by Mission News
Eighteen years ago, a tidal wave destroyed Sissano Lagoon PNG and that memory has never faded for the people who call the lagoon their home. But in that time, the jungle has regrown and there is little evidence of the destruction caused by the gigantic waves that hit the region in July 1998.
Pastors John Andrews and Darcy Ryan spent 3 days living in the jungle with the saints, re-walking the jungle tracks and boating around the lagoon and rivers that service the area.
Our visit started in Wewak with a 5-hour road trip to Aitape (177 kms av speed 35.4) – half of the road is good, the other half potholes by the hundreds. Our reward: the welcome from the oversight of Aitape and Lumi, which is always a delight to see. A 4-hour officers’ meeting concluded Day 2 of the trip.
The decision to take the road from Aitape to the river near Warapu was a big mistake. This is where Pastor Vincent Mainik (Zone Pastor) would be waiting with his boat to take us across the lagoon and then up the river to Wipim. The 60 kms journey took close to 3 hours to drive averaging approx 20 kms an hour and I think that was going too fast. These weren’t potholes, these were craters, and our reward at the end – every bone in our body was shaken to bits.
An oversight meeting, fellowship meetings, a Hall opening at Warapu, more fellowship, filled our time here in the lagoon. It was a great delight once again to meet up with the saints of Sissano Lagoon – and there were 14 baptisms.
We decided to go back to Aitape by boat (45mins) smooth. ?????
The next part of our trip took us back to Wewak where we were able to catch up with Pastor Gabriel Fito (Zone Pastor). The church in Wewak is replacing its old hall with a new one; due date for completion and opening – September 2016.
The trip was concluded with a visit to Mount Hagen, a cool and refreshing place after being in the heat of Wewak-Aitape and Sissano. The coastal areas are affected by drought, rainfall is at 25% normal, whereas Mt Hagen is lush and green.
My 50th trip to Papua New Guinea has ended.
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