Soccer Tournament Coming Up

Sep 03 2009

Hello all, 

Well there is never a dull moment here. 

The recent buzz of excitement over the coming tournament has everyone working in overdrive. 
(Side note:  The soccer tournament Jesse & Karie planned for area villages, is a fund-raiser for the medical clinic in Samban - the first annual Samban Clinic Benefit Soccer Tournament.  They will host up to 40 teams from the Ap Ma area.)

I tried to hit the drums to signal the women for our weekly Bible study time on Wednesday, but no one came. Finally two young women came and explained that because everyone is expecting friends and family to come in the next week, they are all in their gardens working or getting the sak sak (sago, starch from a tree) ready for the guests. I didn’t realize how much work for the village this tournament was creating. The men are getting trees cut for extra posts to strengthen old houses so they won’t fall under the weight of added guests. Some are patching leaky roofs.  Jesse has been preparing fields and marking lines and getting market areas ready as well as cutting timber to do repairs to our first grade classroom.  While we have been busy at home, our old truck has finally made it around the coast to Wewak.  Jesse left this morning to pick up the officials for the games and police security as well as items for the clinic, school, and house.  He is expected back on Saturday at the latest on Sunday. 

During a recent visit from PBT representative Martha Wade, we set up a new curriculum for next year’s preschool here.  We need to train a few extra teachers to cater to the massive numbers coming to enroll here.  It will take us until January to get all the materials translated and in useable form.  PBT representative, Jill Reipe here in Samban, will help with much of this as well as a few other short-term PBT helpers.  And I plan on taking 2 weeks in January to train the new teachers to use this step by step curriculum.  The nice thing about it is that it has full daily plans that spell out every action the teacher takes so there is less room for error.

Naleh and Eli are making up ground fast in school as we had fallen behind in our time in town and the back and forth picking up and dropping off family and friends.  We are still behind a bit, but we hope to be back on track by the end of the year. 

Eli just learned to ride his bike really well and hasn’t been daunted by various minor crashes. 

Judah rides with his training wheels even out to the airstrip and back - more than a mile total.  Naleh enjoys carrying her friends on the bike all over.  This month the three of them are doing an experiment in business.  They have been given a box of gum to sell and account for the money, reimburse the money for the gum and total the profits. They are enjoying that. 

For you fishermen and women, yesterday I went to the garden and Naleh and Eli and two friends caught three fish.  We have a different species of cat fish here called the eel-tailed catfish.  They aren’t very big, but they can walk across the land or burrow through mud to find new pools or ponds. They are stocked well in my little hand-dug well at the garden.  They have poisonous barbs.  So when you fish them out you must put them on land without touching any one and club them to death before removing them from the hook.  It takes a bit of skill, but even the children here are accustomed to handling them. 

Work pouring the concrete pads for the posts on the Worship & Education Center is scheduled to be completed early next week before the tournament. 

Please continue to pray for the materials to arrive before the personnel get here to do the work at the end of September.  Also pray that the villagers would continue to help with joyful spirits as the work will be long hours in a very hot dry season.  Also pray that travels go smoothly for the team coming as we have only 2 hours between the last flight’s arrival in Madang and the Cesna flight to Samban.   

All in all we are blessed with work and blessed to be called to do in it such a beautiful place.  Thank you so much for your prayers and support.

Jesse, Karie, Naleh (age 9), Elijah (age 7 on Wed), and Judah (age 3)

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