that was prepared for us with a curtain for the door and new nylon bed sheet. I brought a fan from David's house and thought I could use it at night. But the power from the neighbors was turned off at 10:00 PM.
I hoping that sweating looses belly fat! ( not a chance to loose any weight with all of this good food!)
Our night was filled with noises from all of the households and road! Its so different when you live in the country!
Our hostess has Asthma . I could hear her wheezing when we arrived. I am thankful for the inhaler that was given to me.. Thank you Sandy!!!
Most of the kids here have tropical ulcers on their legs.. The good thing is there is no Malaria here! Other things like Dengue fever and Chikungunya here can work havoc on your body!
Today, is Sunday and the day will be full of people, and wonderful and a combined service of Fijians and Indians ! We will have a great time with 2 different cultures!
Thanks again for your prayers and support!
Tooth update! I am on antibiotics and the pain has subsided quite a bit. Keep praying, so I can take care of it back home!
It was pouring down rain and half the congregation made it by 10:00 am. We sang and sang more songs until the other half arrived 2 1/2 hours later. Good thing we are on Fiji time! Keep up the prayers!
Enjoying our host and their home. We have been having torrential down pours with wind. It's a good thing David left his umbrella with us.. I woke up to the wind and the rain coming through the louvers ( even while they were closed) I grabbed the umbrella and slept with it! It kept off most of the rain. Now,to dry out our things before the next weather system supposes to hit... Hopefully, we will be able to conduct our classes.. Tomorrow, we will be traveling to another remote place to do training if the roads are not flooded... Always an adventure!
Keith has been busy in his off time setting up our hosts solar system. There house is too close to the high voltage wires for the power company to let them have power. Soooo they have electrical power cords strung across to the neighbors... I was a little worried with the lightening storm last night. I don't know if the power lines were arching or it was lightning... thanks for praying!
Keith and I taught the pastors and leaders from three Foursquare churches in the Suva area in Fiji last night. Keith taught on Discipling is like a garden. Making sure we provide everything for healthy growth. I taught on the Pastoral care side of discipleship, Pastors taking care of Pastors. We in the pews need to care for our Pastors too. They sometimes feel they are alone with the full weight of the congregation on their shoulders. So.... tell your Pastor they are doing a great job and commit to helping them do some of the work.
Keep praying for us and thanks for you support. Love hearing from you too!
We have had a very BUSY full week with teachings, home groups and counseling everyday! Most of the nights we didn't get to bed no earlier than 11:OO PM.
We Love the people of Fiji!
We arrived back at David's Friday evening and begin another Leadership training this Saturday for another full week.
We are looking forward to celebrating Thanksgiving on Thursday with David and the family plus, some of their special friends to join us!
We priced a 8 pound turkey and was shocked at the price of 80 dollars. ($160 Fiji dollars) We quickly decided that this was way toooooo much to pay for a turkey!
Please pray PRAY , PRAY for my tooth, (Jaw and neck and ear are hurting too! ) It has flared up with a vengeance . I stayed home today because of the Pain. I think child birth was less painful than this!
We are looking at dental options here .I am calling the USA embassy to see if they have any dentist referrals they can recommend on Monday..
I so appreciate the prayers! We have so much more to do in the next 2 weeks. BTW , I started another round of antibiotics hoping it may help! Thanks !!!!!
Thanks for the prayers for my tooth pain. It is working !!!!!!!!Today, was the best day ever as the pain goes! I even had a bag of stale Doritos chips ( yum yum ) and was able to chew them without any pain!!! Today, is a Muslim holiday here in Fiji. So tomorrow, I have an appointment at the dentist here in Nadi!
Of course, my biggest fear in my life is going to the dentist. Sooooo I am counting on more prayers as I proceed to overcome them in a foreign country!
I would rather have natural childbirth, delivered by forceps, resulting in fourth degree tares and repaired without lidocaine ! If you get my drift !!!!!!!
Keith is teaching a leadership class tonight.
He is in his element and is an awesome teacher !
He has taught or preached 23 times in the last 5 weeks .. I have taught some of the sessions . It is so stressful to prepare and deliver in a way that all will understand...It is so worth it when you see the lives changed and the concepts implemented .
My dear hubby is my hero on how well he does!!!
Thanks again for your support and PRAYERS!!!!
So very Thankful ! Happy Thanksgiving from Fiji. So happy to spend it with our son and daughter-in-love and 2 of our granddaughters and Fijian mom .We were able to simulate turkey, (chicken), do the traditional foods; dressing ,potatoes,sweet potatoes, vegetables, rolls and pumpkin pie with whipped cream! Can't wait to see our other grandkids too! Love you Tasha, Shane, Kristal, and Melissa.
Home Sweet Home! We are home tired, and grateful! More updates to come!!!!
First thing this morning, I had a much needed dentist appointment! This resulted in a pulled tooth.. 3 hours later, I am back at home and resting. I have nothing to do and nowhere to go..so tomorrow, I will start to unpack!
Thanks again for praying and your support!!!
The purpose of this mission trip was three fold. First to bring Discipleship and Leadership Training to Papua New Guinea and Fiji. Second is to reach out and reestablish our relationship with our pastor friends in PNG and establish new relationships with the Foursquare pastors in Fiji. Third was to Help develop Local Foursquare Disaster Relief teams in PNG