The three missionaries flew into a bush airstrip, found a ride then travelled 300 km by boat visiting the majority of the tribal villages to assess their church planting needs.
They experienced continual heavy rain, each lost 4 kg and had rats eat their breakfast; but they also came away with an idea of the needs in the area.
Some things about a remote area you just can’t know until you get there; like how how much fuel costs and where you can buy it. They had to go with their best guess; and they got it wrong! Amazingly God provided for them. A PNG believer and his wife saw their need and bought them an entire drum (200 litres) of fuel costing around £375 without which they would never have made it! How humbling and encouraging it was for them to see their mistake, but also God’s care for them.
Gerdine wasn’t on the first survey, but she was busy nonetheless. She was hard at work with Tok Pisin study and is happy to announce that she passed her evaluation. She’s reached the required level – but language study is never finished; there’s always more to learn!
With the information they have gathered from the survey they have written a report that will go to the church development team. They will work with them to develop a church planting strategy for this area. The strategy will receive input from field leaders, area leaders, aviation, medical, supply, security and other departments. This may require further visits to the area. If all goes well, once the whole NTM team is on board with a comprehensive strategy they can start looking to get houses set up.
Pray for Steve, Gerdine, Philip and Natalie to have wisdom as they continue to work towards reaching this needy people group.