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 23rd. 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.
Our 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 ministry. 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.
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