November - December 2011 Newsletter

Nov 20 2011

November 8, 2011

Construction Quarter

After two months of felling trees, milling timber, and construction, the new elementary classrooms are finally under roof.  There is still a lot to be done; plank-siding and hardwood floors, new desks, and shelves must me made and installed.  Weather has been a problem, but there finally came some days without rain, which permitted the select harvesting of 12 ironwood and 2 garamut hardwood trees.  Hopefully, these 14 trees will provide enough timber to complete the classroom, (as seen on the right). The remaining timber needed for the Literacy Center addition and part of the new clinic is in process of being milled as well.

The community was heavily involved in this endeavor.  The men divided themselves into 3 groups.  One group went out to the jungle helping to roll logs and assist the crew of 4 on the sawmill.  Another group cleaned the “baret” or tributary we use to float the timber back to the village.  This consisted of cutting floating grass that was really thick, plus the large root mass that was underneath the water.  Finally, there was a group that took charge of construction of the building.  I (Jesse) was a member of the final group.   Some days there would be a large number and others days there would be just a few.

The women were not to be outdone.  They divided themselves as well, so that each group of men, was provided a noon meal.  This is great if you don’t mind grubs, sweet potatoes, sago, and whatever else was on the menu.  Of course grubs are my favorite, so I was right at home.

We are thankful for the involvement of each of the communities and as you can see, there’s quite a bit to show for everyone’s hard work.


A Cowboy When I Grow Up

Well being a cowboy is one thing I (Karie) never dreamed of, but it looks like that might be just what will happen.  This fall I applied to the graduate school of OSU, that is Oklahoma for all you Indiana people, not Ohio. (Ha Ha)  Most of you know that for the past four years I have been working on developing the curriculum and training the teachers of the local elementary schools.  While I do have a 4-year degree in Christian Education, I have often felt unqualified to make tough decisions when writing lessons, especially in literacy and language arts.  So I started researching graduate school programs in IN, TN, and OK trying to stay near family and friends.  OSU seemed to be the best fit.  I applied and have been accepted into the summer semester in 2012.  So it seems the family will be residing in Stillwater, OK for our year of furlough.  I will be trying to get the program done as efficiently as possible. Our kids will be in school, also.  Jesse has already begun the job hunt.  We look forward to spending lots of time with you OK folks and for those of you in IN, TN, NC, and  NM and elsewhere, we promise to do our best to get out your way on every holiday and long weekend.  We appreciate your prayers for this busy time of furlough.

Special Points of Prayer


Special points of interest:



Doubling Our Nursing Staff

A big thanks to all of you who have donated to our scholarship students over the past three years.  In January our first scholarship student joined the teaching staff at the Samban Primary School.  This December our second student, Alex Kamba, will be graduating with a two-year nursing degree from Raihu CHW Training School. 

   He plans to return to the village to work along side our nurse on staff, Mariana.  This will help to alleviate some of the stress put upon Mariana, who up to this point has born the burden of every medical crisis, 24 hours a day - on call.  While we are in the village, we usually take the night shift. It is generally known that if there is an emergency, they are to come call for us under our window and we will come and help them.  But when we are in town, Mariana carries that load, as well as the normal office hours.  Now with two staff members, one can maintain our office hours and the other can take the standby night shift and house calls.

   Please continue to pray and support our other two scholarship students as they continue their education in hopes to one day join us in serving the Ap Ma people.

Jon Kanja– To begin his final year at Gadep Bible School, Pastoral training in January.

Jeff Norman– To begin his final year at Berina CHW training school in January.




The Exchange

For the past two months I have watched and listened as the women in our community get ready for a Christmas basket exchange.  The local leaders heard of this program from another nearby village.  It is almost like a secret Santa only with a PNG twist.  You see the land of PNG is very diverse and the flora and fauna change even within 10-20 miles.  Our area is known for rich black stone-less soil.  We have great crops: cocoa, beetlenut, and sago all grow well. The area of Yar, about 15 miles away, has clay ground - much sought after for the pots it can make and a type of reed that can be woven into floor mats.  The women of our village plan to buy store goods and exchange their goods for village goods that we can’t make in our area.  Then at Easter the favor will be returned with our women bringing garden foods and woven bags in exchange for town goods.  I usually help the women doing their town buying as it saves them time and money trying to get into town. Over and over the women said  “Take this money and just get as much as you can for this.”  Thinking toward Christmas and the gift given to us, I am so glad God doesn’t buy into modern economics.  The perfect small investment, with high yielding returns at low risk, isn’t that what we are all looking for? But God in his wisdom invested His Son in this high risk world expecting a return of billions.  We have been given this COD, his spilt blood, for our lives and while we grow and mature he is watching over his investment.  Do we dare to follow in his footsteps this Christmas? Will we invest in something or someone that might be high risk?   Will we share something that is precious to us; our time, our home, our family, and our faith?



Schedule of Events

Nov 28 – Dec 9             Creative Phonics Course

                                 Karie, and 3 Samban Teacher attending

Dec 13                        Travel back to Samban

Jan-April                      Milling and Construction

Jan                             Ap Ma Writers Weekend

Feb                             Illustrator's Workshop

April 17                        Leave Samban for Madang

May 2-16                      Travel to Thailand

May 16                         Arrive in Chicago

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