This has been another rainy year in Papua New Guinea. At the beginning of dry season, it became very dry for a little while; but soon the rains came again. While Dad and Mom were out in town, they had the opportunity to fellowship with another missionary, Michael Berbin, who had driven into town on very bad, muddy roads. Mom says, “Both he and the truck gave clear evidence of the condition of the road.”
As the rains continue, landslides are beginning to become a problem. A very bad landslide destroyed parts of the Highlands Highway in the Simbu province. This is a serious thing because the Highlands Highway is the only road that connects the coast to the highlands. It is the means by which food, fuel, and medical supplies are transported. This could affect things such as IV fluids, oxygen, and life saving medications. Food and fuel are already expensive, and this will no doubt drive the cost up considerably.
To complicate matters, landowners are demanding that a very large sum of money be paid them before they will allow the government to fix the highway. It is expected that a temporary bypass will be opened up, but no heavy vehicles will be able to use this bypass. For more details, you might like to read this article in Papua New Guinea’s newspaper, the Post Courier.
The damaged Highlands Highway is expected to be closed for at least two weeks. If the rains continue, it may be much longer. Stephanie, a doctor at the Nazarene Hospital in Kudjip, in the Western Highlands, has a picture of the road, and it does not look like repairs will be possible unless the rain lets up. One creek was completely washed away, leaving a 16 meter by 30 meter wide by 6 meter deep gap in the road. Please pray that the Lord will work in this situation and that it can be remedied quickly and without further difficulty. Although this situation will not directly affect Dad and Mom right away, it may lead to problems when they try to go out to town again for supplies in April. Fuel shortages may affect the availability of airplane flights, and prices of food will probably be quite a bit higher.
On the happy side of things, Mom had this good news to share about Bible translation, “Matthew came by late this afternoon with his mobile (cell phone) and talked to Daddy a while. He said that he has been studying out faith in the Bible and sees that they have been translating it all wrong. It is not just “tingting” or even “bikpela tingting.” That it just a head acknowledgment. He said that is one reason people don’t have a clear understanding of faith. The men are discussing this and seeing if they can come up with a more appropriate word for faith. That is what we have been trying to get across all along so praise the Lord for showing Matthew this in his own Bible study! When Daddy told me this, I said “Amen!” Please pray about this, that it will lead to a major breakthrough in the understanding of the gospel. From there they will need to be encouraged to work on words such as mercy and grace too.”
“Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you.” (II Thessalonians 3:1)