Rick and Hudson Higlett arrived in the PNG programme shortly after Easter. While settling into life in Mt Hagen they had some Tok Pisin refresher lessons and discussed some PNG Cultural Orientation topics.
On 12th May they boarded the Twin Otter for Tekin to be dropped off there for the following view days to experience life in a remote village and to learn about the impact MAF has had in this community over the years, as well as being forced to talk Pidgin. Here are some of their highlights:
“At Tekin, we first felt the remoteness and the safety of the whole isolated community being cut off from other tribal groups by the mountains and the Strickland and Sepik Rivers; that the Gospel had taken root in the hearts of the people, inspired new confidence in its power to bring people out of darkness and into the marvelous light. Yet that wasn’t enough! Because some of the people did not believe, some have not followed the faith of their fathers. There are some young people who drop out of school and are led into drug abuse. But God breaks stubborn hearts and we were able to listen to Maya (the brother of our language helper, Betsu) preach on Sunday at the High School. Glenda, the High School’s missionary teacher, told us later that he is called “U-Turn” because of the way God radically turned his life around.“
“So, while we saw the wonderful people and the simple life away from the pressures of western society and the instability of the rest of Papua New Guinea, we did also see the hardship: collecting firewood, caring for gardens, mud floors in the High School and cold water for washing. We know that it is not paradise. God is reigning there, but not everyone has let him into their life. We look at the rivers that almost surround the Oksapmin Valley as being like the Garden of Eden surrounded by five rivers. And we still see the serpent (Satan) ready to lure people out of obedience and into sin.
What can we share that has not already been said? We met Miss Glenda Giles and are so glad we did. We saw the school she began and the students’ thirst for knowledge and education. We were able to share the call that God had put on our lives that brought us here. Romans 1:12 where Paul writes: Tingting bilong mi i olsem. Mi laik bai bilip bilong yupela i ken helpim mi na bilip bilong mi i ken helpim yupela tu, na dispelai ken strongim bel bilong yumi olgeta wantaim.
We recognise that we are but infants in our faith, with worldly comforts that do not exist in their world; so it is good for us to be encouraged by their faith as we share what God is doing in our lives.
After six blessed days, in which we saw so much, the pilots returned to take us on to Telefomin with all its creature comforts.
House #2 with electricity and gas, and once Rick had looked at the router settings we had useable internet. The only thing we could have used is steps to climb into the bed. The view from the veranda and the dining table looked out across the main thoroughfare, the airstrip towards the Secondary School and the valley beyond. It gave us the opportunity to receive visitors from the many people we met in our walks and from lotu on Sunday morning.
On our walk on Saturday afternoon, we met Merna’s in-laws: aunties, mother and father-in-law and agreed to join them at church the next morning. To do so we walked past the three other Baptist Churches to the Angkem Baptist Church and enjoyed worship with them, sharing our journey and introducing ourselves before the message by Pastor Noreen. After the service, we were introduced to Pastor Kufanok and his wife who have a ministry among 23 Border Baptist Churches in the Tumolbil region. In our sharing with them later in the afternoon we prayed and were greatly encouraged to assist them in their work through resources available through CRMF. The time was relaxing.
We visited the Secondary School, finished our Tok Pisin course, shared meals and enjoyed the freedom of being able to walk unhindered by the constraints in Mt Hagen. We are reminded of when King David desired to build a house for God, God instead promised to build and establish David’s House. So we now have a King who reigns over all and for all time: the King of kings! We might have come to PNG with hopes of doing something that will help MAF assist the remote peoples, but God is using this time to pour out grace upon grace to us all.“