News from Papua New Guinea

PNG Trip Update from Pastor Rall and Mary Anne

We have been in PNG almost a month and everything seems fairly "normal" at this point:

Ron was opening the year for a Lutheran High School, Primary and Elementary school.  We drove 2 hours for the 10am scheduled opening.  It opened at noon. We talked with the deputy principal before he played his guitar for the first song.  He was a man of faith who spent his life serving the church in education.  He had a heart attack last night and died.

Ron was asked to preach at another church leader's funeral.  We arrived at 10 and at 11:30 the people were still arguing about where to have the funeral--on the church grounds or down by the road.  We ended up carting all the flowers, sound equipment, etc. down to the road.  We left after the giving of gifts was near the end, around 5:30 pm, laden with 2 cases of cokes, pork and sweet potatoes.

We always take a solar light into the shower with us.  When the power goes out, as it very often does, it is VERY dark on the station (and especially in the shower!)

We were so disappointed during our last time here because the Highland Lutheran School was burned to the ground.  Like so many other happenings, this one turned out to be a huge blessing.  The former principal, an agnostic, ran away from the school and a new one was appointed.  Trevina is a strong Christian who is intent on making the school a strong Christian/Lutheran presence in the Highlands.  Ron has been asked to do the opening for that school, too, on Sunday.  The school year here is from February thru December--that's why we have all these school openings at this time.

Every Sunday, we are on the road to different congregations. Ron is the only missionary pastor on the field right now, so it's important to make the missionary presence felt because it is so encouraging to the Christians, particularly in the outlying areas.  So far, our truck has been able to take us where we need to go, but on our last trip, one of the bishops pointed up the mountain (and I mean WAY up the mountain) to an iron roof and said that’s where he wants Ron to go in a few weeks.  I'm pretty sure I'll stay at the Seminary that week.  Although there is a road, we were told that it would be impassable/dangerous in the rain--Ron just pointed out to me that I added dangerous, they just said "impassable!"  My theory is that I'm more valuable staying at home and praying!

Speaking of prayers, thank you very much for yours. I really can't tell you how much we appreciate them.  Prayerful support is evident here; maybe we're just more aware of the need for it, but we FEEL it!

Pastor Rall and Mary Anne

For more photos, check out our facebook post:  facebook.com/timothystl