Communication

On the language side, things are going good. At this stage they can communicate with their friends in the local language, but there is still a long road before they can be approved for ministry in the language. The study of the culture will take a long time too.
The society structure in the village is very different from our western societies. For instance, clans are very important, sometimes more than families. Individual property is understood differently; land belongs to clans rather than to individuals. André and Aurélie need to understand this new worldview in order to communicate the Word of God clearly.
Please continue to pray for the people, especially the elderly. Pray they stay healthy so that they can one day hear the Gospel. There is also a young man who is deaf, and another man who is deaf and almost blind; pray that somehow they would be able to understand the Gospel when it is taught. Another prayer request is for a little child who the doctor thinks has a serious illness: pray he will live and hear the Gospel.
The villages in the jungles of PNG are developing very slowly. As far as health is concerned, the government provides free healthcare, organises immunization programmes, and distributes mosquito nets. However such services are hard to access for the people in the Tousch’s village as the nearest bush hospital is several hours away, so they have to hike in the jungle and then go on their canoes for hours in rivers infested with crocodiles.
There are schools too; many children go to school up to grade six, but many don’t. Some go up to grade eight; if they want to go further, they have to go to High School, far away from their tribe and family. Many people have stopped going to school very early and don’t know how to read and write. Those who have gone to school for several years can read and write in Pigin but not in their mother tongue. Moreover, a good part of the teaching is in English, which they cannot understand. Only very few people finish school (grade twelve), then they can find a job in town and leave the tribe.
However, there are visible signs of development: the villagers wear western clothes (often rags, and they are barefoot) and they sleep under mosquito nets (not on mattresses though). Some have mobile phones; some have bought outboard motors for their canoes. However their lives are 90% traditional.
The people eat what they grow in their gardens (bananas, sweet potatoes, yams, etc. planted and harvested by hand), hunt and fish and also keep pigs and chickens. The people can make some money by selling betelnut and cocoa that they cultivate. But in order to buy goods they have to go to town; town is far away, two days in dugout canoe up to the road, and then a day of truck up to town. They have to pay an expensive price for the transportation. Many are tired of the system and prefer to stay in the village and live in poverty with their friends and families rather than go through all the hassle and problems of town and money.

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