Exciting News from PNG

On Wednesday June 20, I learned that exciting news about a people group in the Highlands of PNG. Please read and pray for the missionary team as the teach the whole village. They hope to begin on June 1.

The Wantakia team :Jack & Lael Crabtree ;
BJ & Jill Sanders and Jeremy & Mandy to

While we lived at Sobega (2001 to 2013) I got to know Kamaru a young woman from a village in the Wantakia. She did my housework two days each week for several years to free me to carry out my ministry. Kamaru and Pangua her husband became friends of ours and were saved during those years after hearing the chronological lessons in Tok Pisin (They were fluent enough in that language for the teaching to reach their hearts.)

When I started using Facebook again about two months ago after an absence of several years, I received a friend request from Tiona, Kamaru’s daughter whom I had known as a little tot who is now a high school student in Goroka. She has also been saved in the years since we returned to Australia.

So when I received this news from the missionaries at her parents’ home village I forwarded it to Tiona.

Here’s the conversation we have had since : (my side of it is in italics)

HI I READ THE STORY AND I AM VERY VERY HAPPY .One of them is my mum’s brother , the other is my cousin and the last one is my mother’s sister’s elder son. I am happy they have given their life to Jesus.

Oh, Tiona.! I am SO THRILLED forou and your mother. Have you shown the story and the photo to Kamaru.?

Tiona, please tell me the names of your 3 relatives who have been saved.
1.Your mother’s brother. (I know Abel but I think this must be another brother)

2. your cousin

3. Kamaru’s sister’s elder son.

OH YES, MY MUM WAS THE FIRST ONE TO SEE THIS STORY. She said we’ll be going to see them after next week .They will start the first Bible study on 1st June so she’ll be going.

My mother’s big brother is Geco. My cousin is Yadas and my aunt’s eldest son is Tapman.

Extra note:Those of you who have received our prayer letters down through the years met another member of this family who has gone ahead of them into heaven. Remember Susan who was saved in 2012 just two weeks before she died of cancer in Goroka hospital.

Thank you in advance for praying for the people of Pingi as they hear the Creation to Christ lessons in the coming weeks and for the missionaries as they teach.


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A visit back to Papua New Guinea!

This gallery contains 5 photos.

We are so thankful for the visit we were able to make back to Sobega from 13th August to 4th September this year.

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Our visit to Philip and Mindy and family in May

This gallery contains 12 photos.

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We are now settled in Paxton — January 2014

7th February, 2014

Dear Friends and Family,

We trust you all had a blessed Christmas and we wish the Lord’s very best in this New Year. We are now in our own home in Paxton.  Thank you for praying concerning the two settlements.  The Dubbo settlement took place on Monday 16th and the cheques were sent over to our conveyancer.  They arrived in time and the settlement for our Paxton house went ahead on Wednesday 18th December as planned.

We moved up to Paxton on Thursday 19th December.  Our son David drove a hired van with the furniture we hav??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????e been given in it and various other items in boxes and suitcases and my brother Graham drove up in his Prado loaded with the more fragile items.  Rita and the boys came along as well.  It was very good to have them see our home on the very first day. On the Friday we started unpacking and here is a photo of Bill relaxing in our partially set up lounge room for a bit after working hard all morning.

We met one of our next-door neighbours the very first evening because he kindly came over to tell us that the bins needed to be put out in the street ready for the rubbish collection the next morning.

We are excited about a new avenue of ministry which is opening to us.  Early in December, Bill went with David to a prayer breakfast at David and Rita’s church.  The speaker was a man from Crossroad Bible Institute. They have a Bible correspondence course ministry reaching prisoners in many countries around the world.  This man is the overseer and representative for the work in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. One of the countries is Papua New Guinea. At present there are students from the prisons in Port Moresby, Lae and Madang, and the representative has been invited to visit and apply to gain access to the prisons in Mt Hagen and Goroka also.

We had a training session with Terry the Crossroad representative a couple of weeks ago and have submitted our applications to become instructors with this ministry.  The instructor receives each lesson when the student has completed it, checks the answers and reads through a diary the prisoner writes of his understanding of and response to passages he is given to read each day. He then writes a letter of at least one page length but preferably longer [since the students appreciate these letters so much] including any necessary explanations, encouragement concerning how hard the student worked on the lesson, responses to prayer requests, telling something about the instructor’s own walk with the Lord etc. and then sends the lesson back.  The lessons are in English but we asked Terry whether we would be allowed to have our PNG students write their answers in Melanesian Pidgin if they are not strong English speakers, and we would write our comments in Melanesian Pidgin also to make it easier for them to understand.  Terry was keen on our doing this. We need to learn the ropes as it were for about 6 months first checking lessons of students in the first tier of the courses from the whole region and then we can ask to be assigned as mentors to students in PNG who are doing the second tier of the course. We would then mentor those people [mostly men] through the whole of their progress through the courses. To say we are excited is no understatement.

Lynette has also agreed to join the SRE team in this area. She will be teaching scripture to 3 classes, 4th, 5th and 6th grades, one after each other on Wednesdays at the Bellbird school. It is only about 6 km away from our home.

We had a visit from our David and family in early January and our good friends Frank and June who live in Dubbo at tP1010835he end of the month. We have also had two couples from our new church, West Cessnock Congregational Church, come and share meals with us. We hope many more of our prayer warriors will come to visit, maybe even staying a few days. Our long-time co-workers from PNG Jim and Kathy Tanner are coming for a few hours in March.

God bless you all,

Bill and Lynette

Bill & Lynette Cottam

13 McDonald Ave, Paxton N.S.W. 2325

Phone Mobile: 0456742840 [both]   and 0458059899 [Bill]

No land line phone

Our email: billnalynette@bigpond.com

www.mmol.org/cottam, https://cottamhts.wordpress.com and http://billnalynette.blogspot.com



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We are buying a house!

Our plans changed after looking at many houses in Cessnock. We decided to buy one now instead of renting for about a year first.

After looking at a number of houses which would have suited us after

we had done a lot of renovations and one which had a flight of six steps which Lynette would have had to negotiate with her wonky knee every time she wanted to use the bathroom or laundry, we decided we would have to spend more than the amount of money we had fixed on as our limit. We then found the delightful little house above on a quarter acre of land. At first we thought we would not be able to afford the extra $45,000 it would cost. However, when we looked carefully at what we had in the bank, what we can expect to realise from the sale of our townhouse in Dubbo, and Bill’s superannuation, we were excited to discover that we should be able to buy the house and still have about half of the superannuation left.

Here are some pictures of inside the house and of the garden.

the living room — combined lounge and dining.

the main bedroom

the studio — potential bedroom for guests

There are three raised garden beds!

one of the five water tanks. Follow the arrow for a glimpse of the fowl yard.

the kitchen

the bathroom

view of backyard showing carport
When we explored the back yard, the day that we looked at the house, we found that the present owners have been avid gardeners. Imagine my joy to find they already had three raised garden beds. We have been planning to get into growing veggies and had planted to make raised garden beds since it is harder now to be bending down to work. All the preparatory work has already been done for us!
In addition, the family has been keeping laying hens and will leave them for us. As well as eggs we will have a source of good manure for the garden.
There are tanks to collect rainwater [in
addition to
the town water
supply] and about a dozen fruit trees.
After we made our offer and it was accepted, we learned through our friends Les and Barb who are living only 6 km from where we will be that Les knows Andrew the man selling the house because he teaches scripture [religious
instruction] at 3 schools in the area. Andrew and Angela actually became quite excited when they learned of our involvement in cross-cultural missions. As a result they have offered to give us any of their furniture which they will not need in their new home. Three included items will be a double bed, the lounge chairs and a small round table. God is blessing us so wonderfully!!

Our townhouse is going to be auctioned on November 13th at 6 p.m. Today was the first open house at the unit and six people came to look. Please pray that the Lord will provide buyers who are willing to buy it for the amount we need. Settlement

date for our new house in Paxton is December 18th. So please pray that the Dubbo sale would be settled by then.

Thank you so much for your continued prayer support.
God bless you all,

Bill and Lynette

Bill and Lynette COTTAM
Landline phone: 02 9632 9450
Phone Mobile: 0401152715 or outside Australia +61401152715 ANY MAIL may be sent C/o 36 Iris St, Guildford West, N.S.W. 2161
www.mmol.org/cottam, https://cottamhts.wordpress.com and http://billnalynette.blogspot.com

Copyright © 2013 semi-retired members of New Tribes Mission PNG, All rights reserved.


We are buying a house!
Bill and Lynette Cottam <bill_cottam@ntm.org>
26/10/2013 10:27 PM
"blogger >> post to Blogger" <billnalynette.sobega13@blogger.com>

Co-ee from Bill and Lynette Cottam –We are buying a house!

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Exciting visit!

Do you remember that back in 2008 I tried to help little Rex Kumo, a three year old boy from a Yagarian village who was born with a nasoencephalocele. Here is a photo I took of Rex at that time when he was 3 years old.

We enabled Rex to be taken to Port Moresby twice [the second time in mid-2009] to see specialists at the POM General Hospital only to be told that the necessary operation cold not be performed because the metal plate and screws needed to close the encephalocele were not available in this country. He would have to go to Australia. I made application to Rotary Australia and Rotary in Port Moresby for Rex to be helped through their ROMAC programme but after I had filled in the necessary forms I heard no more and so thought it had all been to no avail.

Can you imagine our excitement on the 10th of December when we received a visit from Karon, Rex’s mother accompanied by Rex and he looked like this?


turns out that in May, Romac did arrange for Rex and his mother to fly to Brisbane and the necessary operation was performed.

Thank you, thank you, Lord!

Lynette and Bill

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Susan’s story

This is an expansion of what I wrote under the heading: A new name written down in Glory

Praise the Lord for the special privilege He gave Lynette of sharing the Gospel with Susan, the sister of Pangua one of our Sobega workers. She was dying of mouth and throat cancer and trusting in her own good works to give her entrance into heaven. I, Lynette, went into the hospital and spent about one and a half hours with her one Saturday and two hours on the Sunday taking her from Creation to the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. When I finished I asked her did she believe what I had told her and did she want to be reconciled to God. Susan said yes and so I suggested she pray in her mind and say thank you to Jesus for dying in her place and tell Him that she was placing her trust in all that He had done so that God could accept her as His child.

I wasn’t sure whether she really meant it or not. So, on the following Tuesday when Pangua and his wife Kamaru were going to the hospital to visit Susan, I asked Kamaru to ask Susan what she had thought about what I had shared with her.

The next day Kamaru reported, “I asked Susan, ‘You know that white skinned lady came and talked with you. What did you think about what she said? Susan replied, ‘I used to think I was a good woman, but I found out that I was a sinner and that I was on my way to Hell. BUT Jesus died in my place and now I am going to Heaven.’ I said, ‘Oh Susan, I am so glad! I have trusted in what Jesus did on the cross to save me too. You are going to die soon but your spirit will go straight to be with God. Then some time later I will die also and my spirit will come to Heaven and we will be together forever.’ Susan responded, ‘I’m not afraid to die now.’”

Two Sundays later Bill and I dropped Pangua at the hospital to visit Susan. We planned to visit her ourselves after attending church. However, Pangua met us after the service and told us that she had died. She had trusted Christ as her Saviour just 14 days before the Lord took her to be with Himself! Praise Him.

Please pray for Lina [leena], Viki and Aisere [eye-se-ray] whom Lynette meets with on Wednesdays and Sundays for a Creation to Christ teaching class. May they all be saved. We had started working through the account of Moses and the deliverance from Egypt when we went away for our break. Lina and Viki have attended one study since then but Aisere has not come at all. I do pray they will all return to the studies after all the distraction of the elections is over.

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Austen Linley son of Philip has finished high school!

We are very proud to announce that our eldest grandson has graduated from high school. He will celebrate his 17th birthday in the middle of this month. He is planning to study for a in political science and wants to pursue a career in the diplomatic corps. He is especially interested in serving at embassies overseas.

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There’s a new name written down in glory!

Praise the Lord for the special privilege He gave Lynette of sharing the Gospel with Susan, the sister of Pangua one of our Sobega workers. She was dying of mouth and throat cancer and trusting in her own good works to give her entrance into heaven. She trusted Christ as her Saviour just 14 days before the Lord took her to be with Himself.

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Some highlights of the busy days from March to the end of June

Dear Team Members who pray and give so that we can minister here in Papua New Guinea,

This has been such a busy six months and there is so much I would love to share with you about what the Lord has been doing through these months. Back in February, I did send you news of Bill’s trip into Gimi to get Lynne White set up for her five weeks visiting the people at Negivi and of the building of Wuests’ house in Dom.  However, there is much, much more to share with you.

I try to keep our updates to one page, but I am going to break that rule today so that I can share more with you. 

News of Partners

We were delighted to welcome Josh and Melody Simmons and their three girls to PNG on February Image23rd.  They have come to join Kevin and Renae Kellenberger in the Highlands Tech Services ministry.  They settled in well and are making good progress in learning the Melanesian Pidgin language and finding out about PNG culture.  Josh learned electronics in the navy and also did his aircraft mechanics licence.  This will be a great foundation to build on.  We are thrilled with Josh’s desire to learn and Mel’s commitment to the ministry also.

Josh and Mel, Sarah, Morgan and Hannah are presently doing their bush orientation in Simbari.


ImageOur other partners, Kevin and Renae, are in the U.S. on maternity leave.  Their second son Cap Isaac was born by caesarean section on June 1st.  Praise the Lord it was a smooth, safe delivery and from what we hear Renae is making a good recovery.

Please pray for them and Kai as they adjust to having an extra family member.


Are you ready for a surprise?

When I first started writing this update back in April, I wrote:   Please pray Josh will have sufficient opportunities to learn what he needs to learn from Bill before we leave PNG.  However, in late May we came to a decision which alters the way you pray about further training for Josh and Kevin.

We have felt strongly impressed, and we believe it is of the Lord, that we should stay on the field another year to give Josh the opportunity to learn more.  He is SO very keen to learn all he can.  We have come to feel that Kevin could do with more training also.  He is an absolute whiz as far as solar electricity is concerned but in other areas there are still gaps.

So we came to the decision that we would stay and keep on working until September 2013.  Bill will need to make sure that, when both the young men are operational in the ministry, he goes very much into the teaching role and does not do any more of the hard labour himself.  We have a real peace about this.

Busy days for us both

Joshua is really eager to get on with the work but is not able to until he’s finished his orientation.  He definitely has a heart for the work and has brought a lot of equipment and tools to the field to assist in the Imageministry.  Please pray that Josh and Melody will get a good grasp of Tok Pisin soon so Josh can begin learning the Tech Services.  Until Josh is finished his orientation Bill is “it’.  So keep praying for wisdom, priorities and sufficient health to keep things going.  We know we are not 30 any more so some of the impossible jobs may take longer 🙂

Lynette’s days are very full now as she does the various “clerical” tasks for HTS while Kevin is in the U.S. as well as the many and varied tasks she took on after Kevin relieved her of the HTS work in early 2011.  Her days were already full before getting those tasks back.

For some weeks Lynette could not connect to the wireless internet from the house and so she had to work in the shade house outside.

We finally got away for a break after 9 months

We just went away for a two-week break in Dom from Tuesday June 5th until Monday June 19th.  We so thank the Lord that Bill was able to have a really restful break and to be properly restored in the two weeks.  He usually needs three.

Mobile [or cell] phones assist the work

An interesting new development in Bill’s ministry is that he is now able to talk by mobile phone to some of our church-planting missionaries who live in quite remote locations.  The Digicel company has erected towers in some quite remote places and some of our missionaries are now able to make and receive calls on their mobile phones from the villages where they live.  We never thought we would see the day!

Of late Bill has been able to help some of our folk with their problems over the phone and it has not been necessary for them to send something out for him to work on it here.  This will help cut down the work load. 

Some of the work done in these six months of 2012

In the first three months of 2012, Bill and Kevin worked on a total of 19 generators.Image

Here are three of them on the covered cement slab which is part of our HTS work area.

One of them was the Lister diesel generator in the Dom.  Bill and Kevin worked in Dom from the 20th to the 24th of February.  After doing lots of work on the construction of Wuests’ house, they dismantled the geni and brought the generator section back down to Sobega leaving the motor there in Dom.  On 27th February, Bill repaired the armature, cleaned and varnished it and then baked the armature in a makeshift oven he constructed using the cabinet of our old chest freezer.J  New brushes were needed and so on March 20th he made brushes by cutting down some larger ones because the ones we had ordered had not come from Australia.  On the 21st he went to Kundiawa by PMV with Dave, one of the newer missionaries, and the 48kg generator.  Jim met them there in his vehicle and took them on to his house where they refitted the generator to the motor.

Sad to say, the missionary Jim from Dom just rang on Digicel yesterday, 3 months later, to say that the generator had given up the ghost again on Friday night.  So now Bill has to have a look at the generator again.  Please pray with us about the possibility of making another trip up to Dom.  The voting in the elections for the National parliament just started yesterday and so this is not a good time to be travelling.  Elections here are quite different from those in Australia and the U.S.A. because people in the villages vote by groups even though they place their votes as individuals.  Tension can arise and erupt into violence as they get together in support of their candidates.

Since then Bill has worked on three major projects for church-planters, in addition to all the smaller jobs sent in and the work of keeping the Sobega property running. 

More generator problems

One was a generator, the Interface team’s second generator, which shut down automatically with the engine temperature sensor fault.  This was made difficult by the fact that this particular Cummins model does not have an engine sensor unit.  So Bill knew he would have to track down the wires in the engine wiring loom and find out if they are shorted out or to the frame.  After he checked it out he concluded it would have to be loaded onto a big truck and taken down to Cummins in Lae.

Then, on Sunday May 27th we had a dramatically different Sunday because Bill and Josh had to go out to Interface because both of their big generators had given up working.  I went along too.  They managed to get the essential items running on electrical power using two smaller generators loaned from our Sobega property.  Probably the biggest need was that they needed power restored to their big freezers in the kitchen where they already had a lot of food stored which had been bought in ready for the Interface program which was starting two weeks later.

More work on houses

The other two jobs were to finish off two tribal missionaries’ houses.  A church group came and built two extra bedrooms over a garage for the missionary family in Kuman.  There was quite a bit of trim and finish work to be done on it as well as lights and power points.  Bill went there twice in May to get it done.  The first time he again took Dave who had recently finished his orientation and is waiting to move into a tribal location with his little family.  Then a few days later he went again accompanied by three German young men who are spending a year helping out at the Interface property.

The other is the Wuests’ home in Dom which Kevin began.  It needed a lot of tidying up of the electrical work and some more things completed.  Bill went and worked on quite a bit of that in April.  There were also some little jobs to be done in Burdetts’ home.  In actual fact, Bill was not able to get all of the work done at that time and so he will make another trip back up there some time in the coming months to finish off the rest.  I very much hope I shall be able to accompany him.  [Just like the “good old days” of our first ten years in this ministry.]

We might wait till Josh can be involved also after he finishes his orientation.  Wuests are in Germany for the birth of their first child and a period of home assignment [furlough] and will not be back until February next year.

While we were staying in their home for our break Bill made a list of more things which need to be done which he had not previously been aware of.  Also their inverter blew up on our second night there, we found their washing machine pump is not working properly, and a battery charger, which we borrowed from Jim to charge the batteries at night using the generator power, which is rated at 30 amps was only putting out 2 amps!  So when we drove back home we had an inverter, a washing machine and a battery charger on board with us   

In Christ alone,

Bill and Lynette Cottam

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